Tag Archives: speech

Do people really speak like that?

Belfast landscape heads by David "Creative" McClelland.

Dialogue springs forth fully formed from the mouths of the regulars in my favourite pub. It’s very odd. This isn’t how people really speak surely?

Normal speech is hesitation, prevarication, vagueries, misunderstanding, repetition, replete with em-ing and er-ing. Isn’t it?

But what I heard while perched at the bar sounded honed by Elmore Leonard. It can have/seem to have an aggressive edge to it. (See here for a foreigner’s view.)

This snatch of speech begins as the fella on my left hand explains that he drinks in the pub most weekdays, at which point fella on my right hand jumps in…

LEFT: I drink here most lunchtimes.

RIGHT: Why?

LEFT: Because I can.

Pause.

LEFT: I’m drinking for one now…

RIGHT (interrupting forcefully): No! Never explain. You were a hero there. The hero in films never explains himself. It’s just bang, here it is, this is it. For 45 seconds there, you were a hero. But you blew it. Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under language, life

Overcoming first impressions

Natalie Connors (Hilary Duff) thanking junior CIA agent Cody Banks (Frankie Muniz) after he rescues her at school

As Natalie Connors (played by Hilary Duff) says to junior CIA Agent Cody Banks (played by Frankie Muniz): “You make a bad first impression, and a bad second impression too. But your third and fourth impressions are a lot better.”

So it was tonight at the Wandsworth regional finals of the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge. The scheme styles itself as The World’s Biggest Youth Speaking Event. And who am I to disagree. Especially as I was one of the judges for the event at the Graveney School in Tooting.

For such a big event – visiting schools, families, supporters, local MP Sadiq Khan, contestants – it all went very smoothly and to schedule (thanks to the redoubtable organiser Kymberlie Andrew).

There were sixteen young speakers giving, on the whole, excellent impassioned performances. And then there was Joseph.

He looked a bit of a mess. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under life