MasterTalk: A very simple idea
© Al Turtle 2005
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MasterTalk is any sentence that implies there is a single correct way of seeing reality.
So what, after all is said and done, is this thing called MasterTalk? I believe that because of some features of our language system we can speak things that do not exist. This may be true for some other languages, too.
I see MasterTalk as a way of speaking from the omniscient point of view – a view which exists in literature, but not in real life. I believe it sends a purposeful, or accidental, meta-message that is threatening to anyone who is listening and who disagrees. “If you do not agree, you are in for a fight.”
I’ve found that the more a listener finds themselves in disagreement, or divergence, with the expressed statement, the more the threat is felt. Thus I found that with MasterTalk disagreeing becomes unsafe. I am used to the idea that MasterTalk is one step before verbal strife (argument), which is one step before physical strife (battery), which is one step before war.
Because of its extremely common and repeated occurrence in our society, I believe it to be one of the primary tools of achieving conformity. (For examples, listen to Talk Radio or political speeches.) I see it achieving an appearance of “agreement” by suppressing opposing points of view. And by so doing, it hinders the development of viable solutions to the problems that face people.
However, I think MasterTalk is just a way of speaking, and the same message can be sent dialogically. If my goal is to encourage people to share all points of view, why would I not want to remove all MasterTalk, if I can.
I believe the best way to remove MasterTalk is to Mirror the sentence while converting it to its dialogical form. As most often the speaker is not aware of the existential mis-structure of their own sentence, this mirroring usually is unnoticed, I’ve found. When people speak to me, I’ve learned to do this almost unconsciously. When I am listening to friends speak with each other, I can get quite nervous when they start to use MasterTalk – especially if they are not Mirroring each other.