THE CULTURE OF SPEAKING IN PUBLIC
Languages of publication
Egalitarianism in communication (suggested in Hungarian by using familiar second-person forms in addressing all kinds of people), and especially a generally roughened style of speaking, are not the products, carriers, and enhancers of equal proximity but rather those of equal alienation or equal distance. This point must be clearly made. But adherents of mother-tongue cultivation, those who care for the culture of language use, might perhaps do more than that. Indeed, for many people, the carelessness, rudeness, and indecency of their speech are a matter of mere habituation. But as such, they are not only the external reflection of not caring about the other person, the speech partner: they also tend to boost such speaker's behaviour from within. If somebody learns how to 'zip his lip', that is, to look around to see who he is talking to or in the presence of, and curb the spontaneous and unstrained outburst of his emotions, he will perhaps come to check the feeling itself. The 'glaze of civilisation' thus assumed, once it solidifies, might lead him to internal refinement and a reshaping of his habits; eventually it may lead him from himself to the other person, the other people. It is only in that way that he can find his way back to himself.
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