Tuesday, January 29, 2008

An "Aggressively Inarticulate" Generation

Here are three uncommon minutes on disturbing common patterns of speech among younger people. The speaker is Taylor Mali. This is about all I know about him, but he speaks much truth with humor. Thanks to Sarah Scott for the reference. (Yes, I watched three minutes of video today.)

7 comments:

Ed Trefzger said...

I've had several conversations lately with one of the employees at a client. She ends every declarative sentence as if it's interrogative. I'm fighting the urge to ask, "Are you asking me or telling me?"

She sounds something like this: "I took a look at the layout? I think it looks pretty good? You can go ahead and finish it? We aren't going to make any changes on it?"

Her speech ends up droning in a repetitive, sing-song fashion ... moronic pentameter, I think it's called.

Jeff said...

This is a great video clip, and is a tragically accurate view of our culture!

I've even seen this verbal laziness and/or ignorance appear online on message boards and emails. People who as far as I know are adults both physically and mentally will write with this incredibly annoying online style. For example, there's the person who refuses to use commas or periods, but instead uses ellipses everywhere. It looks like this:
I know what you mean... that is a great movie... I watched it 3 times... and loved it more and more.

Sirfab said...

Thanks, it's a gem! And I found this other excellent clip by Taylor Mali. You might like it, too.

Good night.

Sirfab said...

Sorry, forgot the link.

Taylor Mali.

Jim Pemberton said...

I consider that it's likely viewed as arrogant to claim to know something. In theological discussions where there is a disagreement, too often I hear the words, "well, we really don't know," and, "it really doesn't matter for our salvation," as though it's wrong to develop a solid hermeneutic. The same holds true for philosophical discussions as though we can't learn anything useful from intelligent people who have gone before us. It lends itself to today's relativistic pop philosophy. The foundation for this trend is a visceral notion that those who are weak with ignorance must be defended against the intellectual bullies without stooping to their level of articulate certainty. I often despise the necessity to communicate beneath my capacity for the sake of making myself understood.

The other day my son tried to tell me of someone he met. He began, "Dad, there was, like, this guy..."

I interrupted, "You mean there wasn't a guy?"

He rephrased, "There was this guy I, like, saw..."

I interrupted, "You mean you didn't see him? Was he invisible and you detected his presence some other way?"

He exclaimed in protest, "Dad!"

My point is the such babbling can be equally as incomprehensible as a well-developed vocabulary.

Robert Velarde said...

Like, you know, that guy is like so totally right. I mean, first he was all, then he was all ... you know?

Articulation is indeed a virtue.

Paul D. Adams said...

"Articulate"? When all knowledge is reduced to mere information (at best) or opinion (at worst), then what's left to articulate? There's no conviction because there's nothing to be convinced of these days...so goes the postmodernist's story.

This kind of dialogue is all too common:

SUSAN: Well, I suppose that religion can be true for you, but not true for me. After all, that’s you’re opinion.

BRENDA: Of course it’s my opinion. But, whose opinion it is makes little difference whether or not something is true. You see, who owns a claim is irrelevant as to whether or not that claim aligns with or corresponds to an actual state of affairs or the way things really are. Plus, Susan, can’t opinions be true?

SUSAN: No!

BRENDA: Is that your opinion? [pregnant pause] After all, to be consistent your position can't be a knowledge claim or a reference about what really is. You see, if all we have are opinions and if opinions can't be true, then the opinion that "all we have are opinions" is false, or at least relegated to the realm of nonsense. And so, if nonsense is all we're espousing, then we'd do better to conserve our words and come up with other tools of thought. Hum....