Boilerplate language

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
a way of writing or thinking that is not special and does not show any imagination...

I don't think it calumnious to adopt this headline nor my chosen interpretation.

If it is, you'll tell me, right!

Here's the thing. 

Why is it we insist on soft-peddling the same words, with the same meaning as everyone else? Or worse still (and I've been guilty of this at times), quoting the same writers on the same subjects?

Yesterday, on Twitter, I took aim at a Tweet about the use and/or adoption of the word 'resilience' as some super-human, transformative power (I realise it's Mental Health Week in case you're wondering!). What did I do? I went to the root of the word by going on a little etymological sojourn. Yes, I could see how the word had got deformed to the point where it was being held aloft as the new elixir of our mental health but that wasn't, to my mind, its proper interpretation. 

If you think I'm being a pedant, then I'm guilty as charged. But this isn't a case of splitting hairs. No, this is the artificial or uninformed use of language to support something that, supposedly, is transformative of our lives. Perhaps I'm overstating things, but what's wrong with expecting people and/or companies to know the meaning of things if they're going to invite such a hyperbolic overstatement?

My point is?

Language is everything.

Actually, that's not my point but something that Stephen Jenkinson goes out of his way to illuminate in his (to my mind) ground-breaking book, Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble — see this

Ju, come on that's lazy.

It is. I admit it. It's lazy simply to quote Jenkinson and have done with it. But isn't that what we all do? We want to make our point and so, having read a book, watched a speaker or immersed ourselves in (say) a retreat, we think we can stand erstwhile on their shoulders and quote them and that's it. Point made. Done. Game, Set and Match. 

At this stage, I could name a whole host of people who I've heard prayed in aid but just rewind your own passage of time, and try to recall a period where you read something and whatever the reason, it was like you had become that person and their so-called theory.

And, again, your point is? 

What do you think?

Isn't that what we should all be inviting into our hearts to deal with whatever is the most pressing issue of our lives, economy or world-situation?

I think it is.

In fact, the more time I spend with books — yes, I love to read — the more it is I begin to deeply question my own narrative. 

Is it mine or simply a synthesis of everything I've ever read?

What do I actually think?

So, forget the boilerplate stuff and, please, start being: a) more enquiring of the language; and b) more considerate of your own, personal view of the world (however that's conceived) and not just what you've read or heard elsewhere — no matter the age or authenticity of the person you're currently in love with.

Short and sweet today.

Back to the coffee and music



If you're able to support my work through patronage then you can either do so via Patreon or buying me a virtual coffee ☕. 


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