Monday, September 9, 2013

Straight talk: an example (19) – Allen Frances

For educational purposes, we writers should occasionally read, listen to, or view an example of straight talk. It doesn’t matter whether we agree or disagree with the statements – what matters is the way the statements are expressed. This exercise can make us more aware of the evasive diction (sample here) that besets us every day, so we won’t unconsciously imitate it.

An example of straight talk

Allen J. Frances, MD (pictured) is an American psychiatrist best known for having edited the fourth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). The DSM “provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders.”

In a press interview, Dr. Frances reportedly said “there is no definition of a mental disorder. It’s bullshit. I mean, you just can’t define it.”

The Takeaway: We are often startled by straight talk. We react this way because we have become habituated to evasive, pussyfooting, sniveling diction (more samples here). I advise you to occasionally read, listen to, or view some straight talk. It will help you become less likely to passively absorb and unconsciously imitate evasive diction.

See disclaimer.

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