speak appropriately to your audience or shut up

good thing i don’t have an audience.

yesterday i talked with an old guy in his 80’s who had just seen his doctor about some stuff. i asked him what his dr said and the old guy said some really confusing stuff that didn’t make any sense. i said “what?” and he replied “i don’t know, he was talking a mile a minute using words i don’t have any clue about.”

that pissed me off. you have to know your audience and speak at their level, all the time. if you’re a dr and you’re talking to a room full of other dr’s, go ahead. display your grand erudite vocabulary and incredible mind. but when you’re speaking to a simple old man, recognize that terms like ‘vasovagal syncopal episodes’ and even just speaking too quickly will leave the guy utterly bewildered. if you’re going to do that, you may as well not even talk to him because even though you’re speaking, you’re not actually communicating with him at all. no one benefits from communication when people can’t understand what you’re fucking saying.

the same thing applies to all kinds of different people, like kids. i hate when adults use sing-song tones and baby talk with kids. kids aren’t fucking stupid. kids know when you’re talking down to them. and when people talk to them like that all the time, they get used to it — they become warped as to what they think normal communication is, and you wind up with 10- and 12-yr old kids baby talking to each other. that’s not going to help them in the long term so never ever baby talk to them. just speak with them on their level. explain shit in simple terms that they can understand. do it without any ‘goo goo gah gah’ horse shit. you can be fun and friendly without that nonsense, and you’ll raise smarter kids who are more effective at communicating because of it.

just speak like a normal human being to people, for god’s sake. and make sure they understand what you’re saying, or else shut the fuck up and quit wasting everyone’s time.


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