Can you remember the last time a friend told you something?

My Facebook page recently thanked me for “sharing” something. I screamed and wanted to kick the computer because, although I might have passed along a bit of information to my friends, I shared nothing – I simply wrote something on the screen.

In my idiolect, you can share only tangible items, like Marsha’s blueberry cake or a pocket full of rye. When I hear someone say, “And here is something I’d like to share with you today,” I look around eagerly, expecting to see crabmeat rolls being trotted out on a platter.

Are you annoyed or distracted by this “newspeak”?

Why must people “share” instead of coming right out and telling you something? Have you noticed that the degenerate state of language in this country now makes it impossible for a person who employs multisyllabic words to get elected to anything?

As the years roll by, some of this new language brings me right up out of my chair. Does it bother you?

How about the things that are so obvious that they need not be said? Too many intelligent people make what I consider to be very silly comments on my Facebook page. Hardly a day goes by without my seeing two or more examples of this curious phenomenon, right in plain sight of Russian hackers.

For example, I might say that a tornado tore the roof off my house. And one of my friends, who is either pulling my leg or is sincerely trying to tell me something, will say, “Gee, humble. If you don’t get a tarp over that hole, everything in the house will get wet the next time it rains.”

Does a comment like that make you grit your teeth and growl? On the other hand, would any kind, understanding person think, “Better that than posting pictures of your 17 cats or beautiful grandchildren”?

In 1952 or so, a group of boys were walking back to the high school building from the woodworking shop. Our teacher had a very attractive wife, and one of the boys repeated something he’d probably heard his uncle say. It was something along the line of how much he’d like to kiss our teacher’s wife.

One of the other boys nodded eagerly and said, “Well, he probably has plenty of times.”

If you don’t think that was an obvious and, therefore, unwarranted observation, why has it stuck in my mind for over 65 years?

Worthy of our attention are our friends who don’t believe what they hear.

One night my wife, Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, stayed home from Grange to greet guests who were visiting for the first time. They wouldn’t know where to park on the lawn or how to open the door and walk into the house without instruction.

When I came home from Grange with a box of blueberries that I’d won in the lecturer’s raffle, Marsha asked me who raised them. I said that Eve had brought them.

And Marsha said, “Eve was there?”

It was only with difficulty that I kept from pounding my head on the doorframe. Instead, I smiled and said, “Was I speaking Russian?”

One of my favorite fictional detectives is Inspector de Cock, Amsterdam’s answer to Sherlock Holmes. Should Mrs. de Cock say, “Vledder was here today,” and were Inspector de Cock to repeat it with, “Vledder was here today?” Mrs. de Cock would reply, “Was I speaking Russian?”

Any man who says “Was I speaking Russian?” to his wife the next time it is warranted should be as nimble as a tennis player.

Are you attuned to the way people talk? The other night we were chatting with a history professor when he mentioned King John, and started to explain what happened to him in 1215. Ignorant boor that I am, I couldn’t control myself and pounced on him for talking down to us. Doesn’t everyone know what happened to hapless King John in 1215? Would you tell your friends that you’d visited the Eiffel Tower and then add, “It’s in France”?

And then there are people who read like computers. They read exactly what you have written and if you make a mistake, for which an average person would make allowances, the sentence makes no sense to them.

In case you tuned in late, the word “idiolect” that I used above might be defined as “the peculiar speech habits of a particular person.” My wife, Marsha, says that in our home, idiolect is the particular speech habits of a peculiar person.

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at his website: