Erratic Thought #9

Here is something to think about: there are really no such thing as shy people.

Now I know you will say, “What the heck are you talking about? I know tons of shy people-people that simply don’t talk very much. They are nervous, timid, and seem to think if they do anything, they might embarrass themselves.” Well, let me tell you my theory. None of this is true. I also know what you are thinking. Yes. I have already blogged about this topic before. I do not think I did it the justice it deserved.

Alright, so for some really quick review, there are two options for these supposedly “shy” people? Either: a) these people are extremely strange or b) they are secretly awesome. Because the chance of the former being true of someone is so low, I am only going to talk about the latter in this post. 

I want to take a look at the word “shy.” What does it mean, exactly? I am sure that all of you reading think the definition of shy would be, “being reserved or having showing nervousness or timidity in the company of other people.” WRONG! Although this is possible, it is almost always another, lesser know, definition. Just as I told you of two different kinds of shy people, the word “shy” actually has several different definitions.. And just in case you doubt the validity of what I am about to tell you, look the word up in a dictionary and just see what you find. I took them from the Oxford English Dictionary.

The first definition of “shy” is this: the act of flinging or throwing something at a target. This is, by far, the much less likely to be the case for your friend, however it does unfortunately happen quite often. Many times, when a child is very young, he or she will be involved in a “throwing” accident. This accident will most often consist of one of three things. It could involve having a small, hard projectile thrown in the vicinity of one’s head-area. It could also consist of having some sort of kitchenware hurled at one’s body, but not necessarily the head (this could be a bowl, a spork, a wooden spoon, or some crinkled up tin foil). The third option is that the child, himself, was thrown at a target. The worst thing about this option is that it can happen to anyone. Have you ever had a friend who was the most outspoken, funny person ever and one day, he just isn’t like that at all anymore. He is now shy. Like I said, it usually occurs in childhood, but a throwing or flinging accident can happen to anyone.

The second definition of shy, which not many people know of, is: not bearing fruit well or prolifically (prolifically means “a lot of fruit”). So, what is it that tells us about your little friend sitting alone? Is he or she really shy? Are they really scared of saying something wrong or being embarrassed? No, or course not! What many of these people are actually doing is concealing a secret- a secret that they will do anything to protect, even if it means keeping quiet for the rest of their lives. They are simply ashamed of the fact that they are horrible gardeners. I know, I know. It is probably hard to believe. But do you really see many plants or flowers in or around your shy friends house. And if you do, make sure to ask if either, their mother grew them or they came from their local Wal-Mart. I hope that I have not offended anyone reading, just remember that there are several definitions of the word “shy.” This is the one I believe to be the most commonly used and applicable one.


30 Responses to “Erratic Thought #9”

  1. horrible gardeners? interesting theory…glad to see you fleshed out the original one…

  2. hey. It’s in the dictionary. 🙂

  3. I know several gardeners who are very shy.

  4. First of all, name one.
    Second of all, they are probably bad.
    Third of all, it is not the only option, so OK. (have they ever had a piece of tin foil thrown at them?)

  5. drew donaldson Says:

    I don’t get the random paragraph about children throwing random things.

  6. well, why not? “Throwing or flinging something at a target” is a definition of shy. And I have been looking at the different meanings of the word and what causes people to be shy That is one of them. Get it.

  7. Just so you all know, although I am completely serious, I am also completely kidding.

  8. drew donaldson Says:

    That is a complete, total, RIDICULOUS oxymoron

  9. Like I said yesterday, Drew, you really read into things WAY too much and are just too closed minded. I guess what I sorta kinda should have said was that although I am trying to be funny, I am trying to do so in the most serious way possible.

    I also (unlike you) am open minded enough to believe that my “shy people” theories may have a little truth to them. I have had several reliable sources agree quite strongly with my ideas. I am now assuming you, my friend, are not one of these people. My God one day bless you with the wisdom to comprehend the complexities of SHY.

  10. drew donaldson Says:

    I agree with you almost completely. It’s just ridiculous to spend an entire paragraph talking about throwing kitchen utensils at people, and another about how people are shy because they are gardeners.
    And I am very open-minded. And is it a crime to THINK about things?

  11. 1. The kitchenware part was supposed to be funny! (I won’t say it again)
    2. It’s not that they are gardeners, it’s that they are bad ones (or hate gardening).
    3. No, it’s not a crime to think about things, but you can think too much (or be too logical, as we discussed in logic class) when something is intended to be light-hearted or a serious attempt to be funny.

    accept it.

  12. Nick:
    1. Lauralen and Hannah do not count as your “reliable sources”- find some real statistics.
    2. Merriam Webster’s definition of shy:
    1.bashful; retiring.
    2. easily frightened away; timid.
    3. suspicious; distrustful: I am a bit shy of that sort of person.
    4. reluctant; wary.
    5. deficient: shy of funds.
    6. scant; short of a full amount or number: still a few dollars shy of our goal; an inch shy of being six feet.
    7. (in poker) indebted to the pot.
    8. not bearing or breeding freely, as plants or animals.
    –verb (used without object)
    9. (esp. of a horse) to start back or aside, as in fear.
    10. to draw back; recoil.
    11. a sudden start aside, as in fear.
    12. fight shy of, to keep away from; avoid: She fought shy of making the final decision.

