... when asked whether you like something, have you ever replied by saying “Well, I don’t dislike it”? Why isn’t there a single, simple word to describe something that we don’t actively like, but nor do we actively dislike? Consider this sequence: like a lot, like, like a bit, dislike a bit, dislike, dislike a lot. There’s a glaring gap between “like a bit” and “dislike a bit”, but that’s one hell of a gap, because it describes how most of us feel about all the people in the world that we don’t know (assuming we’re not a Hare-Krishna “I love everyone” type nor a Charles Manson “I hate everyone” type). Consigning all the people you don’t know to an indescribable category on the “like/dislike scale” is akin to trying to pretend that the Inland Revenue Service doesn’t exist. (Try it if you like, but I can assure you it doesn’t work, and in fact it positively hurts). ... Read the whole story.
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Word play
© WordisWorth.com 2006 

... "They have robots to vacuum floors these days. We should have robots to accompany women shopping, robots that would say all the right things - "no your bottom doesn't look big in that dress" - without even the tiniest hint of a frown or a sigh, robots that could trail after their mistresses to hundreds of shops in a day, so that even when the woman has collapsed on the pavement from exhaustion, the robot would cheerfully say "Oooh look, there's a shop over there we could try?"... read the whole story.

A collection of Brian's short stories is published in No man is an island, available from Amazon. Click here to get it.
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