What does it take for a dude to change his opinion of someone else?
By that, I mean, if you start out liking someone, getting a good vibe off of them, is it easy to readjust your thinking of that person to consider him to be a jerk?
Is it possible to go from thinking someone’s a jerk to thinking they’re an all-right dude?
Or will the lingering stigma of the first impression still hang around no matter how much she’s proved to be one and not the other?
I asked because I’m in the midst of such a reevaluation right about now. See, there’s this person, I’ll call him Ken and he’s somebody who provides me with a service.
No, not that kind of service. Sheesh, dudes. Get your minds up out of the gutter. I’m only being a bit obtuse because he might be reading this. And he might not even be a he. Or a she.
Anyway, I started out thinking Ken was a pretty all right dude, quick on his mental feet, friendly and a good guy to be around.
But then he went and mispronounced something. Badly. Repeatedly. And now I can’t help thinking he’s an idiot.
Now, before you get all up in arms about me being so very shallow and far too nitpicky, let me explain a bit.
See, I have what might charitably be called a huge vocabulary. I have a large working vocabulary, in that I can extemporaneously call up bit words, use them correctly and actually be able to define them. I have an even larger vocabulary of words that, once I hear or see them, I know what they are even if I couldn’t come up with them on my own.
Now, most of those words I learned through reading that I did on my own time. I didn’t have anyone there to talk to about the stuff I was reading, mostly because none of the kids my age were reading anywhere near what I was reading. Not that I’m trying to brag. I’m not.
Anyway, when I would run across a new word, I’d try to understand it by context and would then sound out the word. I’ve never been all that good at sentence diagramming and those pronunciation guides in dictionaries are gibberish to me. So I’ll find that I will be pronouncing a word one way for years, but realize that I’ve been doing it wrong and never knew it.
With that said, I understand that people can mispronounce words all that time and that doesn’t mean they’re an idiot. But it’s the caliber of the word here that’s causing me difficulties.
See, the word Ken mispronounced was calves. You know, the muscles on the back of your leg, between the knee and the heel. Yeah, those calves.
Ken pronounced that word as kal-vz. That is, the hard k sound, short a and hard l sound, followed by a blend of the v and z sound. In reality, the words is pronounced kavz, with the l sound completely silent.
This wasn’t a one-time thing as he repeated the mistake several times over the course of an hour or so.
I know it’s relatively minor, but I just can’t let it go. Calves is such a basic word and I find my second impression fighting with my first impression.
Oddly enough, in the opposite of what usually happens, I think my second impression (the reevaluation) is winning out over the first impression.
Now that I’ve opened myself up for ridicule, what do you dudes say? Can the second impression win out over the first and, in this case, should it?