Fashionably Speechless

I can’t help but notice how fashionable it has become to be speechless.  Too often, when asked to comment on or react to some event in a public forum, people spit out clichéd statements such as “words cannot describe” and “I have no words for this moment.”   What’s annoying about this is that there are quite frequently plenty of words to describe the occasion; the speaker just hasn’t thought of any.  That’s what really bugs me; when people are too inarticulate or just too damn lazy to think of something thoughtful to say, and they try to cover it up by implying that the situation is simply indescribable.  Right.

Don’t get me wrong — when such statements are uttered in earnest by poised, well-spoken people it can be compelling.  There’s an understated, eloquent quality to it because you can sense the sincerity behind the remark.  Any event that can render an otherwise loquacious person speechless is a truly momentous occasion, indeed.

So, to all the simpletons who think you’re getting off easy with this trendy, hackneyed cop-out: you’re not fooling anyone.  Next time somebody gives you a chance to speak, make it worth listening to.

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