Friday 8 March 2024

Thought Picnic: Between writing and speaking

Effective and polite conversation

The art of communication and more so the one of being effective at it matters a lot. Even for those of us schooled in the old-fashioned use of language in courtesy, respect, grammar, and correct address, we must not be tempted to dispose of it for the sheer ease and modernity that attends to current trends.

Whether it be letters, emails, or text messages, I follow some basic and critical rules. The form of address along with a greeting is essential. The statement and context are written with a style that respects both the correct use of grammar and punctuation, whichever language I choose to write in. The closing is properly made too.

Chains of email angst

In a recent series of back-and-forth emails where nothing seemed to be moving, we had generated an enviable email chain that would tire out a casual observer just as some frustration began to set in. I suggested we seek a resolution by telephone conversation to understand where the apparent miscommunication or misunderstanding was because we were getting no further along.

My feeling is that this suggestion prompted my interlocutor to review their workflows and processes after which certain ameliorations were made without conceding the fact that the issue was always on their side.

Suddenly, the shunted wagon of bureaucracy lethargic woke up in a fit of uncharacteristic vigour, trundling forward towards the realisation of intended or expected outcomes.

Words to any effect

One would not want to apportion blame as much as the admission of fault should not suggest a loss of face. Though the facility to admit wrong with the finery of language is hardly taught and acquired without extensive reading, especially of the classics.

I get commended for having a way with words and that my writing conveys my views better than my speech. At my most cantankerous I am neither eloquent nor articulate, and enunciation is good enough, I hope. Yet, where you have no opportunity to write, what you say and how you say it is the only device by which any listener might give due recognition.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are accepted if in context are polite and hopefully without expletives and should show a name, anonymous, would not do. Thanks.