Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is It "Drive For Pride" Time Again?

I had to look at yesterday's post to remind myself. I came very close there to declaring that the "Drive For Pride" was back on.

For me it's a long time between one day and the next. I'm busy. So I had put the whole thing out of my mind. Then I sat down and it all came flooding back to me, that I had spoken once again on the subject.

It really is, like I was saying last night, like reopening an old wound. It was going great guns there for a while, then the criticism came in fast and furious -- that a spine can't really be termed a "spine of steel," with the hyper-literal objection that spines are in fact bone. That has weighed on me for a couple of months.

I have thought over every possible retort, everything from sarcasm to sincere debate, including some things I copied out of a book on writing about figures of speech, but I didn't say much in response. Instead I just quickly dropped the whole thing.

But, as they say, time heals all wounds. And now this one has pretty much healed, it really could be time to try it again, and hopefully this time I won't open myself up to charges and criticism along those lines again.

That doesn't mean I will be any more careful when it comes to figures of speech, because, really, how can you talk about anything without occasionally having to dip into well known figures of speech? I don't know how. I've heard other people say things like that. "So and so has a spine of steel. He can't be beat." I believe the average person knows what we're trying to say ... and it's not something to get excited about.

It's like saying you're so hungry you could eat a horse, or someone was riding like the wind. It's a form of exaggeration for effect, hyperbole being a good term for it.

I will give it another day's thought. I was thinking about launching into the "Drive for Pride" tonight -- just going for it ... cold. But as it turned out, I wanted to lay this groundwork. It's a way of psyching myself up for it. Anyway, I'm not psyched yet. I'm too cautious tonight. Too tentative. And when I start teaching -- I like to use a little bluster, to have a little kick in my style. That's what drives home the point.

Give me a little more time. Then get your thinking caps ready. Because we'll be right back in the thick of it. Pumping up people's pride, their confidence, their self-esteem.

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