Academic journal article Hecate

Twenty Words a Day

Academic journal article Hecate

Twenty Words a Day

Article excerpt

Was it possible to get through a day speaking twenty words or less? That was the question she wanted to answer, today, of all days in the open air of a Sunday afternoon.

Ok so the eight-year-old boy next door had visited to borrow some icing sugar and again to bring back what was left. And she'd said a few words to her two cats by mistake but she had managed to get ordering a coffee in her local cafe down to just: Flat white please ... Thanks. And it was a beautiful day, this Sunday with the rain gone, a clear July day and a good book with her to read.

The twenty words a day were all part of trying to be part of the '00s. Because she had this niggling feeling that she just wasn't really cutting it these days. It went like this. If you can restrain yourself to say only what needs to be said then you have rationalised your language into the least possible amount of words to be used. So if you did that you could be free. If the prime minister could use it on jobs she could use it on words.

emotions

The problem was that it didn't take emotions into account. What to do about them? They rose and fell, expanded, fluctuated according to intuition, hormones, god knows what else. Hmm. If she could just get to feeling, or at least expressing nothing like the PM, then she'd have rationalised that too. Hard, but worth the effort she thought.

silence

Hideously important. Like you couldn't afford to buy CDs any more because of the GST, so silence was important. The ABC was there, Radio National, but not for long. That'd be gone. She didn't bother turning on the radio because she had to start to get used to not having it in the future. …

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