Don't believe everything you read in the press. The real truth, dear readers, is I'm not in hiding. I'm in the research phase of answering the meme. I had a conversation with my spouse similar to the one Kathleen had, with a similar result. Nothing jumps out at us.
Him, he's got plenty,
like when he puts a spoonful of food in his mouth, he flips the spoon upside down and absolutely can't seem to eat from a spoon the upright way. Like he can't go to sleep without the closet door closed (he defends this, saying it's simply for practical reasons so he doesn't run into it in the middle of the night, but I'm not convinced). Like he uses the stiff edges of sugar packets in restaurants as toothpicks after a meal. Like .... you get the idea. The idea I'm trying to get across is I do recognize an idiosyncrasy when I see one. To be honest, many of the things people are citing in their meme answers as idiosyncrasies aren't true idiosyncrasies. "I like my cups stacked a certain way" is really not a true idiosyncrasy in my mind, unless it rises to the level of "I can't sleep at night, thinking that the cups might be stacked in the wrong way." Or "I will not be able to proceed with my day - even if I'm late for work and I notice that the cups are stacked the wrong way, I will stay and spend the time making them MY way." (well, maybe late for work is a bad example. Maybe more like, "I will give up a trip to the local yarn shop because the cups are stacked the wrong way." Or, "I stick my cups with gum to the bottom of my kitchen table." Then it is a true idiosyncrasy. Or a neurosis. Or something.) These "I have a certain way the dishwasher should be filled" or "the laundry should be washed," not idiosyncrasies unless the way of doing it is so highly unusual and unique as to set you apart from most of the rest of humanity.
Me, (like Kathleen) I've got pet peeves aplenty, and maybe a bad habit or two (dozen), but nothing, I think, that rises to the level of a true idiosyncrasy. Like I prefer to brush my teeth before I shower. But I don't worry that the world is going to come crashing down around me if I change the order. Not an idiosyncrasy. Everybody has habits, preferences, orders in which they prefer to do things. I don't see these as idiosyncrasies.
Like I prefer that the car door be shut and my seatbelt on before I start moving the car. Idiosyncrasy? I think not.
(You're full of yourself and you think you're perfect, Norma. Shut up.)
I've been periodically asking the husband, "Did you come up with any idiosyncrasies of mine yet?" Nope. (He's afraid to be honest with you, Norma. Shut up.)
I had him read my last post, thinking he might be inspired. Nope. (You're just boring, Norma. Shut up.)
(You hear voices, and they insert themselves into your posts, Norma. Shut UP!)
My daughter has one: She thinks all things should be placed at the farthest back reaches of a surface. Cleaning (or more appropriately, "organizing") means pushing everything back to the wall. If it's a room, all furniture goes to the extreme back, against the wall. If it's a desk, everything to the far back. If it's a kitchen counter, all things lined up like soldiers with their backs to the wall. Where this idea came from, I have no idea. You can imagine the tussles that go on in this house. I move the furniture forward, the decorative objects closer to the people, the furniture in "conversation groupings," she moves everything back and away, little (or big) soldiers against the wall. My putting pieces of furniture on an angle? Not for her. "Looks messy." Huh?
Then, BAM! I get a comment from Cathy:
" a term of art amongst bloggers and emailers."
What the heck does "term of art" mean?
Well, hmm. I think I might have an idio(t)syncrasy. I might have a bad habit (once again, is this really an idiosyncrasy, though?) of assuming that other people know WTF I'm talking about.
The day before yesterday, this very thing came up in my deposition. The lawyer was questioning a doctor.
Lawyer: So is that a term of art in your profession?
Doctor: Term of R?
Lawyer: Term of art.
Doctor: Term of....Art? Who is...?
Lawyer: Do you know what I mean when I say term of art?
Doctor: Enlighten me.
Well, damn. I looked it up, and it turns out that "term of art" is a legal term. Who knew? I don't know where I first ran across it, but being that I work with lawyers all the time, and live with one, it's a phrase we use all the time, but it appears that the rest of humanity doesn't, necessarily. So that makes me what? An idiot or idiosyncratic? Or just overly semantic or pedantic?
I now give you the definition of "term of art," according to Maven's Word of the Day:
What is the origin of term of art? Why is a legal term called a term of "art"?
The "art" in term of art is not art as in "artist" but art as in "artisan." A term of art, therefore, refers not to the fine arts, but to any specialized field of endeavor. As defined in Random House Webster's Dictionary of the Law (James E. Clapp), a term of art is "a word or phrase having a special meaning in a particular field, different from or more precise than its customary meaning." The phrase has been in use since at least 1628, when the English jurist Sir Edward Coke, in the preface to Coke upon Littleton, referred to "The Termes and Words of Art."
The idea of art as 'specialized skill' is far older than the idea of art as 'fine art'. This 'skill' sense has been in the English language since the early 13th century. And the word "art" (ultimately from Latin ars) meant 'skill' long before it entered English. According to an introduction to an art exhibition written by Professor Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe of Sweet Briar College, "The term for art in Greek (tekhne) and Latin (ars) does not specifically denote the 'fine arts' in the modern sense, but was applied to all kinds of human activities...based on knowledge and governed by rules. An individual became a painter or a sculptor, or a shoemaker, by learning the rules of the trade."
Painting and sculpture were perceived from ancient times through the Middle Ages as crafts. In fact, the Greek word for a painter or sculptor was banausos 'craftsman; mechanic'. According to the OED, our usual modern sense of "art"--the sense that comes to mind when we see or hear the word without any modifiers--"does not occur in any English Dictionary before 1880." (Their own researchers, however, found instances of its use dating from 1668.)
Legal terms of art enable a lawyer to use language precisely, clearly, and consistently; there is no deviation in either the form of the term or the sense it conveys. As a legal term, an "infant" refers to any child up to the age of majority, not just a baby, and a "foreign" corporation is one incorporated in any other jurisdiction, not necessarily another country.
An ordinary technical term for which there is no other word or phrase is not a term of art. That criterion would exclude "CPU" and "RAM" in the computer field and "Phillips screwdriver" in carpentry. But fields other than the law do have terms of art. Using these terms consistently makes it easier for members of the same field--the in-group--to understand one another. For example, according to Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, "blanch," commonly 'to whiten', is a term of art with particular meanings in horticulture, metallurgy, and cooking. But only a pathologist would be likely to recognize a "nutmeg" liver or a "chicken-fat" clot.
Although Sandy might have a point. I might have another idiosyncrasy:
Or K's point might be the most valid one of all:
I'm going with Norma's idiosyncrasies are SOOO strange, she doesn't want to respond to the meme. What a weirdo!