Monday, February 28, 2011
A monologue is where one person talks and others listen. Hence the "mono" in the word meaning one. A dialogue is where two people are talking. Hence the use of the "di" in the word meaning two. A monologue is not interactive. Only the speaker works while the listener remains passive and only listens. In a dialogue both people talk but only one at a time. You do two things. You talk and then actively listen. I like the example of a tennis match where the ball moves from one side of the court to the other side. The ball is only in one court at a time. With a good dialogue only one person talks at a time. The participants take turns. While one person is talking the other person listens. I said all of that to say this. We have become a nation of "over-talkers" where people start talking before the other person is finished. I am afraid that we have learned this from the talking heads. We have learned it from MSNBC, CNN and Fox News. Check it out. The people they have on their panels are serial over-talkers. They can't shut up if their life depended on it. I laugh when this happens because without fail the first person who was talking who gets interrupted by an over-talker will immediately say, "Now I let you talk and all I ask is that you let me speak." The immediate response is for the offending party is to go on the attack as if the second person has exposed a weakness and somehow the over-talker is winning. I think that it has more to do with civility. Good manners. Being polite. I also believe that over-talkers are inherently stupid.