Jan 20, 2009

Words work plan

Policy and politics aside, the craft that went into today's inauguration speech reminds us of the importance of words.

In our public sphere, we have lived through an era of increasingly imprecise and careless language; a time in which 'short' became a substitute for 'pith' and buzz a replacement for clarity; a time in which we concluded, in fear and in shock, that words might fail us, that description might hinder us, that definition might deceive us. We let inarticulateness stand for authenticity, and chose reaction as the truest form of storytelling. We embraced soundbite punditry, calling it a smart solution to busy lives, but really to conceal that we no longer had much to say to each other. Online and on TV, we chose echo location over thoughtful deliberation.

And, so, as the information age spreads at an accelerated pace, we look into the vast empty reaches waiting to be filled and realize we have not said much about who we are or what we mean. Now is the time to put words back to work - to better understand the consequence and significance of what we're doing, where we're going and what we've done.


pasadenapio said...

You're absolutely right.

Today is a great day to be an American! Let's keep the momentum going.

Anonymous said...

I believe we were led by example. Ex President Bush (THAT FEELS SO GOOD TO TYPE, TRY IT) spoke in three word bursts of barely decipherable nonsense. The bar has been raised. React.

Mike Rappaport said...

It's so wonderful to have a president who doesn't sound like he's retarded when he speaks.