The term disaster is extremely flexible


“Disasters are usually a good time to re-examine what we’ve done so far, what mistakes we’ve made, and what improvements should come next.” — Dan Ariely

A great many words in the English language are open to interpretation and at times misinterpretation.

Some words are subjected to strict definitions as outlined in the formalized confines of a dictionary. Others are more flexible and are based on a person’s viewing of a particular situation.

I was baffled as to how to write an article on the world “disaster” in a recent Word Press Daily Challenge. I realized that this was a word worthy of a very wide interpretation of events and personal situation.

Today I was standing in a grocery store express lineup waiting to be cashiered out. A woman ahead of me had a number of items on the conveyor belt waiting to have her purchases tallied out.

I noticed that she had chosen a brand of paper towel that allows the user to choose either a full-sized paper towel or a choose your own size product. In the past I had made the mistake of confusing one size with another due to inattention when choosing it from the shelf.

Out of my own curiosity I asked this female shopper if she wanted to purchase the full-sized or choose your own size towel. Se looked at me and the package she had chosen and let out a gasp of surprise.

She immediately recognized the error of her choice and made an immediate bee line to the display shelf where both types of towel were on sale. She returned the package she had selected and replaced it with the product she wanted.

She thanked me for my assistance and told me she was in a hurry to get to a baseball game a number of neighborhood mothers were hosting.

“This could have been a real disaster if I had chosen the wrong towel for the event” she said.

I wondered if she also realized that she may have chosen the wrong to describe the situation she would have found herself in if I had not brought the mixup to her attention.

Oh well. That might be the subject for another WP Challenge I guess.




About gc (659 Articles)
Quote of the week: "If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.-- Frank Herbert quotes .

4 Comments on The term disaster is extremely flexible

  1. You’re a good shopper, Gerry. 😀


  2. Thank God the disaster was averted.


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  1. NaPoWriMo – Day 16 – “My Kingdom For An Honest Newspaper Headline” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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