Try has been tried and vilified

The word “try” has been vilified by many as being symptomatic of a lack of self-belief, lack of commitment, and a few other things. I think it has been used too often by too many people as a cover-up for NOT trying. Sure, they “tried”, but they certainly didn’t “try” hard enough and/ or weren’t persistent enough. Too often, the “try” was just so they could show that, yes, an attempt had been made, but it was just too difficult, too expensive, too time-consuming, too this and too that. So, the word “try” is now on the list of “banned” or “dangerous” words. We forget that “try” also means “to try”, meaning “to test”, “to probe”, “to check”. Does that mean lack of effort? By no means! Again, words can be deceptive, depending on how they are used and the level of understanding of the receiver. A “feint”, “deception operations” and so on sound pretty hip, but to the Infantryman on the ground, a “feint” is no different from a full-scale attack, requiring just as much effort and just as dangerous. In fact, it is actually more dangerous because fewer resources are usually allocated to a “feint”. So, think carefully before tossing “try” out totally.

Siberian LynxKittensWhat do you think of this phrase: “We don’t expect kittens to fight wildcats and win. We merely expect them to try“. This was mentioned by Colonel Nielssen in the old book “Starship Troopers”. Here, the word “try” connotes lack of experience, skill, command prowess and so on, but it doesn’t give any hint of hesitancy, lack of commitment or characteristics of dastardly ilk. Here, “try” means “I don’t know how this is gonna turn out, but I’ll give it all I’ve got!” Is that kind of “try” okay with you? Like to give it a try?

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