Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Watch Your Language

At times I'll come across a thought or idea that I realized was one I held and acted upon in younger years, and with me further into adulthood I'll realize too that I had a wisdom back then in that belief, and that I shouldn't have deviated from it.

In this case, in contemplating my typical conversations I realized that it's probably very impractical for me to divide up my language habits between how I talk to people in real life in contrast to the language I use in my head, on paper, or in this input box right here, which you're reading. One example in isolation, for instance, is that I swear very, very rarely in *any* sort of writing I do . . . so why should I allow it in my head, or in to-face conversations?

There's nothing inherently wrong in dividing up one's language habits mind you; rather, my angle in this case is in consideration of maximizing one's rhetoric habits, or in my case trying to be the best I can be in writing, which is a great hobby and value to me.

The division goes beyond just swears; encompassing things too like slang, general vocabulary, the care in articulation, and so on. The point is, if I want to perfect my own individual voice in writing, one I can truly be satisfied with, then isn't it to my detriment to be so slangish in person and well-spoken on paper? I speak hardly at all the ways I write here.

If I divide myself up, then I'm getting uneven practice, plainly put. It's all about *habits*. On paper and in other written mediums, I work well at developing my thoughts to be in good and appreciable form, and then deviate from that in real-life, which not only wastes time that could have been utilized for practice, even if I'm merely on imaginary paper in my head, but also causes me to work against my better habits by engaging in contrary ones, and beyond that I'm actually overwriting my better habits with the practices I stay engaged in more.

This is revisited wisdom because I remember when I was a teenager in high school I remembered how contrary to my own nature I acted in order to fit in at the lunch table, and to be true to my own individuality I made it a standing order in my head to be aware of my actions, which resulted in the dying out of certain embarrassing practices, such as quoting pop culture catchphrases for attention. I may not have fit in at the lunch table any longer, but I was truly forming my own habits individual to me and only me.

If my writing ability is something I'm to be truly serious about nurturing, then I should acknowledge that my thinking and speaking habits incorporate into the picture, and I oughtn't allow myself to do things such as swearing in person if I do so well to avoid it in the printed word.

This isn't to deny, of course, that different styles are needed for different situations. It can be okay to swear in real-life with your friends while avoiding it in your intellectual essays; in my particular considerations, I just worried about *too broad* a difference between styles to be useful for my development, not the minor case of avoiding a few vocabulary words to be appropriate for the occasion.

As to how I'll once again clean up my language as I did in the lunchroom, I'll resort to the infinitely useful daily tally of mine, by incorporating the question "Did you speak in the ways you want to think and write?" 'tis but a small issue of habituating self-awareness of my habits themselves, and this should do well to make me pay attention to my speaking habits.

A small thing towards bettering oneself.

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