[pct-l] HYOH

Bill Batchelor billbatch at cox.net
Thu Feb 8 10:25:11 CST 2007

I agree that the spirit is well intended and I absolutely agree with the
spirit of the phrase.  The structure strikes me as humorous perhaps because
of my habit of evaluating the background hum of culture.  The syntax has
become abbreviated over time.  The spirit is "permission", but the syntax is
not.  In its evolution (i.e. shortening down to catch phrase) the syntax is
that of a command.    Sort of like a phrase to encourage self expression
coming down to "Be Spontaneous Now".  You can not really tell someone how to
hike and offer freedom of choice in the same breath.  Of the many options of
hiking my own hike, one of them is to emulate any other hiker I so choose.
So even in copying another's approach I am choosing my own hike.  I know
there are times when we actually ARE intending to tell others to back off.
Like someone telling me I am a fool not to use product "X".  Then telling
them to "hike your own hike" makes sense.  However, the fact that it can be
used in such a situation seems to me it is poorly structured to offer
permission at the same time.   If it were a blessing I would prefer, "It's
Your Hike".  That blessing would give me permission to copy too.  The syntax
of HYOH is, by English structure standards, a command.  Knowing the intent
of the phrase, in many other cultures, the boiled down phrase would never
evolve to this structure because of the contradiction.  It would be
considered unacceptable because it would have lost its intent.  We have
become so accustomed to this type of structure that it is no longer glaring
and hence the "spirit" of the phrase does still come through to us.  

We are so steeped in our own, it can be tough for me to be clear.  Let me
try this.  A dialog to teach HYOH with an American Trail Guru would be like
this.  "Master, how shalt I hike this season?"  "Oh little walker, go to the
trail and hike your own hike".  Seems perfectly legit.  However, you would
NEVER get this answer from an eastern - say Buddhist - even though the
spirit of the answer would be the same.  A similar dialog of HYOH from an
eastern trail guru would be; "Master, how shalt I hike this season".  "Oh
little hiker, how would you like to hike this season?"  And in that
rhetorical question lies the answer.

I knew I might open a can of worms here.  Sorry about that.

"Be Spontanious Now", I insist.


-----Original Message-----
From: pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
On Behalf Of Marlene Soffera
Sent: Thursday, February 08, 2007 7:34 AM
To: pct-l at backcountry.net
Subject: [pct-l] HYOH

>does the phrase "Hike Your Own Hike" make you laugh?  I find it funny 
>because it is TELLING someone how to hike. <

I don't think of it as TELLING as much as GIVING PERMISSION -- usually to
someone new to the sport who otherwise thinks there's a certain set way to
accomplish their goals.  In motorcycling, it's "Ride Your Own Ride."  Not a
command; just a "blessing."

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