Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The curse of Eloquence

Eloquence. I would like to think that it was praised and admired fot manmy years as the highest of virtues, but I doubt it. Despite the fact that we now think that Cicero was the embodiment of Roman rebuplican values, or that Chaucer's audience would have gone "aha, rhetorical flourish!" during each digression, it was probably not the case. Would that it were...
On the other hand, do we even now publicly denounce eloquence? No. But find the correct word, embellish a point, use a word of more than three syllables and you subject yourself to ridicule. It becomes so easy to be written off, denounced as a show-off ridiculed; in fact what you are doing is only the embodiment of that old maxim "Clarity of speech is clarity of thought". (not mind, that is something else).
There are concepts which need a word, a specific word, a long word, in order to be fully understood.This is way it is not pathetic to have to fight the urge to say "Verisimilitidinous" during a conversation. It saves time, among other things.

And finally, the word "motif" is not pretentious and not intellectual. This post is both pretentious and faux intellectual, but the word motif isn't. It is very simple.

Thank you.

5 Comments:

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Blogger Chuck said...

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Blogger zazzi said...

I often have to fight the urge to use the word 'Verisimilitudinous' in conversation, it's a wonderful word and can, somehow, be applied everywhere.
Would be happy to join the subculture-do indeed have many black polonecks and am often, nay, frequently, nay, always called pretentious.
This may be becasue I am, though I know not.
People often tell me that I am too clever, does that count? However, this is generally when I have made a not-particularly-intellectual comment, generally about the supremacy of the Zeffirelli version of Romeo and Juliet over the Luhrmann. But there you are.
By the way, where did you get my blog address? And I know palace of life is a terrible name, only I wasn't feeling very creative that day and so that is what it was named. I have never changed, though I think I ought to. However, somehow I can't think of a better one.
Maybe something morbidly depressing - Life's a bitch and then you die, maybe. Or something a little more eloquent.

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