Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wordplay Wednesday™ July 20, 2016 – Sedulous

Mud-slinging in the Speech Pond  

Isn’t it amazing how our democratic process is such a testament to the diligence and attention, perseverance and assiduous planning, of its political machine?

And hasn’t the Internet community contributed in more wonderful ways than we can count, to its ability to research, study, and repeat the best of its finest speeches?

Hmmm. Wellllllll … if I take my tongue out of my cheek, I just might unleash a diatribe of vehement frustration on this Wordplay Wednesday. Who’s with me? Who prefers to dissect political speeches for their content as it pertains to the speaker, rather than their creative origin? I feel sorry for the hard-working writers …

SEDULOUS (sejʹoo lɘs) adj. – 1) working hard and steadily, diligent; 2) constant, persistent (sedulous attention to the task). [WW #69]

Uh-oh. Tongue dislodged from cheek … here come da judge

Speaking from a writer’s POV, no matter how conscientious and diligent we are, and as unique or powerful we hope our words are, someone somewhere has already articulated those same words, created that idea, or told the story exactly that way.
GET OVER IT SOCIAL MEDIA – and by that I mean the MEAN PEOPLE – who have nothing better to do with their time, energy, and half-wit intelligence, than to bully others. Yes, bully. The Internet is FULL of bullies – the ridiculous harassment over Mrs.Trump’s perceived plagiarism is a perfect example – are you a bully? That is not an idle question.

There is often a fine line between spewing venom and spite, or offering practical analyses

Those who sedulously nitpick and berate others over superficial issues, need to learn manners and the art of constructive criticism. You don’t like someone? Fine. Don’t read about them, talk to them, or engage with them. Save yourself the angst, for heaven’s sake.

Do you feel strongly about a non-criminal act that the loosely defined news media throws in your face? Fine. But belittling and berating the subject only serves to make you look small.

Consider Yahoo News’ interview of Scott Baio: “After his RNC speech on Monday [07/18/16], Baio was widely mocked as a ‘D-lister’ who lacks the star power of celebrities who typically participate at conventions. He dismissed this critique as ‘schoolyard stuff.’

Schoolyard stuff – perhaps he’s on to something. Apparently we get better with age, as Mental Health Support reports, “Although childhood bullies are usually quite easy to spot, adult bullies* can be sly, subtle, and difficult to expose. A life-long bully has had years of practice. Some have learned to be very cunning indeed. Some hide behind masks of authority, superior knowledge, money or other type of power.” [*My bolding.]

Before you publicly condemn, consider that we the people, rarely have all the facts at our fingertips. Most who voice boisterously are overreacting to speculation, conjecture, and media hype.

Now the virulent speculation is that #MeredithMcIver is fiction. SO WHAT?! Is THIS what Mrs. Trump’s speech was all about? A ten-second phrase out of a ten-minute speech?

And at any time – perhaps even in the next twenty-four hours – you could be the subject of a publicly perceived negative situation. Are you prepared to be vilified by a nation of bigotry?

As a youngster were you ever compelled to retort, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” Sadly, in our world of digital words that can suck the life out of you on even an international scale, that childhood defense is no longer true. Words can hurt. And kill.

Much too often, innocent people – of all ages, not just school children – are slandered by cyber-bullies. Once the damage is done, no matter the number of sedulous apologies (if they are ever forthcoming) and retractions, those people are branded FOR LIFE. You know and I know – nothing on the Internet EVER goes away. Not all of us are strong enough to withstand the maelstroms. Our increasing suicide rate proves it.

Perhaps I’m just a perennial glass-half-full person, but I prefer to believe that most speech writers work sedulously preparing the copy for their bosses, to the best of their ability – in this economic climate, who wants to lose their job?

It is ludicrous that recent media and Internet users were viciously focused on a turn of phrase, rather than the meaning behind the words.

It is a petty mind with idle hands – and we know what that means – that has nothing better to do than prey on others over superficial issues. Ask yourself … does it really matter?!

And someone, somewhere, in the past millennia has uttered those exact words …

Word of the Week: SEDULOUS. Consider how you can create and post positive cyber comments – while fitting it into your writings for the week.


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