Sunday 16 November 2014

Thought Picnic: The global village is like jetting off to the next hut

The distances in the village
The morbid reality discussed in the former blog, is not just restricted to the many Nigerians or the Africans that have gone to far-flung destinations; it affects the many who have moved away from home to make their lives in other town or cities, countries or continents.
Thankfully, we have not yet colonised space, that would have factored in the equation and there is no telling what the postcodes for the moon or other planets will be.
We are constantly reminded that we live in global village, because of the ease of travel first and now the ease of communication. This also means that the village huts are not as close together anymore; the village chief is probably the UN Secretary General, but he does not wield as much power as the old village chief, whose wisdom and counsel made for peace in the community.
Comfort zones lost
Easy things of simple living and dying have been jettisoned by globalisation. If the means exists, we can circumnavigate the world in just over a day and have learnt nothing but the thrill.
Yet, we must learn new habits, make adjustments and accommodations for difference and diversity, understand strange cultures, and appreciate nuance and subtlety as we try to carry these from the vernacular and the village to the lowest common denominator of global communication - English.
Each language has a richness, even English. We are usually advised to write for the broader audience, simple short sentences which are fine, but we end up losing versatility and depth if we live on milk alone when we should have moved on to meat. There is the milk is for babies element to expression and there is meat for deeper engagement.
Between us and apart from them
Context, tone, intent, delivery and meaning can be rudimentary or complex, the English when being English have mastered the understatement, a Shibboleth that only the schooled or reared would understand as those who speak it as another language will be completely oblivious.
Ridiculous as English jokes might sound to very many, we laugh if and when we get it, the division made more stark because English in the United Kingdom is many cases quite different from that spoken, written and understood in word usage, context, tone and meaning from that spoken in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand where it is natively spoken before you consider other countries where it is the official language.
I wondered how to end this blog and then decided, it best ends this way to be continued along another line of thought.

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