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Does Chattering Idly Sound Like Gossip?

Aug 17, 2007
If we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit we like to hear that someone's life is more out of control than ours. It explains the popularity of soap operas and tabloid newspapers.

"Brittany Spears Look-alike Is Space Alien" or "Woman Who Shoots Leopard Has Spotted Child" or "Man Loses Four Hundred Pounds Yodeling" - am I the only one who pretends not to read tabloid headlines while I'm waiting in the supermarket, check-out line?

Webster's Dictionary defines gossip as "chattering idly about others". Chatter is defined as "talking much and foolishly". Idly is defined as "not busy". Therefore, a gossip is someone who wastes a lot of time spreading rumors about others instead of being busy taking care of his or her life.

"Have you heard?" "Did you know?" "Do you believe?" These aren't three, little words of love. These aren't three, little words you want to have asked about you.

These words spread stories; and as the stories spread, they change. It's like the children's game of Telephone, which is ironic because lots of gossip is spread by telephone.

"It's a secret" - no good can come from these three, little words either. If it's a really dishy secret, it's hard to keep and often impossible. If you've heard the secret before, someone else wasn't able to keep it secret; but you can't say anything because it's a secret.

Men say they don't gossip. Yeah, right. It's the only time they talk about feelings. Unfortunately, they aren't talking about their feelings.

If gossip were illegal, my cousin Walter would be serving a life sentence. Cousin Walter could find something to gossip about in solitary confinement.

We all have at least one Cousin Walter in our lives. The word gossip doesn't adequately describe them. They are more like gos-gulps.

If you've been the subject of gossip, you know how hurtful it can be, which should motivate us to be gos-swallows of what is whispered to us.

Gossip has a bad connotation and it deserves it. Have you ever heard good gossip? Maybe we should reword the Golden Rule - Talk unto others as you would have them talk unto you.

Gossip and truth don't walk hand in hand. If truth is the light, gossip is the shadow. If truth will set you free, gossip will enslave you. If truth wears a white hat, gossip will say the hat was stolen and then dyed white.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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