Public Enlightenment

Four things you’re (probably) wrong about.

At Flipside, we take our responsibility of educating and enlightening the public seriously. We have therefore decided to dispel many of the misconceptions about life that seems to be prominent among the general population. Below are a few of the terminological inexactitudes one encounters in everyday settings, even illustrated with examples of specific incorrect statements. You’re welcome.

The notion of catharsis

“You seem angry: punching this cow repeatedly in the face should relieve some of that aggression”

Anger is not a substance that can be bottled up nor released through a pressure valve. When experiencing rage, trying to let go of that fury through meaningless acts of aggression will do nothing to diminish your anger, actually it is more likely to increase the level of your indignation. If you truly wish your anger to go away, you’ll actually be lots better off taking deep breaths and counting slowly to ten. Or just watch this video, and all negative emotions will erode faster than you can say ‘lederhosen’.

The nature of antisociality

“Stop being antisocial, join me and my friends for the goat-sacrificial party tonight!”

Preferring to spend time in solitude, not participate in social gatherings and have a general lack of motivation for social interaction is called being asocial. Not going to parties is an example of asociality, on the other hand, an example of anti-social behaviour would be showing up to a party after wilfully contracting rabies, defacate on the table and slap the host in the face with a trout before storming off into the night yelling ‘I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE!’.

Schizophrenia

“Yesterday you gave me a lecture the sanctity of all life, and now you’re drawing a pentagram on the floor with goat-blood; You’re such a schizophrenic!”

The word ‘schizophrenic’ is often used to describe conflicting behaviour or values in a person, implying a likeness to the case of two ‘personalities’ inhabiting the same body. But that’s not schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that includes symptoms such as breakdown of thought processes, paranoia and auditory and visual hallucinations, whereas the term is often used to describe a condition closer to ‘dissociative personality disorder’.

Although ‘schizophrenia’ can be literally translated from Greek to mean ‘split mind’, this alludes to the nature of the hallucinations one suffers from being different from, or ‘split’, from reality.

Catching a cold

Stop making snow-angels naked, you’ll catch a cold!”

What is commonly referred to as ‘the cold’ is a condition caused by a virus, which is something you can only get in your system from an external source, i.e. through other people. Associating the cold with exposure to low temperatures might be a result of cold weather meaning an increased likelihood of spending more time inside with others, thus increasing their chance of being in the vicinity of people spreading the virus through sneezing and coughing. Cold temperatures are still the number one cause in cases of people freezing to death, though, meaning you should still take care to maintain a healthy body temperature.

Sources: My own, triumphant intellect and basic knowledge of science.

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