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Speak with conviction

And my favourite Taylor Mali poem/speech is:

Totally like whatever, you know?
by Taylor Mali

In case you hadn’t noticed,
it has somehow become uncool
to sound like you know what you’re talking about?
Or believe strongly in what you’re saying?
Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)’s
have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
Even when those sentences aren’t, like, questions? You know?

Declarative sentences—so-­‐called
because they used to, like, DECLARE things to be true, okay,
as opposed to other things are, like, totally, you know, not—
have been infected by a totally hip
and tragically cool interrogative tone? You know?
Like, don’t think I’m uncool just because I’ve noticed this;
this is just like the word on the street, you know?
It’s like what I’ve heard?
I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions, okay?
I’m just inviting you to join me in my uncertainty?

What has happened to our conviction?
Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
Have they been, like, chopped down
with the rest of the rain forest?
Or do we have, like, nothing to say?
Has society become so, like, totally . . .
I mean absolutely . . . You know?
That we’ve just gotten to the point where it’s just, like . . .
whatever!

And so actually our disarticulation . . . ness
is just a clever sort of . . . thing
to disguise the fact that we’ve become
the most aggressively inarticulate generation
to come along since . . .
you know, a long, long time ago!

I entreat you, I implore you, I exhort you,
I challenge you: To speak with conviction.

To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks
the determination with which you believe it.
Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
You have to speak with it, too.

 

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About JustEnglish.me

This blog is Zoe's way to spread the joy of finding and learning interesting bits about English. Join her and learn something new every time.

5 responses to “Speak with conviction”

  1. Kip Light says :

    Reblogged this on Kip's Thoughts and commented:
    You have to, like, see this, ya know? 🙂

  2. Kip Light says :

    That was totally, like, gnarly, ya know? I can’t believe I just typed that [little voice in head says, you dork, you don’t, like, come from the Valley, ya know?]

    • translationsareus says :

      I first watched it a couple of years ago and since then it has completely stuck into my mind. I do not use “uhm, like and “ya know” ” in conversations any more, cause I have the feeling Mr. Mali will jump out from behind a bush and will scream at me [ashamed] 🙂

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