I mentioned Blaise Cronin in my “previous article”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/?p=253 ((I keep wanting to replace his last name with ‘Pascal’.)), and listening to him speak reminded me again of something I call European Efficiency ((Though, to be fair, I don’t know that it applies to non-English-speaking countries, since I obviously don’t understand the languages there)). I’d call it British efficiency, but that might be an affront to Dr. Cronin. ((He’s an Irishman.)) What I am referring to is the uncanny ability to use exactly the right words to convey the most amount of meaning in the briefest way.
Dr. Cronin was exceptionally interesting to listen to in part because he frequently used words that were loaded with meaning. His level of verbal precision was stunning and awe-inspiring, and it made me slightly jealous. I consider myself something of a wordslinger, albeit amateurishly. The quality of his dialogue was something that inspired me to find greater precision in my own speech and writing. American dialogue involves so many wasted words. We talk just for the sake of hearing ourselves talk. We are uncomfortable with silence, something else I noticed at this conference. It is possible that the quality of our communication might just improve if we strove for greater efficiency in our own discourse. We might actually find that we need to say less and that we are actually more comfortable with silence. Sometimes, words are not necessary to say what is important.