Saturday, November 16, 2013

Of Gods and Men

The requirements for the genesis of a religion
  • Blind adoring fans. E
  • Drastic fall in intelligence levels when talking about object of worship. E
  • Animosity towards anyone who disagrees or criticizes. Ad Hominem attacks. E
  • The feeling that everyone else shares the same devotion.
  • Seeing meaningless patterns and co-incidences in words and numbers related to the 'diety'. E
  • The need to prove that he / she is superior in all respects. Quoting numerous and twisted statistics / tales to do so. E
  • Trying to outdo each other in proving allegiance. Often going over the top to do so. Bending rules in the process. E
  • Ascribing miracles to idol <pending>

Perhaps in a few years, we'll hear of a little girl miraculously cured of blindness, after sleeping with a Sachin poster on her wall. And then we'll have all the ingredients.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Tennis priorities

  1. Watch Roger Federer play
  2. Play Tennis
  3. Watch Maria Sharapova. Preferably off-court. At one of those photo-shoots.
  4. Watch one of the other top players in action - Djokovic, Nadal, Venus,...
  5. Catch up on some doubles
  6. Everything else

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mentee or Mentoree?

In the epics of Homer from Greek mythology, Odysseus was away from home for 20 years. Before leaving he left his infant son, Telemachus, under the guardianship of his friend, Mentor. Yes, Mentor was his name.

Now Athene, the Greek goddess of wisdom, and Odysseus were part of a mutual admiration club. During his absence, she got into the body of Mentor, and taught, guided, advised, mentored, & counselled Telemachus.  A few 100 years ago, the term ‘mentor’ was 1st used to refer to a guide or counsellor.

Some time later, maybe a century, the word was ‘verbed’ (in Calvinspeak) or verbalized. In the (v.) form it came to mean ‘guide’ or ‘counsel’.

Now comes all the other dis-figurations of the name of Odysseus’ friend. If a guide is called a mentor, what do you call the person being guided?

The term mentee seems to have entered some dictionaries. It seems to have come out of the erroneous assumption that ‘mentor’ is a noun form of the word ‘ment’. So you have the verb employ, giving rise to the nouns employer & employee, referring to one who employs & one who is employed respectively. Similarly ‘ment’ gives mentor & mentee.

But what if the root verb is not ment, but mentor? Would the person who is being acted upon then be called a ‘mentoree’? Thankfully that word doesn't seem to have entered the dictionaries. Yet.

And then later maybe the person ‘mentor’ing would be called a mentorer? Have sometimes seen people get confused when the noun and verb are spelled the same. As in sponsor. Have heard the word ‘sponsorer’ used a few times.  Am curious now – what would they call the person being sponsored? Sponsee? Sponsoree?

Coming back to mentor & ___. Why not just use existing words? You could have disciple or student. Either is better than mentee (Brings connotations of someone on the mend after a stint in prison).

I’d prefer protégé (Add an e for the feminine form).