Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Banned Quaker words and practices

The list so far:




Passivity/apathy disguised as spirituality
Trivializing words and terms, such as discernment
Watering down or using meaningless concepts
Quoting the poet Hafiz

Would it make a difference if we used the active voice and concrete words and avoided trendoid jargon? How much does language count?


kevin roberts said...

Add "nurture" to your list of words to be banned.

Language is immensely important, because it represents the distillation of thought, which represents the distillation of symbol; not always comprehensively, but nonetheless in a transmittable form potentially less ambiguous than visual or auditory arts.

Modern "Quakerspeak" is too often not used to communicate. Rather, it is used to obscure, to dissemble, to sustain an appearance at variance with substance.

Using an active voice, clearly identifying agents and antecedents, and addressing subject matter directly and unambiguously would assist "Quakerspeak" in returning to its disowned ancestor, "plain speech."

The required change lies in volition rather than vocabulary.

Diane said...


Well said, especially the last sentence. I do think using active voice would help bring back plain speech.