Happy Friday! Today’s Dictionary.com Word of the Day is Psittacism. Originating around 1895, it is Latin for “parrot”. Polly may “want a cracker” but is it a cracker he really wants or just attention?
Though we may not use this word today, we are all familiar with a plethora of examples…those annoying platitudes that rattle around in our head. Think catch phrase, cliche, slogan or talking points and you get the the picture. It’s what we say when we don’t know what to say. Manipulative masters use psittacisms to sway, entice or elicit fear. How often have we heard the phrase, “if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes true.”
Most of us can rattle off a psittacism or two, but the wise will challenge, debate or expound on these rote assumptions. Oft repeated psittacisms can shut down intelligent debate.
“It was all for the best.” Well, I suppose that depends on one’s definition of “best”.
“Wait an hour after eating before getting into the water.” Why? Who knows? And yet, when at the seashore many of us will think twice before taking a dip right after lunch!
“They’re coming after your guns…” Hasn’t happened yet…and likely won’t, but many people continue to cling to this talking point, hunkering down in fear of the impending “they”.
I know I’ve been guilty of psittacisms when I repeat something I’ve heard just to fill space. It’s all just meaningless noise! True communication requires thoughtfulness and open dialogue.
You can’t speak your mind if you’re using a script! ~ kat 2016
Have a great weekend! May it be filled with great conversation and enlightening insights!
a few Haiku…
like a Mother’s do”s and don’t’s,
haunt the guilty.
Smug bible thumpers
drone vapid psittacisms…
Actions speak louder.
Catchy talking points,
When fools use psittacisms,
There is no debate!
kat – 11 March 2016