Tag Archives: words

Wordplay

Haven’t updated the site in a bit because I’m in the process of attempting to move my content to a different provider! Transporting things have been a little trickier than expected, hence the long delay. 

I just can’t resist posting this gem from Zadie Smith, though. It’s an adapted excerpt from a speech she gave about Obama’s power to “speak the language” of any crowd he addresses. Those of you who have read Gladwell will recognize the phenomenon she describes as “code switching. Not to drivel all over the page, but this is really a great piece filled with excellent wordplay and poignant insight. Enough from me- just go and read it. Here’s an excerpt in which she laments the loss of her “double voice”: 

Recently my double voice has deserted me for a single one, reflecting the smaller world into which my work has led me. Willesden was a big, colorful, working-class sea; Cambridge was a smaller, posher pond, and almost univocal; the literary world is a puddle. This voice I picked up along the way is no longer an exotic garment I put on like a college gown whenever I choose—now it is my only voice, whether I want it or not. I regret it; I should have kept both voices alive in my mouth. 

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