While the objectives of CC4 are plain when laid out, as I had sat to draft my speech, it set me wondering as to how we have really left behind such basic concepts of High School Grammar lessons. So, as an annexure to my CC4 speech ( which is HERE) I am also presenting an elaborate discussion on the crux of CC4 - the refresher that we much need to give an edge to our day to day communication skills. To keep the discussion strung to a theme, I've used examples in shape of telling a story along the theme of Diwali in India.
Without much ado, let's dive into it!
A very Good Morning, dear Toastmasters and Guests!
Silence is Golden! But here, unfortunately – “It's only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away!”
Strange are the ways in which you can play with words. An English professor wrote on the board: A woman without her man is nothing. He asked the class to punctuate the sentence.
Some wrote: "A woman, without her man, is nothing."
While some of them wrote: "A woman: without her, man is nothing."
Number 1 – Similes!
A simile is a comparison that uses words "like" or "as". For example: Outside, the infinite flames of the crackers looked like a fountain of water. Inside, I was still lost as a needle in a stack of hay! I was as worried as a student on the night before the exams!
A metaphor is "a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable". Example? Though I was lost and worried, the fire of Toastmaster deadline burnt in me. However, writing a non-fiction speech was not easy; I felt like a fish out of water! Outside, the rows of fairy lights on the balcony were magically transforming the scene from reality into a dream. The evening was dressing up like a new bride and it walked in brightness and glory. I started to feel home-sick like a little girl at the hostel.
Before I get too carried away, here is more of what we are discussing: Rhetorical devices!!
Number 3 - Alliterations!
In alliteration, the initial sounds in words (or in stressed syllables within the words) are repeated in a pleasing or memorable manner.
Since I could not go to my hometown for Diwali, I was feeling dejected and down. I got up and lit the lamps in my balcony. The little lights cheered me up. I wanted to write a brand new blogpost, and I thought I’d name it – Diwali in Delhi!
However, let me not get all caught up in the frenzy for ornamental language. Let me also keep an eye to keep it simple, short and sweet.
Why? Well, think about this. While millions and billions of books that are being written at every corner of the world at every passing moment, one of the most famous lines that was ever written in the history of English Literature is one of six simple, small, mono- syllable words that Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet: “To do, or not to do!”