Also known as changing the subject without actually changing the subject.
Not too long ago, my mother and I were conversing about… various things.
Somewhere along the lines we got to talking about words that are considered offensive for one reason or another, in spite of them not actually meaning anything offensive (in which I frequently referred to things from my “profanity filter” post, particularly the weird quirk I encountered in one of the Dream Eaters from Kingdom Hearts).
Now, I’m sure this was my fault–no matter how weird the subject got, I was doing a good job, I would think, of actually leading the conversation that way, although it turns out my mother contributed a little to the change in topic.
But the weird thing is, neither of us ever actually changed the subject, from whatever we’d been talking about before, and after a while I had no idea how we’d even gotten on the topic of offensive words. I had to backtrack through our conversation to figure out how it led there.
The weird part is, that particular conversation, in which the subject was never actually changed, started with a discussion of twins.
Here, I think, was the general conversation path:
Difficulty telling twins apart
Twins who take advantage of their similarities to play jokes on people
Harry Potter (via Fred and George, of course)
my mother’s comments about approving of the books and movies due to lack of swearing
my comments about words that sound innocent in one language (or even one “type” of English) being swear words in another
agreeing, in spite of language differences, about the limited amount of swearing
my comments about being comfortable, as a reader, with a little swearing but not with those books that make the characters sound like they have Tourette’s
mother asking if I’d seen the movie Deuce Bigalow and the scene where he “dates” a girl with Tourette’s
me backtracking a bit to the “some words are offensive to some people” sub-topic and launching into something about the profanity filters
And just to make things extra weird, upon realizing the conversational path that had taken us there, I referred to it then as “six degrees of changing the subject,” which then led into a discussion of the show Six Degrees from 2006, as well as another 2006 ABC primetime show called The Nine, in which I was looking for a description of a particular scene simply because I was trying to remember which show it actually came from.
And you know, I still haven’t figured out which show the scene I was thinking of really came from….