Google Webmaster Central

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Today someone said I was persistent. 

The tone of voice was derisive, because apparently the speaker didn't like that I was capable of waiting for an answer on a question I was asking.

It is not the first time I have heard this, and sadly, also not the first time I heard that tone of voice. In a past life I worked in journalism. Occasionally I would wrangle an interview out of someone simply because I stayed on hold, tying up their phone line until, exasperated, the person either would hang up or else finally chat with me.

I pulled that stunt on the former Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives awhile back, and got the interview, by the way. He said he was curious to meet the person who was “so persistent,” his words, not mine.

In geek-speak, persistent cookies collect computer information needed for the machines to function efficiently. Writers use “persistence” to mean a haunting, unforgettable quality.

Since when did a word that means consistency, determination and ultimately, the capacity to win become a derogatory term? Now every time I hear "persistent" it seems to mean someone who is oppressive, aggressive and apparently, a pain in the neck.

What would have happened to early settlers if they could not stick to the plan, been persistent? Would families, communities and nations be what they are today? I mean, what if the Pilgrims had packed it in and sailed back to England on the Mayflower? 

Plymouth Rock would be just another hunk of granite.

Amen, and pass the mustard. 

No comments: