Reflexive Tense

In some languages (and keep in mind I only studied Spanish in school), there is something called the reflexive tense.  For example, “Vivo yo” means sort of “good for me” or “I love myself.”  In English, we don’t really have a reflexive tense but a conversation this afternoon in the OLLI class I’m teaching made me wonder why not.

The group began discussing social media and someone asked why folks are so negative about themselves on various sites.  They wondered why anyone would post nasty comments about their spouse or child or friend or neighbor.  After all, we’re not talking about a chalkboard where comments can be erased and viewed by only a few. We’re talking about wide distribution and often re-distribution of information.

“If I chose my husband, I’d say he is wonderful.  After all, I chose him.  If he’s not wonderful, what does that say about me?” asked one member of the group.  “And why would I tell anyone my personal business like he forgot to take out the trash last night so he must be a jerk?”  It’s obvious from the daily news that some young folks – well, it does seem to be the young, inexperienced in society –  post notes and photos of themselves in compromising, often unflattering situations.  And often that leads to difficulty – with dating, with the job search, with co-workers and sometimes with family members.

So how to handle all this?  No one wants to outright lie and maybe some folks don’t want to appear Pollyanna-ish.  But if you want what you post to reflect well upon yourself, why not keep it positive?  You never know who’s reading social media – but the most important person, the one whose opinion counts most, is you.  Use words that reflect well upon your life, your family, your world – all that is you.

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