06.03.10 The Art of the Conversation

There is beauty in an elegantly constructed sentence, or an artful turn of phrase that is lost in the world of text messaging and twitter.

How would Shakespeare have condensed Romeo’s sonnet to Juliet to140 characters?

It might have gone something like:

There’s a light in the window, it’s Juliet looking like the sun.

She’s hot… I love her to distraction!

While the message is delivering similar information, all subtle nuances of the language have been lost. The depth and form of the original words is no longer magical. It’s a fact not a fantasy, not a love sonnet, not something to be remembered for 419 years.

Some may think, short, sharp and to the point… what’s wrong with that? I agree, a text message is a great way to get a piece of quick information, but it does not take the place of a real conversation. I use all forms of social media all the time for many different reasons – but not in place of a conversation. While LinkedIn encourages “comunicating” with your contacts, nothing takes the place of a real time conversation.  As we are getting more and more removed from “real life” it’s time to remember that until we become a telepathic race, we do still need to speak to each other … Skype is almost as good as face to face conversation!

For anyone interested in great wordmanship…here is the original sonnet… from the pen of the Bard himself

The Balcony Scene (Act 2, Scene 2)

[Capulet's orchard.]

ROMEO [Coming forward.]:

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon

Who is already sick and pale with grief

That thou her maid art far more fair than she.

Be not her maid, since she is envious.

Her vestal livery is but sick and green,

And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.

It is my lady! O, it is my love!

O, that she knew she were!

She speaks, yet she says nothing.

What of that? Her eye discourses; I will answer it.

I am too bold; ’tis not to me she speaks.

Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven

Having some business, do entreat her eyes

To twinkle in their spheres till they return.

What if her eyes were there, they in her head?

The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars

As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven

Would through the airy region stream so bright

That birds would sing and think it were not night.

See how she leans her cheek upon her hand!

O, that I were a glove upon that hand,

That I might touch that cheek!