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Hi everyone.
Words don't come easy to me.
Immortal "Words",
that record was a hit in 1982,
F.R. David, Tunisian-born singer,
sold 8 million copies.
8 million!
That's a lot of people who believe
words don't come easy to them.
And anyone who's ever stared at a blank sheet of paper,
wishing that it would fill with the words they need to communicate,
or who's tried to communicate a concept,
you've tried to reassure somebody
and ended up giving offense.
Words are not easy
But we human beings are linguistic animals.
Words are everything for us.
They define our reality:
a table, a microphone,
a speaker,
who we are,
what we do,
everything is defined in words.
Go back 500 years and say, "car".
"Car"?
But today, we have "saloon",
we have "four-by-four",
we have "coupe"
(Laughter)
Words evolve with us.
As our society evolves, so our language evolves.
As our language evolves, we evolve.
Words have innate power as well.
Now, people understood this, and for a long time
knowledge was only given from the mouth of the master to the ear of the student.
This is not an efficient way for humanity to transfer knowledge.
One tsunami, one earthquake, one plague, one famine,
and whole bodies of knowledge that have built up over centuries
vanish from the face of the earth
In fact, we're still trying to figure out a lot about ancient civilisations
because they didn't write anything down.
It would have been a lot easier if they left a handbook behind them.
We might actually know what the pyramids were for today.
Because we have written language,
because we can write things down,
we can communicate knowledge across our generations.
If I want to learn chess,
I can pick up a book written by a grand master a hundred years ago,
and learn how he played chess.
Encased in that volume is all his triumphs, his failures,
his successes, his moments of glory.
And it all comes to me in the time it takes me to read that book.
Book.
You all remember what a book is, right?
I know it's the Internet and Twitter and Facebook
but we all do still remember what a book looks like:
it's not a flat screen, it actually got paper in it.
If we want to communicate like that,
if we can communicate our knowledge through books,
we can become essentially immortal.
All of us can pick up the Epics of Homer.
Although he's now dust,
we can still see the world through his eyes as we read those epics.
We can have access to the flights of fantasy of Tolkien,
the tales of Shakespeare,
the spine-chilling stories of Bram Stoker,
they are all there for us to access whenever we choose.
The power of words communicates us that.
And that we can see how language evolves
by the language they have used and how we use it differently.
However, in today's digital society,
we seem to be devolving language
rather than evolving language.
We now use 3-letter acronyms for many things!
I've actually had people, in a conversation,
when I've said something,
tell me, "lol"
(Laughter)
You've what?
(Laughter)
lol?!
When I was young,
my mother chastised me terribly for lolling,
because it means to walk indolently.
A pennant lolls on upon a mast, when there is no breeze!
When I laugh out loud,
when I communicate that I'm laughing out loud,
there is this raucous effervescent laughter that bubbles out through me
and comes out and has the other person,
it pulls the mint to my mirth
and has them enjoy it with me.
lol?!
(Laughter)
How does that communicate it?
If you want people to understand what you're saying,
say what you mean!
And words give you that power.
James Flynn in the US in 2008
did a study:
preschoolers born into professional families
had a vocabulary of around 2,000 words;
those in middle class families, 1,200;
those in families on welfare, 600.
Your power over words is your power over your life
They define not just you and your reality,
but they can actually determine your social economic success
and status in life.
When I was editor of a business magazine,
I interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs.
Some of them could not sign a contract unless they put an X on the bottom.
Hugely successful people but they could not read and write.
And they would hide that inability under streams of profanity,
roughness, gruffness and the distancing from their staff
Why?
Because those who have mastery over words,
we see as successful.
We see them as intelligent
Why?
Because knowledge is transmitted through words, through writing.
So those who are repositories of it,
who are well read,
are seen as being intelligent and smart
and those who don't,
despite their financial successes
and material wealth,
are not.
It is a stigma they carry.
But there is a remedy:
you can learn to master words.
You read.
You remember what that was like, right?
When I was four,
I was a freak.
I was an absolute freak of nature.
I used to read the newspaper before I went to kindergarten.
My parents despaired.
Growing up on a council estate,
as somebody who reads the newspaper before they go to school
is not easy.
Especially when I was - believe it or not,
I was actually shorter than I am now -
I was lucky though,
because my father had a large number of books at home.
Not because he was into reading,
but they matched the furniture perfectly.
NHow I would pull down volumes off the shelf to read,
but I struggled
because it wasn't two lines before I hit a word I didn't know.
So I used to ask my parents,
"What does this word mean?
What does that word mean?
and didn't take many hours for them to get tired of that game.
So my father pulled down this big dusty dictionary off the shelf
and handed it to me and showed me how to use it.
