Friday, March 24, 2006

Book Readings and 4-letter words

Last night I went to a book reading by an author I had discovered a year ago. It was great. He is just as good of a speaker as he is a writer. I had never been to a book reading before but it's nice to hear the author read with the emotion they intended for the story.

He was funny, charsmatic and thought provoking. I enjoyed it. His humorous yet didactical writing/speaking managed to keep me entertained and engaged. During the course of the evening he read an article he recently wrote. Today I found the article to send to Ben. As I read through the article I realized he had made some changes when he read it last night. He left out the cuss words.

Now, mild cussing used appropriately really doesn't bother me. What bothered me was that he wrote the cuss words but didn't speak them. If you are going to write something in a public forum I think you should be willing to say it out loud. It seemed to be slightly two-faced.

But then I got to thinking about some of the key points of public speaking. One major thing that any public speaker has to consider is their audience. The book reading was conducted at an extremely conservative university. Had the author used the cuss words in his readings many people probably would have gotten hung up on the 2-3 words and missed the point of the article. This would have done no one any good.

So maybe leaving those words out of the reading was the best thing. What do you think?

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