click, to go back to the contents of this issue
click, to go back to the contents of this issue

Volume 10, Number 8
11 November 2003

Click, to go back to the contents of this issue


We appreciate feedback from our readers
Browse through the collecton of older issues

Bilkent Etiquette-V: Code of Speech

Here I am with a story today. No no, not a bedtime story but a story of a bad time for me! What am I mumbling here, you might ask; very well, then, here is the story and you use your judgment on why I am telling it to you!
I asked a question in one of my classes the other day, and I turned the floor to one of the smart guys in the class who raised his hand expressing a desire to share his opinions with his class-mates. He started, “Oh, well, I-hhhm, yes, I mean, you know….what I mean is… yeah, you see, well, ugh, aaaaahh, hocam yaaa can I say it in Turkish?”
Put yourself in my place! Appreciating the enthusiasm to express himself, I nodded to him raising my eye-brows. He must have seen the conflict in my affirmation, and still he started creating all kinds of vocal and oral diphthongs but no words, no meaningful pairs of syllabi! “Þey (well) yani (I mean), hani (you see) , iþte (that is), yaa nasýl desem (well, how should I say it?. ).”
Let me share a few pieces of food for thought by Neil Postman here. In his book entitled The End of Education, he says, “We use language to create the world-which is to say, language is not only a vehicle of thought; it is, as Wittgenstein said, also the driver. We go where it leads. We see the world as it permits us to see it. …There is no escaping the fact that when we form a sentence, we are creating a world. We are organizing it, making it understandable, useful. …We are the world makers, and word weavers. That is what makes us smart, and dumb; moral and immoral; tolerant and bigoted. That is what makes us “human.”
Soo? You might ask. “Well”, I would say, “how do you think you can use language better to express yourself more clearly?” Here are some tidbits for you;

  • Do you know that there is a direct correlation between reading more and speaking better?
  • Do you know that there is a direct correlation between effective speaking and good leadership?
  • Do you know that if you can express yourself in your mother tongue proficiently, your chances of expressing yourself well in another language are higher?
  • Do you know that best the orators in the world are also the most well-read people?
    What is the moral of the story and all of the questions above? Yes, you got it right! Read more to speak better, both in your mother tongue and in the language(s) you study. As a Bilkenter, you have a chance to prove it to the world out there that you can do it in at least two languages, that's what's expected of you at the end of your education here. Think about it before you say something!

    Dr. Well Behavior for Everyone

    Click, to go back to the contents of this issue

  • Bilkent News Welcomes Feedback From Readers.
    This newsletter will print letters received from readers.
    Please submit your letters to
    or to the Communications Unit, Engineering Building, room EG-23, ext. 1487.
    The Editorial Board will review the letters and print according to available space.