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April 17th, 2014

About Taking and Bringing

by G. E. Shuman

There is a lesson in the curriculum I use with my eighth grade English class, which is entitled “Using Troublesome Verbs Correctly.” A subheading to this short lesson states: “Take or Bring?” Take indicates movement away from you. Bring indicates movement toward you.” Examples might be that we “take out the trash, but bring in the groceries.” You see what I mean.

It really isn’t my intention here to bring you a lesson in eighth grade English, but I thought it was interesting that I would be discussing such a topic with the kids, and then realizing the depth to which society and technology have switched the reality of taking and bringing, in our actual, physical lives. Here are examples of those physical things that seem to have changed. I am not suggesting that all of these changes are bad… I’m just saying that I have noticed them.

Years ago we might take the kids to the library. Now computers bring the library to us. (Not a bad thing, unless you happen to work at the library.)

We also used to take a date to the movies. These days, we bring the movie home, or, more likely, have it delivered to us through our WIFI. (Also not a bad thing, unless you happen to own a movie theater.)

Parents used to take their kids to college. I am painfully aware that this still happens, through personal experience, but now, more often than not, the student’s laptop brings college to them.

When I was young, the parents of nearly every child would take that child to church. Now the TV brings the preaching right into our homes, but, in this case, there is no substitute here for the real thing. Besides, what kid watches TV preachers when cartoons are on?

Husbands used to take their wives shopping. (UGH.) Now the internet brings the shopping to her, and the UPS driver brings the things she bought. (I actually like this one, especially because I detest shopping and because my wife works for UPS.)

When I was young, (back when rocks were soft) we, once in a while, were taken out for pizza. Now someone brings the pizza to our door, in a free and nifty cardboard box that is good for absolutely nothing except delivering pizza.

The strangest situation, to me, is that doctors used to bring their exam and diagnosis to your home, in a medical service called a house call. Imagine that? This changed, long ago, and then we all had to be taken to those doctors. That was, of course, until webmd.com started bringing their answers right into our homes again.

Good grief, Charlie Brown! It really is no wonder that social media has sprung up around our world. It is the only real socialization people get these days.

It is also interesting, to me, that we now actually have 3-D TV. I will probably be the last person in Vermont to buy one, but I’m sure it’s “just like the real thing.” Men, (Yes, right now I’m talking to the men out there.) I do have some advice for you, (You knew I would.) before you go out and buy that 3-D television on which to watch the next big game. The advice is this. Get your eyes, your typing fingers, and your mind off the networks and the internet, and get your sorry butt up off of that chair. Then take your wife out for the evening. It won’t be a 3-D experience “just like the real thing.” It will BE the real thing. (I swear, I was born 100 years too late.)

George’s World,” a new 740 page collection of George’s columns from The World, is available at xlibris.com, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and your favorite bookstore. “The Smoke And Mirrors Effect,” George’s first novel, can be seen at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. Happy Reading!

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