not sure what is really so hard about the challenge. But the idea
that it is a difficult challenge is right there in the simple
offering… “bet you can’t”… which are the last words.
it’s the pressure idea.
a classic episode of The Odd Couple, Oscar Madison is
bet that he can’t type his name correctly in ten seconds by Bobby
Riggs. He types “Oscar Madisoy” and loses the bet.
actually broken out that trick a few times over the years, and
for some reason it always works. Either the person freezes and
takes too much time, or the person rushes and makes a mistake.
reality is, ten seconds is an awfully long time. I can type my
name four times or more in ten seconds. But, as I’ve often said,
perception is more powerful than reality… to the point that often,
perception becomes the reality.
so the challenge is issued, and without thinking about how to
do it, the pressure builds around what must be a trick. And suddenly,
the mind is either filled with chaos or the clock disappears.
Basically… you either rise to the occasion or slip below your
normal effort, and usually there is no mediocre in between.
first time I saw the “bet you can’t” challenge on the internet,
this was the offering:
a state without the letter “e” in its name.
break away from the challenge for a second to consider where I
grew up. In the northeast, every state has an “e” involved in
the spelling. Rhode Island… Connecticut… Massachusetts… Maine…
New Hampshire… Vermont. That’s New England. (You even get an “e”
in New England.) I went to college in New York. Closest states
are places like Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
point being… my initial grasp at states, and the familiarity I
would have with them, would draw me to states that have an “e’
in the name.
you get to something like Ohio. Oh wait… yeah… Ohio. That was
easy. Utah’s a snap too as you begin to think about it. Maybe
this isn’t too bad.
that’s it… the challenge indicates that there will be a… well…
a challenge in figuring it out.
the first six states have no “e” when spelled out. Those would
be Alabama… Alaska… Arizona… Arkansas… California… Colorado.
a good one… which would you rather type… a list of the states
that have an “e” or the states that don’t?
you believe that 30… THIRTY… of the 50 states do not
have an “e” in their name? (Just so happens I live in the middle
of 10 of them that do.)
let’s see if I have this correct… 60% of the states in the United
States do not have an “e” in the spelling of their name, and yet
“bet you can’t” is offered up.
the “challenge” continues. And it even takes on new forms.
a color that doesn’t have an “e” in the name? (Bet you can’t.)
by now you should know you can. Gold… pink… brown… maroon… and
of course the list goes on.
seen some places where they discuss the advertising potential
involved in such challenges. (Do these things generate likes and
comments and shares? And when they do, what are the totals and
the best sources involved?)
seen places where people offer the challenge in foreign languages.
(“Name a color without an ‘e’ using the word and spelling in Spanish”
and so on.)
seen people issuing challenges about movies, vegetables, condiments,
breakfast cereals, and a girl’s name.
aspects of it, for some, can be pretty interesting. After all…
what people have the most power on Facebook, Twitter, or other
platforms for gaining participation or spreading messages? And
if you were asked to come up with a color or a girl’s name --
using a foreign language and no letter “e” -- would you be able
maybe… just perhaps… it only proves we have too much
time on our hands.
can you type your name correctly in ten seconds?