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Common Sense Ain’t So Common August 31, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Word Play.
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We often hear people say, “That’s just common sense!” 

But what does that mean? 

What is “common sense”?

In my view, common sense is something that:

* most people could extrapolate for themselves . . .

* based upon what they already know about the world . . .

* without having to  directly experience it for themselves . . .

* as long as they’re in touch with reality and not lost in La La Land.

In other words, it’s not rocket science.

For example, I have NEVER run into a brick wall at 75 mph.  I have NEVER seen someone else run into a brick wall at 75 mph. 

But, based on other things I know about the world, I am confident in saying that running into a brick wall at 75 mph would hurt. 

A lot. 

That’s just common sense.

I wrote the first part of this post before perusing the definition of Common Sense in Wikipedia. 

Let’s look at it together:

Common sense, as described by Merriam-Webster, is defined as beliefs or propositions that most people consider prudent and of sound judgment, without reliance on esoteric knowledge or study or research, but based upon what they see as knowledge held by people “in common”.

Thus “common sense” (in this view) equates to the knowledge and experience which most people already have, or which the person using the term believes that they do or should have.

According to Cambridge Dictionary, the phrase is good sense and sound judgment in practical matters (“the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way”).  

Hmm . . . my definition is close, but probably not close enough to win a Blue Ribbon at the County Fair.

Scan of cover of Common Sense, the pamphlet. N...

Image via Wikipedia

No matter.

A few examples of common sense:  

* If we splash in puddles, we get wet.
* If we drink too much, we get drunk.
* If we eat too much, we gain weight.
* If we don’t exercise, muscles atrophy.
* If we don’t sleep enough, we’re  tired.
* If we don’t bathe, we smell bad.
* If we spend too much, we go into debt.

Are any of these statements worthy of debate, or are they just common sense?

If they are common sense, why do so many people disregard the truths they impart?

Hmm . . . maybe common sense ain’t so common.

Quotes to Ponder:

* It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll

*  It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for any public office. ~ Henry Louis Mencken

* Le sens commun n’est pas si commun (Common sense is not so common) ~ Voltaire

* The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next. ~ Matthew Arnold

* Genius ain’t anything more than elegant common sense. ~ Josh Billings

* Nonsense is so good only because common sense is so limited. ~ George Santayana

* Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom. ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

* Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education. ~ Victor Hugo

* Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. ~ Buddha

No rules.  Just write!

Why Dalmations Ride On Fire Trucks August 31, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Joke.
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Wikipedia ~ Fire Trucks (in Public Domain)

When a grandfather driving down the road with his three granddaughters heard a siren approaching, he pulled to the curb to allow the speeding fire truck to pass.

“Look, kids, a Dalmatian! Do you know why firemen have Dalmatians riding on the truck with them?”

The oldest thought a moment, and said, “I bet they use the dog to keep crowds away from burning buildings.”

The grandfather nodded, “That’s a thoughtful answer. You might be right.”

The middle child shook her head, “No, it’s for good luck. The dog protects the firemen while they’re working.”

Again, the grandfather nodded, “I bet they feel lucky having a fine dog like that working with them.”

The youngest, not to be outdone, raised her eyebrows knowingly, and said with authority:

“You’re both wrong. Firemen use Dalmatians to find the fire hydrants!”

* * * * *

Pluto-HappyAfter everyone had a good laugh, the oldest said, “I’ve got a riddle for you:  If H20 is on the inside of a fire hydrant, what is on the outside?”

When everyone in the car gave up, she smiled and said, “K9P!”

* * * * *

On a related note: How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a barbecue?

Source:  on-line joke research (it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!)