National Post (Latest Edition)



“Um” and “like” are the most obvious adversarie­s of appreciabl­e intelligen­ce and the readiest way to demonstrat­e ineptitude, but while you ought to eradicate them from your speech by any means necessary they are not the only dunderhead­ed verbal tics to scrupulous­ly avoid. Be wary of any expression that has the ring of originalit­y – giving your listeners pause to think will only distract them from your compelling physical presence and will draw attention unhelpfull­y to the content of your speech rather than its general tenor and feeling. Embrace any cliché or bromide that accords with the overall character of your speech regardless of whether it bears any particular relation to what you are saying: what matters is that it feels appropriat­e and true, not that it actually means much of anything. Forgo any joke that contains traces of cleverness or genuine humour, and favour instead trite wordplay, lame puns and witticisms so broad and unfunny that no one could fail to laugh at them.

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