Check out this video by Taylor Mali. Not only does he do a hilarious job of describing and demonstrating the way a lot of people speak today, but he makes a great point about the importance of speaking with authority.
I could not stop laughing! But upon further reflection, I also felt a bit convicted because I’ve let some of these patterns fall into my speech as well in an effort not to offend people and give them permission to disagree with me.
2 thoughts on “Totally, like, whatever, you know? [video]”
Paul, it’s very funny, and raises some interesting questions too. But I’m not sure that there is anything wrong with the rising interrogative. It first came over to Europe from Australia via TV soaps. I’m not sure if, and how much, I do it. My wife says I don’t, and I guess it’s a generational think. Young UK people, it is their norm. But I like it. The sense of ‘if that’s ok with you’ and ‘I’m open to dialogue on this’. But I don’t think it necessarily affects authority either way. Respect for other people’s opinions, whether they are about trifles, or major aspects of belief, is surely a prerequisite to any dialogue at all.
There are people like the character in C S Lewis last sci-fi trilogy book, who claims to have ‘no opinions on anything’. Because, of course, he knows he is right on everything. I can think of one dear person whose views on say, the only possible way to make a cup of tea, or a strongly-held view of a certain interpretation of one part of the Bible, are so dogmatic that no discussion or questioning of either are possible. It’s a principle not an opinion, and therefore non-negotiable.
I think that when people said Jesus taught with authority whereas the Pharisees did not, actually it was the Pharisees who were the ones who brooked no discussion, left no questions open, never left people to go away to ponder the meaning of a parable, etc.
Hey Tony, you make some good points. The opposite extreme of speaking with no conviction is speaking as if you’re opinions are fact. I don’t know how it is in England, but I think in the U.S. the current lack of conviction is a direct reaction to an era where that was the case.
I agree with you that it is good to speak in ways that reassure others that they can voice opinions that are different from ours and we can still be friends.