May 2008

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ISHMAel back



While reading that list of 'positive' attributes I experienced the happy hypnosis effect but found that there was a word every now and again that made my head reel a bit. All of these turned out to be words that I think are negative. I suspect that you can tell a lot about someone by knowing which words have that effect--words that you might think are positive but that they think are negative.


D. Mented, you seem rather zealous in your opinion of religious people.

I use a variant of this question when interviewing: "If I called your mother and asked her for one word to describe you, what word would she give me? How about your father? How about your favorite teacher?"

Only one interviewee has ever given me 1-word answers. I hired him because he can listen and follow directions. He has proven to be a great hire. And he had a fairly accurate opinion of how others see him. "Smart" "Smart-ass" "Busy"

Personally, I find that most people see me exactly as I want them to see me: reliable. I make it a point to never ask them though, just in case.

john galt

Omniscient ?

Where are these people? I know they are out there. I have met them, talked to them, argued with them, tried to avoid them---maybe they don't read blogs.


My favorite word lately is "dysphemism." It's the opposite of a euphemism, which is substituting a polite term for a rude one. So therefore a dysphemism is... well, Google it, I guarantee evil fun.


Like several others who are responding to this posting, I'm coming back to your blog after several days away. (If you aren't gonna post every day, you can't expect us to read it every day.)

But when I read the introduction to this post I knew immediately the one word I would have used to describe myself: funny.

No, I'm not as funny as George Carlin, Robin Williams, or even Scott Adams. But I do try to make at least one person laugh every day. I used to publish my own online humor magazine, Random Access Humor. (check link below for moldy oldies still online)

I'm surprised that "funny" was not one of the most common responses to your previous post. I suppose most of the respondants felt to need to demonstrate how funny they are by making a joke, rather than just telling you.


I'm late catching up to both this post and the previous one, but my self-descriptive adjective would have been "congenial" (positive) and, no, it's not on your list either.


That did make me feel good. Ecspecially "seemly"...ah...if only I were seemly.

Hacker Kitty

These few days are supposed to be statistically the most depressing time of the year - but the list has made me pretty cheerful. If this is the worst it gets, we're all going to have a great year! Smile people, we're bringing up our average!


[Mark who complained about the word "zealot" being used as an antonym to "scientist", please look at the word "antonym".
Antonyms are words that mean the opposite of eachother, such as "cold" is the antonym of "hot".
D. Mented]

Fair go.

Johan Hjelm

I wonder what this says a) about the readers of this blog; b) about Scott, c) about describing yourself as "moist" (an inverse penis joke comes to mind).




A Podcast named "The Word Nerds" has existed for almost 3 years.

You may be infringing a copyright!!!

(actually these guys are not likely to be litigious.) But you should check them out, having gone and used their name! Plus they are excellent.


There is a repeated word:

D. Mented

Mark who complained about the word "zealot" being used as an antonym to "scientist", please look at the word "antonym".
Antonyms are words that mean the opposite of eachother, such as "cold" is the antonym of "hot".
D. Mented


[How is moist not a joke?

Posted by: friskybeaver]

Take a look at the pseudonym you used.

Would that be moist?


["Zealot" is the closest antonym I can find to "Scientist"

Posted by: Cal]

What you smoking, boy?

If Scientist == Zealot, then damn near anyone with an opinion is a freaking zealot.

The reason why religion is bad and science good is that science is the admitted ideas of a human being. And you're allowed to say another human is wrong. Even if they are right. They may no longer like you and the may call you nasty names like "poopyhead".

Religion though is the transcribed wisdom of an infallible uber-being. And saying THEY are wrong will see you in hell if they are right.

So in one case you are allowed to disbelieve any truth. You'll get called names. In the other, you're not allowed to disbelieve any truth because you'll get called names and then tortured for eternity.


Ally Kendall


Diana W

I considered my word "emerging" as a positive. Think butterfly. I feel as if each year I get a little bit better and a little closer to my true self. I could have gone with "improving", but emerging better implies that I'm becoming what I was always meant to be.

What was your word for yourself?


What I find interesting is that you took a random website from an anonymous source and consider that some definitive list of positive adjectives that apply to personality, thereby judging the people who replied to your blog entry by said list.


Zealous being a positive is fabulously indicativie of why the world is in such a mess.

"Zealot" is the closest antonym I can find to "Scientist"


Fascinating truly is one of the characteristics in people I love.

Kind regards,


Your last 2 blogs have made me think about a course I took only last week. The TDF course.

The aim of this course is to help you understand your true self in order to help you work more efficiently and with less stress. It also helps you understand those around you and how bst to cummunicate.

The basic premise is that each of the 3 letters stands for different skills and weaknesses. Everyone can be pigeon holed into 1 of the 6 possible combinations to some extent.

A "D" will be strong at making decisions on limited info and will not regret those decisons - once they're gone, they're gone. They are confident, bold, direct and rash. If a pure D were to go into a restaurant they would likely order without checking what they want is on the menu.

A "T" is analytical, they will always ask for more info, will check, double check and triple check. The end result is perfection (if they live long enough). The sort of people who fail the 80 20 rule without additional effort. A pure T will read a menu top to bottom including who wrote it, twice, before starting to think about what they want.

An "F" sees the bigger picture, always asks why something needs to be done, sees conections, and used stories/comparisons to get their point accross. An F would consider whether to have starter or desert or both. Would decide they want white wine so stick to white meat etc.

No-one is completely any of these leters, we're all a balance. What the course doesn't do is analyse how big each of the letters is relative to each other.

The reson you have reminded me of it is that 1 of the 1st tasks of the day was to describe ourselves in 1 word - for me that was "Realistic" but I wasn't happy with it. There were 2 aspects, a test and a day's self analysis. My test results didn't match my own opinion but the associated blurb with my results described me to perfection.

I'm a TFD. This explains the length of this comment, I'm a T, I need to give the full info. Had I been a D I would have put "TDF course, its great, go do it"

For th last 5 days I have rcognised why I do the things I do and why certain tasks are very challenging for me. Why I can often do something and not be happy with it only for others to praise it - its in my nature.

TDF - Highly recomended


Wow, really, like just wow.
What next, a list of your favourite numbers?


Aw man... I linked to the wrong post! (Second comment, above.) Sorry about that!

HERE is my "word slut" post!



while reading your blog archives today and eating dry oatmeal out of the tube, i laughed so hard i blew some dry oatmeal into my eye. and yet, despite this grievous injury, i still enjoy your blog immensely. now you may ask, why am i awake at two in the morning eating dry oatmeal? but if i were the sort of person that slept and didn't eat horse food, i probably wouldn't enjoy your work nearly as much. kudos, scott.

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