    You used the Oxford Dictionary which looks at the British side of definitions.
    I too looked up shy in the online Oxford dictionary:
    nervous or timid in the company of other people. 2 (shy of/about) slow or reluctant to do. 3 in combination having a specified dislike or aversion: camera-shy. 4 (shy of) informal less than; short of.

    No where in the list of definitions did it mention anything about gardening or flinging objects.
    Until you can find me the URL that links to an Oxford dictionary definition of shy with what you stated in the definition- I choose not to believe you.

    3. You’re on crack.

    I rest my case and I believe my awesomeness speaks for itself.

  13. OK, here you go

    1. It was Laurelen and Jaorrd that primarily agree with me. I am sure that there are others, but will not make a difference to you.


    You will find the definition I referred to concerning gardening at #4 under shy1. The flinging or throwing definition can be found as the meaning of shy2.

    Now, Alex, I know for a fact that you will say that I found it in a couple dictionaries, when you couldn’t find it in any. And this would then mean that is unreliable or something. To that I say, you didn’t look hard enough. You may also claim that these definitions are just too rare or British to be accurate. To that I say, it was in both my Mac’s built in dictionary and several other online ones. So, I don’t really care. They may be British, but I didn’t see anything about that. Even still, what’s wrong with it being a British word? All of our English words came from other countries- primarily Great Britain.

    3. No, not crack- just a heck a lot of homework. . . and happiness 🙂

  14. And to Drew:
    The thing about kitchen ware- That was not in the dictionary. I made it up.

  15. The exact definition in “yourdictionay” is:
    “not bearing or breeding well, as some plants; unproductive”
    This is clearly referring to a term that is applied to plants that are not growing well. Not to be applied to the person who actually gardens the plants. I would be inclined to agree with your definition, but the part that says “as some plants” clearly is meant to show that this term can be applied to plants that match the criteria of “not bearing or breeding well”. The “;” after “as some plants” also helps to mark out what is actually being “unproductive”. When a plant is not growing properly it can be said that the plant is “being shy” which simply pertains to the nature of the plant’s growth- not the grower. (and you can ask any of you’re moms about that)

    Now I don’t even need to try to combat the whole “British dictionaries apply to us” argument you are trying to push. But I will say this, listen to any person who has lived in Britain their whole life and tell me they don’t speak incredibly different than Americans. If you can, you’re smarter than I thought.

    And for the “throwing” argument:
    The definition you used is a form of shy as a transitive verb (which is: a verb accompanied by a direct object and from which a passive can be formed, as deny, rectify, elect.) and not an adjective like the your other definitions. This applies to an action (shying away from something, etc.) not a noun. All the other definitions (# easily frightened or startled; timid
    # not at ease with other people; extremely self-conscious; bashful
    # showing distrust or caution; wary) are adjectives and can be used to describe a noun. However, your throwing definition only applies as a verb with a direct object- which is something that is totally different. Therefore, that definition cannot be used to describe a noun but only to be used as a verb.

    And a little tip, you might want to actually look closely at your definitions and not just throw them together in future arguments. It’s always good to actually give your readers the definitions you are using and not paraphrase them.

    So take that and put it where the sun don’t shine.

  16. 1. I agree with everything you said. At this point, I will direct you back to previous comments between Drew and I. As to quote the best villain of all time, “WHY SO SERIOUS?!?!?!” If you want to take everything literally, go ahead. However, I thought you would be able to figure out that that was not the attitude with which I posted this.

    As for the British thing, the dictionaries ARE NOT British, they may have been written in Britain, by British people, or a British university, but they are for ENGLISH speaking Americans, built into my computer, assembled in California.

    “Why so serious?” This was meant to “put a smile on that face of your!”
    I couldn’t resist.

  17. I love how when ever you are disproved you say it’s all a joke. lol

    O.. did you hear that?
    That my friend is the mallet of my awesomeness falling on the plastic nail of your totally pointless post.

  18. um, sure…
    I guess it is kind of like in speech and debate class last year. I had to, at least a couple time, argue for something that I didn’t really believe was true. It’s fun.

  19. drew donaldson Says:

    Bravo, Alex.
    And Nick – I may have missed out on a facinating conversation between yourself and Jarrod about shy people, but when the three of us were discussing it on Sunday, you had not even posted your shy person – pt. 2. He agreed with you about the first proposal, but I must say that I cannot think he would support this theory.
    Bravo, Alex.
    You have torn down Nick’s arguement like a feeble piece of graph paper.
    And P.S., Nick. Your blog’s clock is broken.

  20. I broke it. I couldn’t handle me.

    But in all seriousness, I don’t want to appear offensive. Nick and I are not on bad terms at all and I hope no one thinks that. We just love a little heated debate.

  21. As far as this topic goes, um, let’s just completely forget about it. Well, at least until I become rich and famous for writing a book on the very subject, founded by research and facts which will make the both of you cry.

