Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The "Best"





Ok... Pet Peeve Wednesday.

We’ve been over this theme in general, but this specific version makes me nuts. When posting publicly on forums and such why is it some people insist on asking for advice on the “best” whatever it is without any context?

For example:

“What’s the best amp I can get for $x?” or “What‘s the best uke for a beginner?” Or my favorite “best stringz??” with no qualifier of any kind.

Although I know our readers understand it – I’m compelled to reinforce… “Best” is totally subjective and largely meaningless without a great deal of limiting parameters. There is no such thing as the “best uke for a beginner”, or expert for that matter.

If you find yourself typing the word “best”, try this instead:
Tell people what you want to do (I need it to be able to blaablaablaa…), tell them what you like (I prefer amps that blaaablaablaa) tell them what you DON’T like (I hate plain looking ukes that blaablaablaa) and then ask what type of X may fit well. That’s context. That’s asking for help with some hope of actually getting advice you can use. That’s actual communication between humans.

Asking for the “best” without specific context of any kind is the equivalent of a football coach trying to tell his team how to win the game by standing on the sidelines an yelling “SCORE SCORE SCORE”. It doesn’t help anyone and it's very unlikley to get you what you want.

7 comments:

RussBuss said...

Grumpy, you're the best!

Boozelele said...

That is the Best post ever.

DeG said...

best   
–adjective,superl. of good with better as compar.
1.of the highest quality, excellence, or standing: the best work; the best students.
2.most advantageous, suitable, or desirable: the best way.
3.largest; most: the best part of a day.
–adverb,superl. of well with better as compar.
4.most excellently or suitably; with most advantage or success: an opera role that best suits her voice.
5.in or to the highest degree; most fully (usually used in combination): best-suited; best-known; best-loved.
–noun
6.something or someone that is best: They always demand and get the best. The best of us can make mistakes.
7.a person's finest clothing: It's important that you wear your best.
8.a person's most agreeable or desirable emotional state (often prec. by at).
9.a person's highest degree of competence, inspiration, etc. (often prec. by at).
10.the highest quality to be found in a given activity or category of things (often prec. by at): cabinetmaking at its best.
11.the best effort that a person, group, or thing can make: Their best fell far short of excellence.
12.a person's best wishes or kindest regards: Please give my best to your father.
–verb (used with object)
13.to get the better of; defeat; beat: He easily bested his opponent in hand-to-hand combat. She bested me in the argument.

DeG said...

So, I guess he wanted the highest quality, most advantageous, largest, highest degree Ukulele for under $500.00...there, clear as mud now, right?

RussBuss said...

DeG, you are cabinetmaking at its best!

Grumpy Coyote said...

13 definitions... love it. I think he meant "Kind Regards".

ElroyDockins03 said...

幫你加油打氣哦!!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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