There is a disease in the world today. It plagues every man, woman and child exposed to the globalized world.
It is ubiquitous; most of us don’t even realize we suffer from it. And day by day, it just gets worse.
What is it, you may be wondering? Let me give you a clue…
It’s a disease of the mind. It affects our speech, our words. This disease makes us waste so much time and energy in putting a point across. It’s sort of, ingrained in us. It doesn’t, like, feel wrong.
Have you got it?
I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t. The disease I’m talking about doesn’t have a term yet, so I’m going to coin a term of my own- The unsure disease.
Let me explain. Go back to that clue I gave you. And look at the words closely. This is how the youth, the hip and the cool talk today. It’s the “in thing”. It’s how we are SUPPOSED to talk, if we want to fit in.
Do you see it yet? The “sort of”, and the “like”?
It’s crazy, but we use these two terms so much in our conversations. People sometimes you both together; “the flavor is sort of like chocolate.” What?!
Either it’s like chocolate, or it isn’t.
People think it’s “cool” to talk like this. Here is what I think when you talk like this-
This guy doesn’t want to be wrong. And to ensure that, he is trying to create as little space for error as possible. “Sort of like chocolate”. That’s as big an umbrella to cover the doubt as it can get. It clearly doesn’t taste like chocolate.
He doesn’t know how to speak what is in his mind. Clearly, he’s lost.
It’s a sign of how unsure people are about what they think, feel and experience. Everything is “sort of like this, or that.” Never “exactly” like something. Everything seems to have only the slightest likeness to another thing.
I think there are two reasons for this sort of speech:
A) it’s a habit. You have started trying to talk like this, and it’s clearly become second nature to you.
B) and the more disturbing one is that you are never sure, can never make your mind about something. It’s very likely that it is because of this reason, that this tendency has turned into a habit.
This is disturbing to me because if you can never be sure of what you are thinking or feeling or experience, you are one step farther away from being completely human. Language is a powerful tool that gives an insight into what a person is like. This language tells me you can never decide. You are perennially unsure. You are like a leaf blowing in the wind.
Why is that bad?
It’s bad because if we were lost in a forest, and I’m dependant on you to find a way out, I’d lose hope.
“Which way do we go now?” I’d ask.
“You know, I sort of have a feeling it’s left.”
Ok. If you were facing a big problem, and you want to talk to me about it so I can help, I’d lose patience very quickly. If we were to speak in front of a client, I wouldn’t let you answer any question for fear of being turned down as unprofessional. I wouldn’t let you tell anything about me to a prospective date. In short, I wouldn’t trust you.
And in my place, anybody who values their time and life wouldn’t. Because half the time, I’d be trying to figure out exactly what you are trying to say. I’d trying to figure out where, in that jumbled sentence dripping with redundant words and doubt is the sliver of truth that will be of use to me. And that’s time I’d rather not be wasting.