    As far as Alex loving a heated debate, well, so do I. Even though the topic was silly, I still enjoyed thinking of ways to defend it. And since it is truly impossible to prove something to be true, if it is not, it was still fun and I am fine with saying I “lost.” However, I will try to make the subject of my post more controversial in the future, so please BRING IT ON! If you want to pick a fight on an issue, please do so. That would be my reason for writing it. I love debates.

    As for the broken clock, I think it is different for almost every one who signs in. It seemed to me that the clock has been set correctly, by the day is still screwed up. So, uh… sorry.

  22. lol. looks like there’s quite a bit of sophomoring going on. allow to give you the reason why sophomore is the word it is: From Greek: sophos meaning wise and moros meaning foolish. (Moros is, by the way, also the word from which moron comes) So, the combination of wise and foolish is quite interesting. It means that by the time a student is a sophomore, he/she is well read, but by this, they assume that they are very wise. Which they are not. So in essence, a sophomore is a smart person who has much knowledge but is still very foolish. Nick is an excellent debater, but makes odd theories and points which don’t make sense. Alex argues well and makes good points, but he assumes that he is awesome and has thus broken an internet site’s internal clock. Fortunately, Drew has not yet been tainted by the sophomore mindset, so he makes good points and argues well.

    All of my definitions are taken from Merriam Webster’s Online dictionary, a very reliable source.

    And Alex: her name is LAURELEN!!! E, not A! Get it right! 😉

    CRASH! You hear that? That is the superlocomotive of my unstoppable wit that just crashed into your little outhouse. 😉


    I am a little confused, though. So are you saying that being a sophomore is good or bad? Or are you saying that it has good parts and bad parts? Either way, you completely dominated this post and were dead on right about everything! I laughed quite hard.

    By the way, I have told Alex it’s Laur-E-len for a long time, now. . .

  24. Wait, I’m sorry, but just a couple more things:
    Did Alex really break the clock?
    Who says superlocamotive?
    Not all my theories are pointless. . .
    Did you just call my blog an outhouse?!?!

  25. Depends. If you are a 7th grader, sophomores are awesome and really good. If you’re a junior or a senior, sophomores are annoying and really bad. 😉 No, sophomores are good, but I don’t have good memories of my sophomore year.

    No, Alex did not break the clock.
    Superlocomotive is another term for ‘really fast train’ (you know, the ones Alex thinks he can run faster than. 🙂
    No, you’re theories aren;t pointless. I was just being completely serious and i was totally kidding; AT THE SAME TIME!!!
    No, your blog isn’t an outhouse.

  26. Gotcha. I completely agree with you, especially about being serious and kidding at the same time. It is funny, though, that you had bad memories of your sophomore year, as you were home schooled then.

  27. Andrew:
    Next time come and actually debate with us then I’ll take what you have to say into account. 🙂
    Ah, just kidding (sort of), but seriously, sorry you had a bad sophomore year (at…home??).
    The whole definition of sophomore is an interesting point. But I don’t associate my life and how I communicate with my grade, sorry.
    And I don’t think I can run faster than a train, (maybe a car ;)) and I don’t think I’m “awesome” I was meaning that I thought my ARGUMENT is awesome (I should have probably clarified). And sir one of things that gets on my nerves the most is people who think they can judge someone simply because they are a couple years older. Not accusing you of that of course, I just got that tone from your post.

    And sorry misspelling LauralAn’s name makes you so mad. I’ll try to be spell it correctly for your sake.

  28. OK. At this point I think we should all shake hands and go home.

  29. “I rest my case and I believe my awesomeness speaks for itself.”

    Where’s the part that you talk about the awesomeness of your argument? 😉

    “but seriously, sorry you had a bad sophomore year (at…home??).”

    It wasn’t necessarily because of the grade, just the age.

    “The whole definition of sophomore is an interesting point. But I don’t associate my life and how I communicate with my grade, sorry.”

    I know that, and I don’t expect you to.

    Nick: “It is funny, though, that you had bad memories of your sophomore year, as you were home schooled then.”

    Funny, yes. But not a result of homeschooling. Were that the case I would have bad memories of all of my homeschool years, which I don’t. I wasn’t homeschooled just through my sophomore year. My junior year was actually an excellent one, and I was comepletely homeschooled then.

    “And sir one of things that gets on my nerves the most is people who think they can judge someone simply because they are a couple years older. Not accusing you of that of course, I just got that tone from your post.”

    Of course I don’t do that. Doing that would be ridiculous. Even for highschoolers to do that to 8th graders and below would be ridiculous.

    “And sorry misspelling LauralAn’s name makes you so mad. I’ll try to be spell it correctly for your sake.”

    Good, it’d make me much happier. 😉

    “OK. At this point I think we should all shake hands and go home.

    *shakes hands, squeezes Alex’s extra-hard* 😉

  30. To officially end this never-ending thread, I will quote my favorite talk show host by saying, “I prefer clarity to agreement.” I am sorry for any tension that may have been felt from any comments. I do not think that anyone could say they particularly agree with another, but I certainly hope that after all this, we have made ourselves clear. Good night.
    😉 X 20,000

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