I wish we could go back to a day when people still spoke to each other normally, in universally agreed levels of reasonable English, that resisted the temptation to spout forth into politically, economically, sociologically, theologically, every other –ology or -cally you can think of, drenched lingo, purely designed, or spoken should I say, to make the recipients feel about as educated as a dog. At every opportunity.
I trust that you have garnered from the above syntax, the premise upon which I am basing this discourse and the context wherein I shall be expanding upon the dichotomy between approaches to conversing, and in the process hoping to engage you on a socio-political-economical level.
No? Do allow me to explain.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a brain, and utilising it to its maximum potential. However, I do find it personally tedious when the owner of a sophisticated brain, wields it like a machete, mercilessly chopping down less extrovertly (yes I made that word up, sue me) intelligent counterparts with almost a religious zeal that in my personal opinion needs to encounter a Damascus Road moment, except in this instance they’d be struck dumb, as opposed to blind, and the rest of us would get a bit of peace for a while as they endure the humbling process of learning how to speak normal English again. In the right context.
Too many times I have witnessed conversations (or been involved to the extent I’ve wanted to blow my own brains out) where academic or highly indulgent language has been used by the perpetrator in tones akin to an African talking drum, to mow down the opposition in a glorious show of superior wit. It’s like watching someone being shot by an AK-47. Close range. No time to react (the intention), just fall down and die (the intention). What’s more, the thrill the perpetrator clearly gets from doing it, overwhelms the slightly more merciful option of a one-liner grenade (blows the opposition up, one time), and there is perceptible glee taken in a violent but deliberately persistent method of beating the monkey (perceived stupid person) back into the bush with the monkey fleeing all the way there. A motion as if to say ‘Monkey, know where you belong’. But this is not the end of the performance because there is always a sycophantic intellectual zealot in the making, observing in the wings to congratulate the current champion (now preening like donkey from Shrek when he was a horse), on their swift disposal of ignoramuses who clearly don’t know their Sophocles from their Aristotle.
All they hear is 360 degrees of applause & approval, when the reality is more concealed irritation, concealed because who can really be bothered to argue with someone who not only thinks they know it all, but is as good as willing to die for it in a show of ornate language more glittery and extreme than Ceelo’s Grammy performance outfit? Operation dazzle to death.
Thus I felt compelled to write this humble appeal (dotted with a sophisticated word here and there for marketing purposes) to my fellow intellectuals.
Brothers and sisters, there’s a time and a place for such abusive use of ornate language. Everyday conversation is not that place. If whilst engaged in a discussion with a fellow human being, you, perchance, discover that you are cleverer and more advised on a topic than the illiterate currently soiling your mind with their ignorance and foul views, I implore you to refrain from stamping them down as you would a cigarette butt with a greater range of language than every edition of the dictionary BC to AD. And if endeavours to caress them round to your 100% correct way of thinking fail, being of a superior mind, take the superior route and declare ‘let’s agree to disagree’. Please do this without the hint of the trademark sneer that intolerant people often say this sentence with, which makes it sound like ‘You are definitely stupid’ to the recipient even though that is not what was said.
But perhaps you are not engaging in a discussion, you are not in a job interview or a position where showing off a little with words would be highly advantageous. You’re just speaking or observing, yet you sound like you’ve swallowed the The Canterbury Tales. In that case my advice is nice and simple:
Get over yourself.
Indulgent language is impressive for about five minutes, and then it’s just annoying. And if someone has the tenacity to tell you this directly, do not pridefully assume it’s because they lack the spectrum of speech that you were endowed with almost like a personal gift from God (you believe), they are merely trying to relate to you on a human level. Think of it this way, if they didn’t care at all what you thought or find you appealing enough to want to converse with, they wouldn’t even say anything to you. They would just let you drone on in your Middle English (pretty much indecipherable to anyone past the 16th century who has not studied it), mistaking the silence for ignorance, or even more misguidedly, respect. Not every conversation should be seized upon with a crab grip to spew out your political, sociological, theological, economical, spiritual, etc. theories.
It’s not that serious all the time.
And, pray tell, what right do I have to offer up my doctrine on the ills of The Intellectual Intellectuals (I hear you asking)? Well, I’ve come across too many in my life……
You wanted a personal confession!
I am able to inform you, that contrary to the impressions that you may have felt intrinsically underlined or at least regulated the premise of this piece, a personal enactment of some of the aforementioned scenarios wherein I am the protagonist and have operated on a level that could be implicated to have been demonstrative of the socially polarising effect that such an approach to communication yields, the opposite is in fact true.
For I am perfect.