Junk and Perfection

Months ago, Good Man and I fought over whether or not we should give a TV. Good Man caved, but with the understanding that if he wanted a TV later, we’d get one.

A few months ago, out of the blue, Good Man said, “I like not having a TV. It’s nice.”

Tonight, Good Man watched some news program clip about saving money by getting rid of cable, borrowing video games from the library, trashing the land line, trading in DVDs, etc. When the clip finished, Good Man said, to no one in particular, “Why don’t you just not buy…junk?”

I was reminded of the TV incident. “Do you want a TV?”

“Why?” He pointed to his computer monitor. “This is 24 inches. And I have two. You can not multi-task a TV, but you can multi-task a computer.”

Yesterday I finally started writing about the inauguration in Korean. I asked Good Man to check out my writing for me, and after he had, I copied it to Lang-8.

Within ten minutes I’d had several corrections.

“Why didn’t you point these out?” I whined to Good Man.

“Let me see. I bet their errors aren’t even errors.”

Good Man took the paper I’d printed and pointed. I’d written “we ate dinner and prepared.” The person had corrected it to “we prepared dinner.” Good Man said, “See this? This, you know what this says?”

“Yes, so they misunderstood.”

“And this? This is a typo. This is not a mistake.”

I looked at him, “A typo is a mistake.”

Good Man said rather passionately, “The purpose of this writing is communication, everyone can understand this little typo. Everyone can understand this essay! You do not have to be perfect to communicate.”

I used to tell my students the same thing.

They didn’t listen, either.