I am convinced that scientists will some day find an explanation for
my continual verbal ineptitude. It will probably be identified as a
sequence in our genome and they'll call it something like The Verbal Regret Coefficient.
We are all born with it, and we can't escape how it influences us
everyday. In advance of its discovery, I propose this definition: The
Verbal Regret Coefficient is that innate ensemble of dispositions which
guarantees that after uttering a number of words, you will regret
having said a certain percentage of them.
My first choice for a name was Regret Coefficient,
but incredibly a quick search seems to indicate that the insurance
industry already uses that term. If my theory catches on -- and you'll know that when someone dedicates a wikipedia entry -- I
don't want to have to deal with copyright and trademark infringement.
So Verbal Regret Coefficient it is.
The Verbal Regret Coefficient
or VRC will ultimately be quantified, and like a cholesterol count,
we'll all be assigned a VRC value. Most will fall into an average
range, but there will be outliers. A high VRC manifests itself
behaviorally in many ways: some high VRC'ers are purposely
controversial, outspoken, brash or arrogant. While others simply fail
to think before they speak. In case you're wondering, I am one of
those outliers with a dangerously high VRC. Furthermore, I'm quite
sure I don't fit into the arrogant and controversial group. But it's
not all good news for those with a low VRC. Although low VRC'ers tend
not to say anything regrettable, they tend also not to say anything of
substance either. We call these people politicians.
If the current social trend continues, we'll get away with blaming any verbal faux pas
to our VRC. They'll be VRC support groups and celebrity VRC rehabilitation clinics.
Or maybe we could avoid all this silliness and just heed the advice of
Mark Twain who once said:
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
But that is sooooo hard.