Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Thought Picnic: Express expression expressly

Talk well
If I were to visit my alma mater to give a talk about anything, it would not be about the usual fare of overselling my career choices or the art of making money as a demonstration of success but in the need for articulate expression.
I would say that students should carefully choose their language of expression and take time to master its usage in context, in nuance, with wit and in the conveyance of thought and ideas with gravitas and class.
Essentially, they should dispense of slang and colloquialism to major in wholesome, intelligent conversation that shows they have a good grasp of the detail and a way to share that without sending listeners into soporific repose.
Write nicely
Then, we would touch on the art of writing, the use of proper dictionary extant words in grammatical constructs of clarity, concision and context.
The use of expletives is complete out if the question as is crudeness and louche expression. There is a refinement that comes with the proper use of language winning arguments and making persuasive points whilst maintaining an air of comportment.
Reading of Emma Thompson’s two visits to her old school, three years apart, and the way she could not stand the use of ‘likes’ and ‘innits’ and ‘it ain’ts’, goes to show that what we hear you say can determine how you would be viewed. [Evening Standard] [Independent]
Articulate and ready
I sometimes hear people speak and too much can already be deduced about them, some views almost unprintable for the frankness and candidness.
We should put more effort into ensuring that the language of choice for communication is not bastardised by nondescript speedwriting shorthand, homophonic representations of words or text English as if what one needs to write is limited by cost per character type in telegrams of old.
Emma Thompson sums it up in these words, “We have to reinvest, I think, in the idea of articulacy as a form of personal freedom and power.” It matters, and I could not agree more.


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