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Language school

17. april 2013

The previous blog briefly scratched the surface; this one goes a bit deeper. I was going on about the ear for language and the by-products thereof. I briefly mentioned that training in languages could make you insufferable in polite society, especially if one could not curtail one’s desires to share one’s knowledge unsolicited. I am leaving eavesdropping entirely out of the discussion,  that deserves a post of its own, once I get the hang of blogposts and eavesdropping.

To most people their native language is a tool for communication, not something that will inspire lengthy pondering of sentences, clauses, syntax structure and all those other gems of the classroom that tend to be forgotten, if at all mentioned at school. While school may be the formative years your life, I guarantee you that at some point, ideally, they will be a distant memory and you’ll struggle, as I sometimes do, to name the people on those pictures, especially if you went to more schools than most people.  That language is a tool like not unlike one’s hands does not mean that one should not take care when using it, in much the same way that it pays off to keep an eye on one’s hands when using a hammer or something worse like power tools.

To me the amount of words that one can produce has nothing on the quality of them. The golden rule must be that it has to be relevant what you have to say, while at the same time most of us will have to admit that Shakespeare, we are not. The trick is practice, in this context as in all others, which will make one surer of oneself. School, in whatever form, will form you, I will never forget the first three weeks of studying Russian, of the copious amounts of saliva I sacrificed on the classroom floor, while struggling with the sibilants, and cursing my choices. Choices neatly bring me to my next point, opening one’s mouth is a choice, but so is what you let out of it. The cheap conclusion is that you have to live with those choices, which will invariably lead to shutting one’s mouth sooner or later…

 

Sometimes one is better served with living to fight another day.

Language school

17. april 2013

The previous blog briefly scratched the surface; this one goes a bit deeper. I was going on about the ear for language and the by-products thereof. I briefly mentioned that training in languages could make you insufferable in polite society, especially if one could not curtail one’s desires to share one’s knowledge unsolicited. I am leaving eavesdropping entirely out of the discussion,  that deserves a post of its own, once I get the hang of blogposts and eavesdropping.

To most people their native language is a tool for communication, not something that will inspire lengthy pondering of sentences, clauses, syntax structure and all those other gems of the classroom that tend to be forgotten, if at all mentioned at school. While school may be the formative years your life, I guarantee you that at some point, ideally, they will be a distant memory and you’ll struggle, as I sometimes do, to name the people on those pictures, especially if you went to more schools than most people.  That language is a tool like not unlike one’s hands does not mean that one should not take care when using it, in much the same way that it pays off to keep an eye on one’s hands when using a hammer or something worse like power tools.

To me the amount of words that one can produce has nothing on the quality of them. The golden rule must be that it has to be relevant what you have to say, while at the same time most of us will have to admit that Shakespeare, we are not. The trick is practice, in this context as in all others, which will make one surer of oneself. School, in whatever form, will form you, I will never forget the first three weeks of studying Russian, of the copious amounts of saliva I sacrificed on the classroom floor, while struggling with the sibilants, and cursing my choices. Choices neatly bring me to my next point, opening one’s mouth is a choice, but so is what you let out of it. The cheap conclusion is that you have to live with those choices, which will invariably lead to shutting one’s mouth sooner or later…

 

Sometimes one is better served with living to fight another day.

Language school

17. april 2013

The previous blog briefly scratched the surface; this one goes a bit deeper. I was going on about the ear for language and the by-products thereof. I briefly mentioned that training in languages could make you insufferable in polite society, especially if one could not curtail one’s desires to share one’s knowledge unsolicited. I am leaving eavesdropping entirely out of the discussion,  that deserves a post of its own, once I get the hang of blogposts and eavesdropping.

To most people their native language is a tool for communication, not something that will inspire lengthy pondering of sentences, clauses, syntax structure and all those other gems of the classroom that tend to be forgotten, if at all mentioned at school. While school may be the formative years your life, I guarantee you that at some point, ideally, they will be a distant memory and you’ll struggle, as I sometimes do, to name the people on those pictures, especially if you went to more schools than most people.  That language is a tool like not unlike one’s hands does not mean that one should not take care when using it, in much the same way that it pays off to keep an eye on one’s hands when using a hammer or something worse like power tools.

To me the amount of words that one can produce has nothing on the quality of them. The golden rule must be that it has to be relevant what you have to say, while at the same time most of us will have to admit that Shakespeare, we are not. The trick is practice, in this context as in all others, which will make one surer of oneself. School, in whatever form, will form you, I will never forget the first three weeks of studying Russian, of the copious amounts of saliva I sacrificed on the classroom floor, while struggling with the sibilants, and cursing my choices. Choices neatly bring me to my next point, opening one’s mouth is a choice, but so is what you let out of it. The cheap conclusion is that you have to live with those choices, which will invariably lead to shutting one’s mouth sooner or later…

 

Sometimes one is better served with living to fight another day.

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