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Category: Communication / Topics: Communication Relationships Social Media Technology

Is Talk Cheap?

by Dan Seagren

Posted: December 27, 2015

When I heard that certain people (mostly youth) spend too much time texting rather than talking, I was not surprised…

When I heard that certain people (mostly youth) spend too much time texting rather than talking, I was not surprised. But when I read the statistics (which I have already forgotten), I was even more surprised. Then I thought of my The Dimwit's Dictionary so I looked it up. Here is what it said: A quack equation (see page 21).

So off to page 21. Sure enough, it was there with a number of other quack equations. Then I looked up the definition in part: This is the sort of simplicity much favored by mountebanks (charlatans) and pretenders, by business people and politicians. Then it listed a few equations: a deal is a deal, bigger is better, enough is enough, it is what it is, seeing is believing and talk is cheap. It then reminded us that there is no end to these.

Now I am not sure just why oral conversations have succumbed to texting so I won't get into that but I am still curious. Let's probe into that but remember, this is a person pushing 90 years of age not a teenager nor a parent of one. Join me if you will as you give this some thought. One reason: spelling is unimportant if the meaning is conveyed. Another: it is really private, unlike speaking publicly when privacy is essential.

Then, brevity is seemingly important and texting fits the bill (quackery?). Of course, two or more who text often to each other can create their own private dictionary which is either difficult or impossible to detect by an outsider. And of course it can be done with fingers or thumbs or both bypassing the ear. Finally, texting (for those who text which excludes me) is (so far) not a sign of old age.

Now we move on to a more sobering answer to the question: Is talk cheap? Yes it is. No expensive (or cheap) phone is necessary, and there is no danger of a rundown battery (nor its expense and nuisance). Except for laryngitis and all, yes, talk is cheap. But it can be expensive, too, especially when talking without thinking, gossiping, disrupting a class or screaming at someone you love or hate or . . .

True, talk can be either cheap or expensive when a school calls to let you know whether you admitted or not or if a prospective employer does something similar or when someone doesn't know when to quit. Or when it is tacky or trashy. But then, it is one of life's finest inventions. When used wisely it is invaluable.

Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: December 27, 2015   Accessed 173 times

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