Friday, May 4, 2007

a thousand "Ladies and gentlemen"

It is amazing to hear how young debaters, learning the skill of debating for the first time, had absorbed the bad habits of their predecessors. I do not only mean the dancing and the bouncing while driving their arguments but the profuse use of certain terms and expressions that can easily irritate the ears of the audience after listening to all of them.

In a short speech of 5 to 7 minutes, you would hear a deluge of "ladies and gentlemen" rattled by all 8 debaters. Multiply that by 7 and that's almost an hour of hearing "ladies and gentlemen" used freely all throughout. "At the end of the day" I thought I heard the expression a thousand times.

Another favorite expression which will most likely take the place of "ladies and gentlemen" is "at the end of the day" which I heard 20 times running second to everybody's favorite "ladies and gentlemen".

When their attention was called regarding the obvious and profuse use of "ladies and gentlemen", the new debaters have found another clutch on a new phrase, "at the end of the day".

Needless repetition and redundancy are discouraged anywhere whether in writing or public speaking. An expression should, as much as possible be only used once during the entire speech. Repeating it may not be a very good idea. Saying it more than twice will make you sound like a bore to say the least.

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