We are what we say

Steven Fry wrote a piece for Radio Times about his new BBC2 series Fry's Planet Word. The following snippets caught my attention.

Most social groupings of young people have their own private language, catchphrases and nicknames for people and processes.

All that bright individual verbal clothing is put away for the workplace and dull, pretentious verbal suits are worn in their place. Never was the word "suit" less... well... suitable. The memos, meetings and conferences of the workplace are couched in agglomorations of phrases as soulless, bloodless, styleless and depressing as they grey carpets, strip lighting and hessian partitions that constitute their physical environment. Sick-building syndrome is now well understood, sick language syndrome perhaps less so.

We may be what we eat, but we most certainly are what we say.

They reminded me again of the importance of precision listening.