Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vocabulary Lesson

I have the Urban Dictionary word of the day gadget on my Google home page. I think of it as kind of a daily anecdotal look at the evolution of our language, and despite the occasional crassness, the words are often clever and entertaining, and usually informative. (Confession: I'm not very hip.) Who knew, for example, that the child of a baby boomer is an echo boomer, or that "That's crazy" is the perfect response when you haven't really been listening?  (Try it-- it works.) Oh, and I've been working on my undercover six-pack, too.

Anyway, a few days ago, the word was singletasker, and evidently, this term is mostly used ironically. Like if I say, I'm going to try and focus on getting these papers graded, instead of answering my colleagues' questions, checking my e-mail, supervising study hall, planning tomorrow's lesson, and posting my status on facebook.

Then the proper response to me would be, You're such a singletasker!

To which I might reply, I'd answer you, but that would require multitasking.

I laughed when I read the explanation; like many in our profession, I pride myself on my ability to multitask, and I'm familiar with current research that suggests that kids today are not only able to multitask but may function better in such an environment. Even so, there's a lot to be said about quiet time to focus on a single thing, and I'm aware it's an ability I don't often exercise.

Hmm... that's crazy.


  1. Hmmm, I don't either...Think I'll go ponder that right now, on the back deck, with a glass of Chardonnay! The google App sounds really cool! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm had an example of singletasking happen just yesterday. One of my students had a great excuse for not doing his reading homework. "We love Jesus at my house. That's all we do. We are just busy loving Jesus."

  3. Lennye, This comment totally cracked me up. Thanks for making that connection. (PS Was it an excused late assignment?)

  4. I am pretty hip, so I'm going to tell you... "That's crazy!"

  5. My prediction...singletasking will become very popular in 5 - 7 years.