July 30, 2016

Could > Should

I set up a Chrome extension that replaces every instance of the word should” with could.”

I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. Word Replacer II lets you do it with a couple clicks.

especially useful while reading Medium!


Like many people, I dislike being told what I have” to do/think/say/feel/find important/find unimportant/love/hate/enjoy/avoid in order to be successful/happy/stronger/better/more rested/more creative/less stressed/perfect.

And yet like many people, I also compulsively read stuff on the web that says that kind of thing constantly. You should {this}, you shouldn’t {that}. Please, tell me more!

Once I even wrote an article like that called Confessions of a Recovering Lifehacker.” It received a bit of positive attention, but it was (in retrospect) essentially just a long-winded scolding with a This is Water recommendation at the end (which, it occurs to me now, is all about how to be more accepting, attentive and compassionate and less nagging, scolding and judgmental. Way to miss the point, me-from-six-years-ago!).

Nowadays I’m more receptive to unsolicited advice when it’s presented as an option rather than a prescription. Maybe it has something to do with being a parent of young children…

My whole life is have to.” –Steve Martin, Parenthood (1989)

Anyway: I got tired of seeing you should” all over the internet, but I didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. So now it all says you could instead.

I should could

I can feel my shoulders going back down already. (Although that gets turned to coulders” by my new extension. I guess I could debug that.)

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