In a book by Paul Boller, the author tells a story about Woodrow Wilson. One of his cabinet members praised him for his short speeches. He then asked Wilson how long it took him to write a speech. “It depends,” said Wilson, “If I am to speak ten minutes I need a week for preparation, if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now.”

-Michael Shannon, Preaching May/June 2003


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Communicating
with clarity is a challenging endeavor. Consider these supposedly
true citations and responses between airline pilots and mechanics:

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
M: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
M: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
M: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
M: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: IFF inoperative.
M: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
M: Suspect you’re right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
M: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
M: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
M: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

_______________

J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.


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Recently some keen wits have distributed some translations for phrases used at work. For instance:

1) A keen analyst: Thoroughly confused.
2) Accepts new job assignments willingly: Never finishes a job.
3) Alert to company developments: An office gossip.
4) Conscientious and careful: Scared.
5) Consults with co-workers often: Indecisive, confused, and clueless.
6) Consults with supervisor often: Very annoying.
7) Delegates responsibility effectively: Passes the buck well.
8) Demonstrates qualities of leadership: Has a loud voice.
9) Enjoys job: Needs more to do.
10) Gets along extremely well with superiors and subordinates alike: A coward.
11) Quick thinking: Offers plausible excuses for errors.
12) Visionary: Cannot handle paperwork or any project that lasts less than a week.

_______________

J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.


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Have
you ever run across this piece of advice on communication from the late Steve
Allen: “In promulgating your esoteric cogitations or articulating your superficial
sentimentalities, and amicable philosophical or psychological observations, beware
of platitudinous ponderosity. Let your conversational communications possess a
clarified conciseness, a compacted comprehendedness, coalescent consistency, and
a concatenated cogency, eschew all conglomerations of garrulity, jejune babblement
, and asinine affectations. Let your extemporaneous descantings and unpremeditated
expiations have intelligibility and voracious vivacity, without rodomontade thrasonical
bombast. Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity, pompous prolificacy, ventriloquial
verbosity, and vain vapidity. In others words, say what you mean, mean what you
say, and don’t use big words.”

_______________

J.
Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati,
OH.


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In a
book by Paul Boller, the author tells a story about Woodrow Wilson.
One of his cabinet members praised him for his short speeches. He
then asked Wilson how long it took him to write a speech. “It
depends,” said Wilson, “If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week
for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour,
two days; if an hour, I am ready now.”

_______________

J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.


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