For my British Literature class, I had to read Pride and Prejudice. I enjoyed reading it. I specifically found the conversations very interesting. At a couple of points I couldn’t help thinking, “how can they have such meaningful dialogue? How can they think of such sentences so quickly?”
It wasn’t until today that I realized that all of theme spoke like that. They talked like that and thought like that because those around them did the same. They had (forgive the cliché) common forms of conversation.
Elizabeth spoke in a certain way, and Darcy responded in the same way. They matched each others conversation. If Darcy changed forms Elizabeth adjusted to match it. Their conversation was a delicate balance of perception and wit.
In our society you can barely call our daily chatter “a delicate balance of perception and wit” but we follow the same rules Elizabeth and Darcy did.
We can deftly change topics and our style of communicating without a moment’s thought. We follow each others forms of talking. If someone is talking seriously and on serious topics we can do the same, and switch if the mood switches. We can also talk complicated if we wish (well, some can).
But, if someone switches to immature or inappropriate talk, many of us can adjust to that perfectly fine. We can follow that form just as easily as the others. You know the conversation form I speak of . . .
Should we degrade to this kind of conversation? Should we be able to adjust smoothly between all kinds of forms of conversation? Or, should we be able to guard ourselves from certain, immature conversations and topics?
I know I can get silly when I converse, but when the topic switches to anything inappropriate or immature I usually turn off. I simply become quiet and separate myself from it; sometimes mentally, sometimes physically. I see no lasting value in conversations like that. Do you?