I just love statistics, and numbers, and such
Whether icy abstractions or warm to the touch
I’ve been told that, perhaps, I adore them too much—
That my feelings are more-or-less “weird”
Ok, “weird” I can see, but I have to confess
I’m put off by the too-imprecise “more or less”—
Is it greater, or smaller? And so, I obsess—
Which is pretty much just what they feared.
“Pretty much”? I shall have to do better than this!
My obsession compels me; there’s something amiss!
Like cars to the Germans or clocks to the Swiss
Are numbers to people like me
There’s too much to do, so I’ll finish up fast
“It’s the last verse”, I’ll say, so I’m strapped to the mast
I will want to write more, but that moment has passed
And—precisely—I’m now out to sea.
I won’t tell you what prompted this verse–I can’t; I don’t have time. I saw a comment, when I shouldn’t have been looking. I was (and am) grading; I have too much to do to be reading non-essential stuff, let alone writing.
But then, someone made a bad statistical argument. And it physically hurt to read.
It’s pretty much the same reaction that bad grammar or spelling gives me, except that it is rarer, so I have built up less immunity.
Anyway, I couldn’t get back to work until I addressed the situation. So… back to work. Right, then, as you were, move along, nothing to see here!
Or… do you have your own obsessions like this? Do you correct the grammar and/or spelling of signs? (I do) Do you physically feel it when you see a mathematical error? Do you turn the radio off (as I did yesterday) when someone starts reciting poetry that does not quite rhyme, or does not quite follow the appropriate meter?
Do you consider your obsession to be a blessing or a curse?