Conversation is not an art. It is pieces of information segmented together, hopefully with a little more sense even though it does not have the benefit of being an edited sentences. Much like my blog posts. Huh? Ain't that a kick? Now, I'm making fun of myself which doing a blog about writing.
People who talk rarely make grammatical sentences. And as they speak, they develop a specific code that some can follow, others can't. That is the way of the world. That's why some have the gift of gab, while others just talk and never get to the point.
I had a brief conversation with two people that appeared as if it had a lot of information between the three of us which was conveyed, but it was hard to ascertain what the final outcome was.
Most of it was the environment. We were in a loud bar. There were things going on. Plus, it was hard to know whether each of us should share too much of what we said. It might gets us in a little trouble.
Not enough trouble to be career-threatening. But still, you don't hear every exact thing someone says, even when they say it in a quiet place.
Sometimes people talk very fast, or are boring enough that don't listen.
I hate going out to dinner with someone. Right when some important information is shared, some waiter comes up and interrupts the conversation. By the way, when did that become part of the American server model? Shouldn't you wait until the conversation is lighter between the two people at a table? I would think that would result in a larger tip.
I had a habit of talking over people. My friends hate it, but when you grow up with multiple family members all fighting to speak, you tend to do it.
Plus, some people keep talking and babble.
Yes, I'm talking about you. I write a lot of babble. So, there, it's both of us.
Funny story that happened recently regarding conversation.
At a all-night fast food drive-thru, talking into a speaker system to a faceless guy at a place that rhymes with Jack-In-The-Box, I tried to order extra cheese for my friend who wanted them on his curly fries. The guy on the PA didn't respond. I repeated the extra cheese order. Again, no response. I said it a third time, he said, "I can't put cheese in your drink, dude."
At this point, my friend didn't want his food. He figured it would be spit in. It's not my fault that this guy's G.E.D. was a photoshop fake print-out so he could fulfill a lifelong ambition of working a kitchen grill in the fast food arts. Yes, I was that pissed.
And my friend got soggy tacos that he refused to eat, fed to his dog. Yes, dogs eat anything.
The point is; regardless of what I said, or he heard, the communication breakdown that we had is common enough. Especially when you cannot see the other person to recognize their reactions.
If you look at films, or books, characters always get the correct amount of information from each other regardless if they see each other. I know several times in which I have conveyed an annoyed or tense reaction over the phone, but in reality, I was avoiding running into someone while I paced back and forth with a cell phone. By the way, I've found that I walk more while on the cell phone. Because the rest of my body needs something to do.
So, in terms of dialogue, is it realistic to have two characters talk on a cell phone, send and receive the correct amount of information?
I screw up information all of the time. Screw up e-mail addresses (even when the person is talking right in front of me).
I don't even want to get into my ability to receive directions correctly. Had I not found map quest and internet, I would still be driving around Stevens County on abandon dirt roads with no telephone cable, tall evergreen trees and no sign that anyone had stepped foot in the area for thirty years.
Sports is where communication can be both intuitive and conveyed through verbal skills.
Phil Jackson knows what to say and what not to say. And he gets his point across.
That's why I'm unsure about Erik Spoelstra's coaching of the Miami Heat right now. He seems to convey some of the basketball plays and skills, but tends to overtalk in timeouts which may cause his players to stop listening.
I tend to listen to how people converse with each other. It allows me to hear how people REALLY talk. It doesn't show me where or not each party receives the information correctly, but gives me some detail on who the people are when they speak. And few, if any, speak grammatically. That includes English professors, who tend to butcher the English language when they speak worse than a eighth grade drop-out.
Person 1: "You work in accounting? In a cubicle? You're nuts."
Person 2: "Hey, living the dream, you know?"
Person 1: "Since high school? That's as far as you got?"
Person 2: "Didn't know there was a pop quiz at whose guidance counselor was drinking on the job."
This is a conversation I overhead tonight in the bar. Funny, but not something that you might see in a book. Why? Because writers tend to form grammatically correct sentences. Because it is what editors and readers expect of them.
I wonder if we have higher expectations for ourselves than the reality suggests.