Platitudes (was Re: Work Attire)

Subject: Platitudes (was Re: Work Attire)
From: "Michael West" <mbwest -at- removebigpond -dot- net -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 10:55:34 +1000

Dick Margulis wrote:

> Polonius's advice to young Laertes (am I
> at least remembering that part right) ...

Touché !

> ... was a string of platitudes that were
> platitudes when Shakespeare wrote
> the speech. That is, they did not
> become platitudes as a result of
> generations of folks reciting them
> after the debut of the play (even if the
> words used to express them became
> cliché that way).

Sure, but the thing about a platitude is not
that it is untrue, but that it is a commonplace
formula that people parrot without thinking.

Polonius also says "Brevity is the soul of
wit" -- and he embeds it in the middle of
a long, silly, inflated speech full of circularity
and affected rhetoric. We laugh because
Polonius is a man who can quote all the rules
of admirable behavior, but exemplifies none
of them. The truth of what he repeats is
completely lost on him -- it's just wind.
He also says "To thine own self be true
... thou canst not then be false to any man"
and proves himslef to be as false a man as
they come. That doesn't mean that his advice
was wrong -- only that he is incapable of
receiving the truth behind the words.

> I stand by my assertion about Polonius.

That he was a BOF? Without a doubt!



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