What I am about to say is very sad and I mean no disrespect to my fellow humans. Quite the opposite. I am worried for us all. I was shopping for some cool weather clothes with my 11 year old yesterday. We were in one of the popular clothing stores. Inexpensive but fad clothing. It was devasting. As I looked around at everyone shopping they looked….brain dead. It was awful. Their physical color was drained. Their eyes were flat. Their processing was clearly impaired.
At one point I asked a salesperson where I could find an item that was displayed in the window. I phrased the question as written. He couldn’t get it. I repeated my question and he took me over to a jacket that was the complete opposite of the one I had pointed out. I tried one more time and he said, ” Gosh I don’t know. But if I find it I ‘ll tell you. ”
Wow. I wasn’t mad at all but I was really sad for him, for all of us. I just don’t think his poor cognition is an anomaly any more and that is an awful, awful thing to suspect of us.
And now from Alfonso:
In reference to Mari’s shopping experience, there is a possibility that the salesman didn’t understand one or more words in the question. This causes a complete misunderstanding of the whole question. It happens to me all the time.
Repeating the same question doesn’t help. You have to use different words and maybe try a few times. People go around not being aware that there are gaps in their vocabulary and they cope all the time. They guess and try to understand from the meaning of other words in the sentence. No one sat down with them and showed them how to use a dictionary and how important it is that they know the full meaning of words, especially common ones.
What is most frustrating to me is when I ask a salesman for a particular item using specific words, for example: small green hollow metal ball. He gets that blank look on his face and says, what are you going to use it for? He has no clue what I am talking about but he is trying to help. Another salesman comes around and to the same question he answers, ah, yes we have it, or no, we don’t stock that anymore. Or, we only carry the red ones. Simple.
Dumbing down for sure.