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Words for the Week – 7 March 2011

March 7, 2011

In what may become a recurring feature, these are some things that I read or thought about that resonate with me this week. Sometimes they’re connected, sometimes they’re reflections of my mood, and sometimes they are just things that I thought sounded nice.

First, two quotes from The Guardian’s recent interview with Michael Stipe. The first on the way that he expresses his thoughts:

“I find myself often at a loss for words,” [Stipe] muses at one point. “There are TV shows I don’t go on because I do not talk like that, I don’t think like that, I don’t debate like that. I’ve realised that to try and slot myself into that world is to diminish what I have to offer. And I do have something to offer but it’s just in a different dialect, a different language”

The second in response to the interviewer Sean O’Hagan’s suggestion that he’s more “relaxed, reflective, [and] talkative” now than in the late ’80s.

“I still hadn’t learned how to talk or how to look someone in the eye and finish a thought. I’m much better at that now but I’ll carry that with me my whole life, the massive insecurity of not being articulate.”

I’m nowhere near as articulate or insightful as Mr. Stipe, but I understand the feeling of being at a loss for words and the associated frustration. “The massive insecurity of not being articulate” is an excellent way of phrasing that sense of angst.

Which made me think of what Homer Simpson said when meeting someone from Reader’s Digest (paraphrased):

My favorite section is “How to Improve Your Word Power.” It’s really, really, really… uhhhh… good.”


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