Thursday, November 22, 2007

Verbal Style

As should be obvious to regular readers; I'm somewhat over educated, and have a rather large vocabulary... I occasionally trend into the obscure, and I have an odd sense of humor.

Other times I may sound like the biggest good ol boy on the planet.

Those are both me. Same person, just a different way of expressing myself.

The way I speak, and write for that matter; doesn’t seem odd to me, or most of my friends. Humor, intelligence, wit, and vocabulary are simply assumed. If you don’t get it, especially the obscure humor and references; you just won’t be able to keep up.

Every once in a while though, I “stand back from it” while were talking, and I realize that to someone looking in from the outside, we must look like the rich snooty people from an old movie; speaking a language “the common folk” just don’t know etc… etc…

It isn’t intended to be “stuck up”, or exclusionary; it’s simply expressing ourselves most appropriately to the time, audience, and situation; and to the best of our abilities.

Now, if I know I’m going to be speaking with people of lesser verbal capacity (and again I emphasize, that is not a value judgment, or even an evaluation of their intelligence) I will moderate my speech (and again, my writing), and tailor it to an appropriate vocabulary and frame of reference. That is not condescending; it is, as I said above, expressing myself in the most appropriate manner for the time, audience, and situation. It really is about maintaining effective communication, no matter the audience.

‘sides… it’s easier and more relaxing.

Of course on occasion I’ve had one group of people who only knew me as a slightly southern accented, relaxed, purveyor of colorful metaphors; receive a hell of a shock when something like philosophy, or physics, or engineering comes up, and of a sudden I become a high energy northern college professor.

I wasn’t saying anything different… just saying it in a different way.