Language Log informs me that today is International Talk Like a Quaker Day, and so I think I’ll take the opportunity to think about plain speech, and what it means to me. I don’t think that thee-ing (not, as Language Log discusses, thou-ing) is really appropriate in the modern age. I’m generally against orthopraxy, and I think that the idea of plain speech is to set you apart not by strangeness, but by clarity, honesty and directness of speech. Continuing to thee really misses the point, as far as I’m concerned.
So, do I speak plainly? I try to. I fail in many ways, though: I certainly respond reflexively with clearly-false absurdities in many cases talking with small-f friends. I think I also, generally speaking, talk too much, and don’t allow time to consider my statements and what I’m responding to.
I’ll take today as a reminder to talk less, and mean more.