Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Essential ingredients

 I read a posting yesterday about the loss of civility in America. It was written by someone claiming to be an author and a blogger. Both are true I am certain. Anyone who writes is an author and anyone can blog, hey, I do both. I don't recall the name of the author, just that it was a lady. The name was different, I want to say Lee perhaps. I read her blog and thought we had similar ideas. In fact I have written about exactly the same thing. Maybe she read mine and was inspired to write that one. I say that often because I believe it to be true. There is little one can say that hasn't been said before. Really it is a just a matter of repackaging.
 Personally I find it flattering when I write something and find out later someone else, especially someone famous, has said the same thing. It happens occasionally. Could it be that I have heard that before but just didn't remember it ? I stay with the thought that I thought of that all by myself and it was an original idea. Problem is, you can't prove that and it is first come, first served ! Lately there has been much talk about copyright infringement in the music industry. Others are " stealing " their notes. I wonder if it is intentional or just coincidence. I mean, their aren't that many notes, right ? I'm no musician that much is certain but I could see it happening by accident. But like I say, I don't think there is much to be said, or sung, that hasn't been done before.
 Words grab me. Especially words that describe a feeling exactly. That is why vocabulary is of such importance. Now I sound like an English teacher but bear with me. The correct word to properly describe a feeling or action gives the story real life. The only problem being your readers have to know the words. Many of us do not care to look up definitions, especially when reading a story. I have found that most often you can surmise the meaning of the word though. I also find if I have to do that too often I lose interest in the story. The accurate expression of a feeling or concept can be an elusive thing. Slang words or expressions are intended to describe.  Of course they change over time and go in and out of favor. Their context is based in current society.
 Now you are probably wondering what this has to do with a loss of civility, the article that inspired this writing. I agree that civility is being lost and some of that loss is a direct result of vocabulary, or the lack of it. Just as clothes make the man, so too vocabulary presents an appearance. If one chooses their words carefully, with care and discretion,  they can communicate their feelings in a context to be understood. The choice of crude, rude and offensive language will not be met with the same. It offends ones sensibilities to be met with crass or vulgar language. Sadly it has become all too familiar and accepted in society. It definitely contributes to a loss of civility. Hence the old saying, " keep a civil tongue in your head. "  There are other sayings I could quote but you get the idea. The real intent of language is to express your understanding of things to others. That requires words. Words used to just grab attention seldom communicate anything of substance. Effective communication requires thought, by the one speaking and the one listening.
 Civilization. We all believe we live in a civilized nation. I don't think there is anyone that would attempt to dispute that. A state of civility. Does American society fit that description ? Here is what the dictionary says : civility : formal politeness and courtesy in behavior or speech. I'm not speaking for anyone else here, but I don't see a whole lot of that going on anymore. Now it is more like a free for all. Little restraint in speech or actions being employed by all strata in society. A loss of civility ? Yes, the loss of a civilization as well. I advocate for the restoration of civility in society. It is not a restriction on the freedom of speech to do so. Say whatever you wish. Just remember , not every thought that comes to mind needs to be expressed. Only those carefully considered should be offered for public consumption. Civilization requires compromise, as well as courtesy. There are times when that compromise must come from you. Does that thought make you bristle ? Compromise is not a defeat but a mutual understanding. One reached by effective communication.