Thursday, August 23, 2012

Questioning the questions of the everyday

In my daily meanderings of Facebook I came across a brief but brilliant video....
 This guys (Taylor Mali) speaks simply and powerfully about the increasing uncertainty in the way we communicate and connect with each other. I have written and talked before about the power of communicating and connecting as part of our growth and development as individuals. The sharing of stories, opinions and knowledge is also critical for the development of our communities and countries as things are shared with the next generation. But it seems that although many people still recognize the importance of stories and orating in this process, it seems that somewhere along the way, certainly in developed Western countries, our communication has become jumbled and fragmented. Somehow reminiscent of a jumble of binary code that scrambles the contents of a computer file.

 I know it is the very nature of language and culture to adapt and change. That is how as a species we have survived. But I cant help think that the trends in language, these -isms, that are becoming more common are having a significant and potentially negative impact on the eloquence and intelligence with which we communicate.

This may just be me but I would swear that peoples IQ drops by a point every time they add an unnecessary 'like' or 'totally', or other such fillers to their sentences.The same effect applies if they add a question mark to what would otherwise be a statement, though that suggests more a lack of certainty or confidence. It just seems to me that the person either; hasn't thought through what they want to say; they are trying to talk too fast and their thoughts cant keep up with their mouth or they simply don't understand or don't believe enough in what they are saying. I say this while completely owning up to the fact that I have also picked up some of these habits, at times worse then others, as well as the fact that my vocabulary on an everyday level has reduced. But seeing this video has reminded me of why I want to make an effort to stop myself from replicating these mannerisms of speech.

It seems important to do this because communicating, particularly when it comes to expressing an opinion is key to how our lives run. Right from the day to day small things, all the way to our participation in political discussion and contribution to how our communities function. This is especially true for people who are disadvantaged in the eyes of the crowd because of being different in some way, like a disability. That in itself can lead people to misunderstand or judge, so it is my mission to make myself as eloquent and well spoken as possible. Hopefully this will be some encouragement to the next generation of orators, who will take our place as the voice of our communities in the future. So I urge everyone to take a second the next time you want to express yourself and think about the things you want to say and what effect it will have on those to come.