And it was like he gave me the key to the city!
All this knowledge!
All this accumulated wisdom all over these shelves
was mine for the taking.
And I spent a huge amount of time digesting that stuff.
My mother would say, ''Go out and break things with your friends!"
(Laughter)
But no, I was locked up in the world of words.
Now words, like I said, have power.
You can have power over your lives.
by improving how you master words.
Master words, you master reality,
you master your destiny,
because everything we do is framed in words
and referenced in words.
When I was in the insurance world,
my job was to be the guy
who found that one sentence
in your extremely thick insurance policy
that said, "I'm sorry sir, we can't pay your claim."
I was not a popular person.
Well I was with the bosses
because I was particularly good at doing that.
But it wasn't what I wanted to do.
And one day,
I had clawed my way all the way up
to senior management in the corporate world,
and one day, my wife said to me
"There's a little pink line on this pregnancy test,
we're going to become parents."
Wow!
That was a hell of a day!
Because I had to change my life!
How could I follow,
how could I look my daughter in the eye
and tell her, "Follow your dream",
when I hadn't done it myself
because my dream was to be a writer.
That's why I had spent so much time locked in words
So I handed in my resignation
and decided I was going to follow my dream.
And that's what I did.
I took an assistant journalist position.
Not easy to do!
Top of the food chain, bottom of the food chain.
Big difference, new life
But I was following my dream!
And 3 years later,
I was editor in chief.
I managed writers,
I managed the design studio,
I had 15 publications that I was personally responsible for.
For most writers, that is as good as it gets!
You don't get much better than that.
Now my father told me I was nuts when I quit my corporate job,
and I kind of believed him.
When I was editor in chief,
reached the top of where I could get,
and I quit again,
my father thought I was completely loopy,
certifiable,
I think he was just about ready for an intervention!
But I did it because I found I had a dream within a dream!
Oooh, spooky!
That dream was to be my own boss.
So I opened my own communication company,
and a year later in business,
I was doing business across 4 continents.
For large companies, for small companies,
helping people master words for their communications,
for their corporate communications,
even for their essays
Just helping people.
I loved it!
It was fantastic!
I'd lived my dream!
And then, my father, on a summer holiday this year,
as we all sat around the pool,
he hugged me and he said, "Son, I'm proud!"
He could have said it 37 years ago,
but let's give him the benefit of the doubt
that he'd got there in the end.
Words have intense power.
Intense power!
Tell somebody you love
how much you love them.
And watch them fill up!
Tell somebody you no longer love them
and watch them twist in pain!
Be careful what you say,
words have huge power.
Words are a very very powerful thing!
If you tell yourself you're going to be successful
and you say it every single day,
you will believe it.
You will do it, you will achieve,
because you will overcome!
You've got to stop that little voice in your head
that says, "You cannot!"
Impossible is nothing.
You can do whatever you need to do.
You just need to master the voices and to hear the right words.
If you can do that, you can do anything.
Now, what I'd like you to do, just for a second,
to help you along this journey,
because it is a journey,
-- The Oxford English dictionary makes a guestimate,
a guestimate,
because they have no idea really how many words are in English language,
just far too many --
They make a guestimate that there is about
a quarter of a million unique words
and the average college graduate,
the peak of our educational achievement
uses about 20,000,
which is about, on a level,
with us human using 10% of our brains.
Wow! What a species!
What a species!
And we're proud of it!
"I use 10% of my brain."
While the other 90% sits in neutral.
The more you master words,
the richer your experience with life will become.
Words are a gateway.
They're there to allow you
you've sat here today to listen to people speak
and talk, and communicate to you,
to fire off new ideas into your brains
that you take home with you.
That's what it's all about!
And the more words you know,
the more power you have over words,
the easier that will become,
the easier you will communicate those ideas to others,
the quicker they would become reality.
Now I just want you --
if you think this is something hard,
I just want you to close your eyes for a second.
Just a second!
Just close your eyes!
Dark, isn't it?
(chuckles)
Imagine the word 'Impossible':
see it there, big and bold,
'You cannot do'
'It is impossible'
'You cannot'
'You will not'
'Ut is impossible'.
Now I want you to put an apostrophe,
that little tick between the 'I' and the 'm'.
And it becomes "I'm possible".
And if one little apostrophe can change things
from "impossible" to "I'm possible",
imagine what 250,000 words can do.
And that's not even counting the question marks
Words are a journey.
Learning them and mastering them
is a journey.
Life is a journey.
the more you master words, the more your life will be easier
I hope today you'll go out there and take that first step.
Because it's not impossible,
you are possible.
Thank you.
(Applause)
コツ:単語をクリックしてすぐ意味を調べられます!

読み込み中…

【TEDx】TEDxValletta - Justin Tonna - The Wonderful World of Words

6514 タグ追加 保存
Hhart Budha 2014 年 6 月 13 日 に公開
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