Rand Paul is Correct about the Today’s Rules for Speaking



Senator Rand Paul is correct in asserting that speeches do not carry the same rules of attribution as written material.  If speeches followed the same rules then the speaker would never get past the first sentences.  Much of what is thought has also been thought by someone else.  When written material such as books, journals and the like were the main sources of information, we were trained to cite the source title, date, place of publication and author or editors etc.  However, in the age of cinema and Wikipedia, and Internet, the possibility is very high that someone somewhere has written the same thoughts as you have, (like I am doing now). If the item to be spoken is exactly literal, it may be a good idea to mention the person.  But just because The Rev.Dr. Martin Luther King said, “I have a Dream” does not mean that no one can ever use those four words again.  Although if the reference is to Rev. Dr. King and to the civil rights movement it may be a good idea to mention him and his speech.  Yet, even here a case can be made for the use of allusion in speech whereby we evoke the image of the other person and their words while intentionally not mentioning them by name.  This is a valid technique to tease the mind of the listener to make the needed connection.  Rachel Maddox knows this.  She is a college grad.  She is a published writer.  She is a public speaker.  Her comments about Senator Paul should be taken in the context of her need for publicity and her need to attract audiences for her shows and her book.  This is not to dismiss her questions or demean her objections but it is to place her comments in a wider and interesting context concerning the rules for writing and public speaking today.

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Retired army chaplain, Rotarian, moderately right of center on most issues, big on self reflection and self analysis.

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