Saturday, May 21, 2011

Being Smart Smarts

I have spent this past week looking for a summer job.  I finally broke down and went to a temp agency.  As part of the application process, I had to write a paragraph about my most recent experience with technology using 100 words or less.  I decided I would write about my new purchase of a smart phone even though I decided to return it as I balanced my finances.  I wrote something like this:

I recently bought a smart phone.  What makes a smart phone smart?  I was able to track expenses, email, listen to music, and flip through hundreds of photos with just the swipe of a finger.  My connection to the world literally fit in my back pocket.  The only dumb part was my timing.  I purchased the phone after my job with the University ended.  As I reviewed my finances, I realized I had to return the phone.  How has my week without my smart phone gone?  It really smarts.

I was particularly pleased with my usage of the verb 'smarts' at the end.  I felt it really tied the paragraph together.  The agent reviewed my writing sample and called me to her desk. 

"Charlotta, let's review your last sentence.  I think you meant to say 'It was really smart'."
"No.  I was actually going for a play on words.  See, the word 'smarts' actually means to sting or to hurt."
"So, it should read 'It was smart'?"
"No.  'It smarts.'  You know, 'it hurts, it stings'."
"Oh.  Do you want to change it to 'It hurts'?"
"No.  Does it not make sense that I'm making a play on words?"
"I just think you need a verb.  'It is smart'."
"Okay, let's change it."

We changed it to "Taking it back was smart."

I find it funny that I was made to feel dumb over the word smart. 

And that, my friends, really smarts.