A few months ago, I blogged about a person who posted on Facebook about having her most fun ever – attending a George Strait concert. Really? Really!
Although I was initially offended by the lofty status granted by my friend to a mere concert (I usually hate concerts), my blog went on to explain how I was incorrectly conflating fun with happiness:
- Happiness – lasting and justified satisfaction with life as a whole, which typically comes from family, work, community, or religion.
- Fun – the enjoyment of pleasure, particularly in leisure activities; an experience – short-term, often unexpected, informal, not cerebral and generally purposeless.
Yesterday, a friend blogged about her recent trip to LA for some work with HBO Sports on a show featuring her and two other sports housewives:
- “Words cannot describe the last 36 hours, but I will try. I’ve been thinking really hard, and aside from giving birth to my babies and marrying Scott, let me start by saying that this entire HBO experience (see previous posts 1 & 2) has literally been the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of in my life.”
I thought, “Really? Really!” But then, deja vu, I remembered my fun/happiness posting and wondered if we have the same issue here.
Well, for starters, “cool” is even more amorphous and subjective than fun. According to Wikipedia:
- Coolness is an admired aesthetic of attitude, behavior, comportment, appearance and style, influenced by and a product of the Zeitgeist. Because of the varied and changing connotations of cool, as well its subjective nature, the word has no single meaning.
What throws me is that my friend mentioned the HBO show in the same breath as getting married and having babies. In law school, I was taught ejusdem generis, which means that a broadly-defined term can be narrowed by the other terms that it is listed with. Getting married and having babies are life-changing, mind-blowing events, and I’m sure my friend (a really good person) didn’t mean to suggest that the HBO show had a similar effect. Furthermore, being on an HBO show would be undeniably cool for almost anyone.
I need to quit thinking like a lawyer.