Tuesday, February 14, 2012

That's So Random

written by Maddox Campbell.

You misuse the word “Random.”

Especially if you are a sixteen year old girl who regularly shouts out “That’s sooooo random!” or has a album of “Random” pictures on Facebook.

The following three words: “Weird,” “Miscellaneous,” and “Random” are NOT synonyms. They mean very different things and I’m tired of you treating them like they are interchangeable.

First, let me explain the difference. Let’s start with “weird”.

Weird means it is different than what is usual. For example, the following is a weird paragraph:
I love to stack cats. Cats are the best thing to stack because if you stack your cats too high and they all fall over, the cats will land on their feet, unharmed, and so you can start stacking cats all over again.

That’s a really weird thing to say, but it’s not random because I was trying to be weird, and thus weird is what we got.

Now, let me explain “Miscellaneous”.

Miscellaneous means unrelated or not fitting into any category. Here is a miscellaneous paragraph:
Purple is a colour. Hats go on your head. Is that pizza ready to eat? If I could give you only one piece of advice, it would be to always wear sun screen.

Every sentence makes sense; it just doesn’t fit in with the sentences around it. There is no category that all of these sentence fit into. They aren’t all statements. They aren’t all questions. They don’t all have to do with food. They are miscellaneous.

Those albums of photos that you call “Random” are actually miscellaneous. If they were random photos, they would happen by setting your camera to go at an unpredictable interval and then stick it somewhere that will make it change what is looking at, like tied to your belt. But even then you’d end up with pictures of walls, your pants, and people giving the finger to your back.

Random means occurring by chance or at least occurring by reasoning beyond our ability to predict (called pseudo-random but close enough to random I won’t hate you if you drop the pseudo). This is a random paragraph, as generated by a computer program:
r:=X_0p__c?MS].jW'_b\u[M+0jNA@Q#P_SKuirU QKcu+Cow!DZ_`QZ__%M^)__H_P\(YWP[YTcG5_,_"^!R&=l_I-VQ.>_Jo\EBV_ ek_%+$d<)Cs>gX_9:anYbP_._1jsA\:_&&_8m7nttdBu vr(k&lJE3`_0;hsKYYd_lI_C0A\_3l^_=cY_=TQBs__-mYY2dg\jHQh(Qo9?\Bk\D`_[?&S_)

Please stop trying to read that aloud. You are embarrassing us both.

Now you have no excuse. You know the difference. Stop misusing the word random and I’ll stop hating you.

Well, for that.

For more Maddox, check out his YouTube channel or the facebook pages for his comedy troupes, Huckleberry Funn and The Winston Zeddemores.

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