It seems self-evident. Starting to speak before another has finished violates their right to the floor. In formal contexts such as political debates, it breaches the rules. In casual conversation, it is simply rude.
But it’s not so simple. As a linguist who studies the mechanics of conversation, I’ve observed and documented that beginning to talk while another is talking can be a way of showing enthusiastic engagement with what the speaker is saying. Far from silencing them, it can be encouragement to keep going.
L’utilisation de l’anglais se banalise en France et dans de nombreux pays. Ce phénomène ancien est aujourd’hui porté par la mondialisation de l’économie, dont l’anglo-américain est la langue véhiculaire. Si la classe dirigeante semble l’encourager, des résistances s’organisent. – via Le Monde diplomatique.
Il serait plus précis de parler de l’usage de certains mots en anglais; d’un lexique limité de mots empruntés du monde des affaires ou de la culture anglo-américaine. Les usagers de ce lexique ne sont pas pour autant bilingues. C’est-à-dire qu’ils ne parlent pas nécessairement la langue anglaise. Ils ne l’écrivent probablement pas non plus.
Les résistances? Elles ne sont jamais systémiques. Elles émergent davantage de valeurs partagées. Dans la cas qui nous occupent: aimer la langue, qui veut dire bien la parler et s’efforcer d’en découvrir les richesses et les contours.
“People who fondly imagine themselves the subjects of their ‘own’ choices entirely will, in reality, be the most manipulated subjects, and the most incapable of being influenced by goodness and beauty. This is why, in the affluent Anglo-Saxon West today, there is so much pervasively monotonous ugliness and tawdriness that belies its wealth, as well as why there are so many people adopting (literally) the sing-song accent of self-righteous complacency and vacuous uniformity, with its rising lilt of a feigned questioning at the end of every phrase. This intonation implies that any overassertion is a polite infringement of the freedom of the other, and yet at the same time its merely rhetorical interrogation suggests that the personal preference it conveys is unchallengeable, since it belongs within the total set of formally correct exchange transactions. Pure liberty is pure power – whose other name is evil.”
One ought to recognize that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end. If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself.
Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change ones own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase — some jackboot, Achilles heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse — into the dustbin, where it belongs.
We have all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but do our words paint pictures? Can people SEE what we are talking about?
If I had gone for symmetry, I would have asked if our words paint a thousand pictures. But anyone should be so lucky as to be able to paint one… and, more importantly, that it be perceived as such by the person to whom you talk.
I very soon became able to understand a great deal without (even mentally) translating it; I was beginning to think in Greek. That is the real Rubicon to cross in learning any language.
Those in whom the Greek word lives only while they are hunting for it in the lexicon, and who then substitute the English word for it, are not reading Greek at all; they are only solving a puzzle.
The very formula, “Naus means a ship,” is wrong. Naus and ship both mean a thing, they do not mean one another. Behind Naus, and behind navis or naca, we want to have a picture of a dark, slender mass with sail or oars, climbing the ridges, with no officious English word intruding.