BB #4: Fugacious Nous

Funny how people use “quantum leap” to mean a large jump.  In reality, a quantum leap — a real one, not a Scott Bakula one — is a tiny thing.  A very tiny thing.  Think decimal point, 33 bagels and a number.  Tiny. Tiny beyond belief (or unbelief, for that matter).

And yet…

It does mean jumping to a new level very different from the old.

A quantum jump (we science geeks never say quantum “leap”) moves the system to a new notch, a ratchet step up or down.

So in the sense of meaning moving to a “new level” I suppose it’s okay.

Just don’t think of that new level as being so very far from the old. It’s just a quantum away (remember what I said about tiny, and we don’t mean it ironically as we do with that 800-pound gorilla).


When I got into my car Sunday I discovered a nice odometer poker hand (and an extra card up my sleeve).

Which leads to a forced segue (we can scoot there on our Segways) about the millennium and why to Kay or not to Kay.

Funny untrue story: our IT department read the memo and spent thousands of dollars and hours going through all our stored documents and very carefully converting all the “Y”s to “K”s.

No one was quite sure why so many got fired shortly thereafter.

We’d worked together to solve an apparently critical problem (it was in all the news, if you recall). It may be related to some sort of computer bug people were talking about back then, too. Some kind of virus, maybe.

So did you celebrate the actual, true (calendar geek) century change as the very big hand moved from 2000 to 2001?

Or did you celebrate the common folks’ odometer-rollover change when all the nines changed to noughts? (And were you naughty that night?)

Smart folks covered their bets: 12/31/1999 to win, 12/31/2000 to place, and I showed at both!


My gramma taught me grammar, but Allie taught me Alot! Taught me to smile when people smuggle out the space and snuggle up the talented beast.

Did you know that eating your Oatmeal regularly can improve your grammarS’true! And the delightful, delicious virtual porridge wasn’t the first to bring it up, but I’m on a mission to bring back the semi-dead semicolon.

My meager contribution to such excellence is the pithy: “Grammar Rules: They’re there for their purposes.”

I’ve been seeking one for those “y” words that give such trouble to so many and was recently gifted with: “Grammar: knowing your shit from you’re shit.”

Oh, my; yes, indeed.

(Note to damn near everyone: when you write like a moron, you look like a moron. Ya might wanna consider that connection.)


I’m not sure, but I think it’s possible I drink too much Diet Mountain Dew (but Mr. Pepsi should be so proud of me — it’s possible I’m single-handedly maintaining his empire (or, you know, not)).

I swear I drink that stuff like it was made outta soda pop or something.

In my defense, have you ever read the ingredients?

I quote: Carbonated Water (and not very carbonated at that); Concentrated Orange Juice (mmmmm, vitamin C!), Citric Acid (that’s like, lemons, right?), Natural Flavor (well, if it’s natural, it’s gotta be good, yes?); Citrus Pectin (I think that makes my chest muscles strong… or possibly lemony); and then some chemically-sounding stuff that’s probably harmless, because they wouldn’t put in the bottle if it was bad for you, now, would they.

Or would they?  Nah, surely not.


[fade out]

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

4 responses to “BB #4: Fugacious Nous

  • Laura

    That whole “quantum leap” business still drives me crazy. I pulled my hair out (since grown back) in college trying to get through a class in quantum physics. It was a very big deal about very tiny particles.

  • Lady from Manila

    The use of punctuation remains a challenge to me, especially the semi-colon and the dash. Thank you very much for the helpful link on semi-colon.
    I’ll be back for the grammar link.

    You’re so kind to your (prospective) readers.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      The Oatmeal is a great comic site (among my favorites), and some of this material is incredibly educational! I really like his grammar charts; if I was an English teacher, I’d order the full-sized versions for my classroom!

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