What Would Dale Carnegie Think About Speech Patterns Today?

April 19, 2014

ID-10099092Dale Carnegie always felt that we are judged each day by our speech. He said our words reveal our refinements; they tell the discerning listener of the company we have kept; they are the hallmarks of education and culture.

In an excerpt from his book, How to Develop Self Confidence & Influence People by Public Speaking, he says:

We have only four contacts with the world, you and I. We are evaluated and classified by four things: by what we do, by how we look, by what we say, and by how we say it. Yet many a person blunders through a long lifetime, after he leaves school, without any conscious effort to enrich his stock of words, to master their shades of meaning, to speak with precision and distinction. He comes habitually to use the overworked and exhausted phrases of the office and street. Small wonder that his talk lacks distinction and individuality. Small wonder that he often violates the accepted traditions of pronunciation, and that he sometimes transgresses the very canons of English grammar itself. I have heard even college graduates say, “ain’t,” and “he don’t,” and “between you and I.” And if people with academic degrees gracing their names commit such errors, what can we expect of those whose education has been cut short by the pressure of economic necessity?

Of course, Dale Carnegie wrote these words many years ago. No doubt, he’d be appalled by the direction our common vernacular has taken in this day and age. The point is you need to be conscious of the words and phrases you use in everyday language—especially when conversing with superiors and other people that might have an impact on your career path. Sometimes “it ain’t easy,” but it’s definitely worth the effort!

This post is brought to you by Dale Carnegie Training of the Northwest, providers of professional development and management course. Please connect with us on Facebook!

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