How Important is Being Eloquent?

In today’s day, eloquence is noted, but not unfortunately no longer widely required. Eloquence was once the sign of a truly educated person. However, with the buzz of social media and texting, people tend to lose any shred of eloquence in order to get their ideas down quickly. For instance, when sending a text, most people forget to add in punctuation. Most people would send a message like “Hey what are ya doing” instead of  “Hi, Julia. What are you up to today?” While the second option sounds nicer, most people are more focused on getting to the point rather than using eloquent sentence structure. I value eloquence in a person’s speech. There could be this beautiful person you know who seems perfect in every single way, and then she will open her mouth, and you no longer care about her beauty because she sounds uneducated. When a person does not speak well, she is immediately less attractive. When one is educated, people will want to listen to what you have to say because the conversation will have style and meaning. For instance, at the end of the semester there were elections in my fraternity’s chapter. I went into elections excited to vote for my friend to become in charge of the pledges because she was very nice. Then I listened to all of the candidates speak. The last candidate had such an incredible speech and convinced me to vote for her. My friend was not able to put her thoughts into words to grab anyone in the audience. The way one speaks has an effect on others and their opinions will change based on what you put out for the world. Even though people do not think about it, it is a subconscious tendency to enjoy listening to a person who has an eloquent way with words rather than listening to a person who cannot string words together.  

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2 thoughts on “How Important is Being Eloquent?

  1. Hello Emily! I really like your comment here about the importance of eloquence. In fact, I believe that was a strong contributing factor to the Obama administration–in the fact that his ability to create and deliver a speech was positively received by a majority of listeners. That is also very fascinating that your opinion was swayed by the influence of rhetoric in your fraternity’s elections. I believe that is the bedrock of what we have been discussing in this class–the power of persuasion and what it can do for a society, or even just an individual. My question to you is, do you think that there should be greater emphasis on public speaking in schools, particularly high school? In my high school, for example, a public speaking courses was actually a graduation requirement for every single student. Do you think any such plans should be mandated in other schools across the country?

  2. I agree that eloquence certainly has an effect on how we perceive people. We subconsciously are more drawn toward people who speak well, just as you said about the candidate you voted for. But I also then catch myself wondering if putting such value on eloquence demeans cultural speech patterns and dialects? I must admit I prefer eloquent speakers, but then I ask myself if that means I am judging those who are not necessarily less intelligent but simply poorer speakers. Some people choose to retain their cultural speech, which is not generally deemed eloquent by society at large, or they do not have access to the type of education that would teach them eloquence. I don’t know the answer, but it’s something I think about.

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