The Value of a Whisper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can the whisper still tame the lion? If everything is loud, nothing is.

 

Young children flinch at loud noises, but in modern society they soon learn to endure and then to enjoy excessive decibels. Loud noise, however, prevents the development of discriminative refinement. Our civilization shouts so loud that the value of a whisper is forgotten.

Continuous background noise – from the radio or television, for example – discourages the development of perception and discrimination. Something that is there the whole time no longer draws proper attention: it dulls; it becomes a kind of drug; it floats us sluggishly along. It is like a stream of dirty lukewarm water – a kind of inferior bath taken disgustingly in common. Whatever encourages our inattention diminishes our ability to make wise choices because, of all the things that are required to make wise choices, a delicate and sensitive attention is the most important.”

Arthur Henry King – Arm the Children, BYU Studies 1998

Forgotten Expressions

I’ve been reading from a copy of Putnam’s Handbook of Expression: For the Enrichment of Conversation, Writing, and Public Speaking complied by Edwin Halmin Carr (1915). It’s a delightful read.

Some of the expressions in the book are still in prominent use. Many are not. Here are some forgotten expressions that caught my attention:

“The spawning place of crime, ignorance, and debauchery”

“Swifter than a weaver’s shuttle”

“I am the lonely slave of an oft-wandering mind”

“As tedious as a twice-told tale”

“As obsolete as croquet”

“As bald as a cannon-ball”

“As idle as a painted ship on a painted ocean”

“I warm to a man with gall in his liver”

“He is above the meanness of tale-bearing”

“He is a perpetual surprise even to those who know him best”

“I trust you will repeat this experience at some future date”

“I must apologize for my stupidity”

“Don’t let me detain you for doubtless you have engagements”

“The uncertainty is irritating”

“I know the nicest little secret”

“If I rightly remember”

“Don’t give way to sure fancy”

“Certain unforeseen emergencies arose to hinder me”

“I regard him as being the cleverest man of my acquaintance”

“I feel that I have no more backbone than a jellyfish”

“As burning as the thirst of the fever-stricken”

“This merits reflection”

“In perpetual protest”

“The matter is not past mending”

“An asset of incomparable value”

“A heart alive to all the beauties of nature”

“I am exceedingly sorry that your request comes to me at a time when I am so pressed by my own affairs, that I cannot, with any convenience, comply with it”

And my favorite:

“I always thought the hour struck sooner in your home than anywhere else”

Anything You Post Online, Anyone Can See. Think Before You Post.

Have you ever searched online for your name, profile names, or email addresses? You might be surprised by what you find. If you’ve posted anything online, it’s out there. It’s public.

You probably wouldn’t consider posting a tenth of what you post online on a bulletin board hanging in the break room at work or in the faculty lounge at school. Yet, posting on online is a thousand times more permanent than posting on a traditional bulletin board.


Once you post anyone can download, edit, and re-post your words and images anywhere, anytime. None of this is a problem if you do as the Ad Council recommends and “Think before you post.”


Here are a few recommendations:


If it would reflect poorly on your character if it ended up on the front page of a newspaper, don’t post.


If you’re angry, don’t post. I’ve never heard anyone say “I’m glad I was emotionally out of control when posted those comments! If I had been calm it may have limited my ability to reason clearly.”


If you wouldn’t be comfortable with your family, in-laws, co-workers, or neighbors (Current or future) reading your comments or seeing those images, don’t post.


If you are excited to share your travel plans with your friends on Facebook, waiting until your back to post “Had a great time in Costa Rica!” is much better that posting in advance of your trip, “Leaving for Costa Rica tomorrow, won’t be back for two weeks.” There is no need to advertise that your house will be empty.


If you think posting under a fake name will protect you, don’t post. Unless the forum is designed for and expects anonymous users, people have a way of connecting the dots and discovering your true identity.


The Internet can provide a false sense of anonymity and distance that we would never accept as reality in the off-line world. There are some things we post online that we would prefer to see on billboards and in the newspaper, yet it’s the little things we post, without consideration for the big picture, that can cause the most trouble. We will be reading more about this is the years to come.