Relativity theory in oral communication

How often do we hear people saying in a conversation “Oh yes, okay. But that was actually irrelevant.” – or we are actually the ones replying to our interlocutor by using  exactly that phrase. Certainly not infrequently. It is the magic and handy phrase that somehow fits everywhere and fills the gap between the speakers – especially, when they are looking for some extra time in order to “dig up” their next answer or when preparing their argumentation.

In this connection, one can often cross that kind of phrase both in everyday life but also in the university – where things are getting really “seriously” when formulating things, which lack of compatability in regard to the discussion context  and people often go ape when not “hitting the target” with their ultimate argumentation. Beyond question, a good argumentation isn’t a simple act; I mean, there is a lot effort in there and many people set all their mastery just to convince the listener – lawyers are probably the best example at this point. Moreover, language per se constitutes an extremely complex tool to handle and of course spoken language compared with written language gathers completely different characteristics in regard to – among others – it’s production and perception. But interlocutors (or just speakers participating in a dialogue) won’t even “forgive” that simple fact. As a matter of fact, some of them won’t even bother asking their conversation partner what he or she actually meant. Not everyone of course, but a high rate -thus, making it a phenomenon worthwhile writting about.

The concept of relativity in a broader sense and not in regard to philosophy or science, but as an “independent” word, which once came to life and will probably sometime in the future die (so do many words either by vanishing competely or by being replaced by another new word, which serves the modern needs of society better), constitutes for it’s actual meaning a fascinating word; a word and a concept one cannot “touch”. Relativity enables everything, because everything can just be relevant to everything, however there must be a reason for the existence of irrelevance and probably a need too? Besides, people need to distinct things from another and considering that, the explanation could be simple – or not (?).

But still, in regard to the oral formulation of ideas, relativity can be real cruel, boosting people to loneliness or exclusion. People love being judgmental and in fact one will probably find himself totally mind blown(ed) to discover that among others religion(s) offered and still does the perfect conditions for people to practise their “judging skills”; if you’re loyal enough you surely won’t be judged in the same way you would if not being that loyal – though I can assure you that there is absolutely no escape from being judged. Religion and church represent just a good example of how easy people can be judgemtal. However judging actions or people doesn’t necessarily constitute a less smart thing to do, but on the contrary it’s a process, which can improve people’s perception about things and facilitate their existence. Crucial are only factors like who criticizes, with what arguments (returning to the forementioned speech and oral issue) and of course the main issue being criticized or judged. The problem is that the “fish starts stinking” when people believe they can judge arbitrary without argumenting. And it’s a complete paradox claiming something like this, because in the next paragraph I am gonna support the thesis that there is actually no need for judging things considering the fact that everything is relative and not absolute. The only need for judging things is our need to proceed (in a wider sense); proceeding by coming to a conclusion. Except for that there isn’t really a right or wrong thing to do – I’d rather say there is a really long scale of more or less suitable or successful decisions to make; and this statement already puts things in more relative bases.

Relativity can be really frightening. The fact that everything is possible at any moment surely doesn’t seem very appealing – especially when everything today grounds in very specific concepts (etc. way of life). Most people would choose the familiar and tested way to go and this is partially justified considering the lack of time and will probably. However calculating and weighing each information and placing it somewhere in that long scale mentioned before, surely constitutes an exhausting thing to do. On the other hand it’s the most suitable process to reach a decision – usually the best decision in regard to one particular situation. I suppose the need for (only) choosing between right and wrong saves time and energy. However realizing that there are also other in-between tones in human thinking and oral expression would actually simplify things by leading to a more receptive way of understanding things and  thus receiving a wider range of ideas.

However orality and spoken language make an instant “information-weighting-process” rather complicated, considering time limits or spontaneity. For that reason not everything that is said can always be completely understood – the speaker hasn’t enough time to plan his speech or answer. The listender on the other hand should be aware of that fact and try to alienate every judgemental attitude – at least initially; judgments require good arguments and most ideally time. There is therefore a stupidity in claiming in front of people, what they’ve just said is “irrelevant”; and after all being irrelevant is the new being relevant, considering that there is a bunch of “whatever stuff” out there. Finally one has to trust people more – though I personally know underestimating humanity is much easier in a way, in order to realize that there aren’t just two things to be, but much more.

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