Thursday, July 29, 2004


So talk.

It’s another Thursday, so here I am writing again. I’ve designated Thursday as my “column day” though I might show up on other days to pitch in a minor article.
It’s often said that good communication and humour are signs of great intelligence. Now I’m not here to criticize people with weak vocabulary, rather make people aware that it’s not how big your words are, but how well you use them. Communication skills are the most essential ingredient in the recipe of life. I have absolutely no doubt in that statement. One of the top 10 candidates of The Apprentice, Troy McClain, made it all the way to the top with only a puny high school diploma. He didn’t even consider going into college, and yet his performance in The Apprentice has now placed him in an executive position in some firm. It’s all about how you make an impression, and making an impression is mostly based on how you present yourself and part of presenting yourself is through the way you talk.
This is true everywhere, it’s not exclusive to the business world. It’s good communication skills that make a person good with conversations, and being a good conversationalist is a plus factor on the attractiveness scale. I’ve come to judge that “wussup”, “sup”, or the even more respected “what’s up?” should no longer qualify as greetings. If I meet a person for the first time in my life and he greets me with a “what’s up” or equivalent, I have no choice but to overestimate the person’s communication skill to be less than or equal to 1, on a scale from 1 to 10. If the person remains silent, I’d give him a 5. There needs to be more variety when it comes to the choice of word/phrase. What’s more important is that you know what you are saying before you say it. If you don’t fully understand what a certain word/phrase means, avoid the embarrassment by not using it.

Here, Orwell’s 6 pointers should give you something to start with:

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
2. Never us [sic] a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Until next time, fill me up with criticisms.

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