Don’t fear florid, flamboyant speech

Don’t fear florid, flamboyant speech

February 25
22:36 2013

How many times have you heard people yammering on about something and then abruptly stall in the middle of their tirade, perplexed as to what adjective to describe the next word about to exit their mouth?

Then after their long pause they resort to using “like” as the adjective to finish their sentence. I’m sure you’ve heard it many times and I’m sure you you’ve said it yourself.

To me the fact that “like” appears so abundantly in our generation’s sentence structure is a testament to our generation’s child-like vocabulary and inability to articulate ourselves.

The largest factor imposing on our generation is the shows we view on television. Some would say it is also the lack of books and newspapers we read, but in my experience you can acquire an advanced and more mature vocabulary from just watching news shows ranging from “Anderson Cooper 360,” “Rock Center with Bryan Williams,” or even ESPN.

When I assist my classmates in English class, or with an essay or composition based assignment, they often ask as to where I learned to be well-spoken. In my experience I’ve learned how to speak articulately just from watching ESPN, CNN, and “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

I found that when you listen to journalists, analysts, or other intelligent people speak, the language they use becomes contagious to a large extent. And soon enough you’ll hear yourself sounding as if you’re one of them and your friends might even be puzzled by what you are saying.

However unintelligent and distasteful television shows can be, they can also become contagious. If you immerse yourself with the “Jersey Shore,” “Keeping up With the Kardashians,” “Teen Mom,” or “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” then rest assured you’ll almost certainly end up sounding synonymous to them.

This is where our third grade vocabulary originates. We as a generation tend to focus on the facets of life that are of no consequence to our own, rather than subjects of substance.

Instead of watching President Obama’s State of the Union Address, girls are watching a re-run of “Pretty Little Liars.”
Instead of watching the latest report on the budget crisis or the unwarranted debt ceiling debate, guys are watching “South Park.”

If we want to be more intelligent and learn to speak more articulately we have to watch television that is enlightening and in good taste, before our indifference toward important matters leads to our own ruination.

We must implore our generation to usher in time for watching the news and staying engaged in the national events that affect us all. As we grow older, more responsibility will fall upon our shoulders to act like adults.

So when that time comes, is it too much to ask we speak the way they do?

Skyler Norris is a pre-journalism freshman. He can be reached at SkylerNorris@my.unt.edu.

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