The Writery Ink

Detailed Conversations

Detailed Conversations

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Conversations in our 21st century have become ‘not enough’ as we text and communicate with emojis and memes. The idea of conversing carries more meaning than hieroglyphics can say. After all, our civilization has evolved from this form of communication to a more sophisticated one with full sentences that contain nouns and verbs and other parts of speech that add meaning to what we say. One word in English can carry so many connotations. And then there are those colorful words. Now, it seems we have reverted to an earlier time when we exchanged information through drawings and a series of grunts. I miss the exchange that comes with conversation. I miss the sounds words make in conversation. I reach for the dictionary to see if I’m mistaken about what it means to converse. Maybe the meaning has changed and I just had not noticed. The dictionary describes an “informal exchange” of thoughts and ideas through the spoken word. When I think of having a conversation with someone, I get ready for a chat, maybe a bit of gossip, a tête-à-tête, that exchange with real emotions and nuanced tones. I think of Robert Frost and his ‘sound of sense’ or conversations behind a door; you might not be able to hear all the words being said, but you can make sense of what is being said by the intonations of the voices. That is irreplaceable! Oh yes, grunts and hieroglyphics served their purpose in their relevant civilizations. These were the ways they knew to communicate. I would like to think that our civilization has recognized that these are not sufficient for where we are at this time in history; that one of the joys of living at this time is the ability modern language has given us to be colorful in our expressions.
Why are we rejecting that to return to what was once considered ‘primitive’?
Someone is taking great pleasure in inventing new emojis and memes each day. Is this an attempt to create a new language without having to worry about syntax? Will we no longer need dictionaries? I can’t tell how many times I’ve got those emojis wrong. I know I’m not the only one because I’ve seen numerous articles about what we are getting wrong in our interpretation. As a writer, I can’t imagine a short story in which only emojis and/or memes are used. As a teacher, I am concerned that someday I will have an in-class discussion of one of these stories and find that I got it all wrong. Back to Picture Books! Trying to stop this movement backward is like the proverbial ant trying to tell the speeding train to halt. Maybe someday we will return to having conversations, real conversations about the value of the spoken word and the sharing of thoughts and ideas. In the meantime, I invite you to a detailed conversation with me, a tête-à-tête, an exchange of words. Let’s talk!

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