Let’s Listen to Ourselves

Let’s Listen to Ourselves

I think communication would be improved if speakers listened to the things that come out of their mouths. This concept is similar to the advice to think before speaking, but that seems to be asking a lot.

Speakers are hurried, and their air time is frequently limited or threatened, so words are tossed out at a hearty clip, and who has time to select and arrange the actual words of a message, anyway? For many speakers, thinking is not part of the act of speaking. This might explain the popularity of using clichés. Why spend time thinking about what you want to say if someone has already said it?

However, sometimes a well-known phrase isn’t well-known, and a speaker will spout a collection of words that can’t possibly be expressing what is meant, and it is left to the listener to sort it out.

Examples: (I am not making these up.)

“I’ll tell my references that you will call so you don’t catch them cold turkey.”

“In one ear and gone tomorrow.”

“That’s just water over the bridge”

“I’m usually on the other side of that shoe.”

“They’ll bite off in one fell swoop more than be managed right off the bat.”

“We can shoot two birds in the hand or one in the bush.”

“You can’t smell the forest from the roses.”


Let’s just slow down and listen to ourselves. Others have to.

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