Thursday, March 24, 2011

Good luck

I recall recently talking about luck. I said that there is no luck. Luck is merely recognizing opportunity. I was thinking about luck a little further this morning. See... this morning I took a test that will, in part, determine if I get promoted in the Air Force. Naturally, everyone chimed in this morning via text, email, social networking, etc to wish me luck.

First of all, I do very much appreciate the well wishes and votes of confidence. In no way, do I mean to detract from the intent there. My thoughts are about language usage as a culture. It seems that saying "good luck" to someone before a test, event, etc is silly and, in some ways, offensive. Again, the way it has come to be used, it is nothing but good wishes, but the literal verbiage seems away from the intent.

When someone is going to test or perform or be in a sporting event, it would seem that they are there because of their skills. They will do well due to preparation, practice and ability. Wishing someone luck, by definition, implies that doing well is not within the realm of control. We should say "you'll do well" or, simply, "do well." I think I'll start that trend in my life. When someone asks me, "aren't you going to wish me luck?" I'll say, "No. you studied so do well. I won't wish for an intangible force to guide you because I believe you have the ability to complete this on your own." Maybe I'll be less verbose, but you get the idea.

I guess the current connotation of words is more important than the dictionary definition. For example, it doesn't matter what the dictionary says, nobody is running around proclaiming "I'm gay" when they are simply in a good mood. I guess that is what happens when a word is used over and over again. It becomes colloquial.

So maybe I'm being too literal, but it was something that crossed my mind. Maybe if I had less thoughts like this there would be more room for the stuff I studied so I wouldn't need the luck in the first place. Maybe I'm fried from my test and rambling.

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