dear non-math people,

please stop using the word “real” — you don’t know what it means. The Real World? i filter potential friends based on their usage of this word. it’s merely a matter of convenience and more of a courtesy to them than snobbery on my part. i wouldn’t be able to keep myself from making fun of someone who routinely uses the word “real” to describe other people or themselves. i have a problem with commonly used words which are content-free, and this is a prime example.

whenever someone says something like “it’s beginning to feel so real,” i’m forcefully reminded of lensless glasses labeled “see the world in 3D.”

commonly used by:

people who think they’re “gangsta”
women who can’t leave the house without makeup
men seeking women who don’t mind that they’re broke
men seeking women who will have casual sex with them
people with poor imaginations*

there are probably more, but i don’t care enough to list them. imaginary things are clearly superior. unless you need to have physical contact with them, like food or oxygen or warm beds. i guess i disagree with descartes. my imaginary friends couldn’t be improved by becoming real.

next time you think about using the word “real” to describe something which isn’t a number, try explaining your sentiment with a phrase instead. who knows, you might even find it fun to be more exact!

* seriously, if you have a decent imagination, reality can never compare.

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