Speaking of Speaking to…

“I’d be happy to speak to that topic in a moment,” he said.

“I’d be happy if you spoke about it,” I replied.

I don’t like this parvenu expression “speak to” when its meaning is “speak about.” It feels condescending. And there’s a reason for that. All of the sources I checked agree that if there is a difference between the two – speak to a subject and speak about a subject –  it is that the former implies that the speech will be unanswered. That the hearer’s job is to shut up and listen. There is also a connotation of certainty of knowledge –  i.e., that when you speak to a subject you are speaking as an authority; whereas when you speak about a subject, you are just giving your thoughts.

I may not like it, but “speak to” in this sense is gaining a foothold on the language, particularly among people with college degrees. (Another reason to dislike it.) A Google search of this use of the phrase shows a big upswing lately, but it was virtually unheard of prior to 1990.

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The latest issue of AWAI’s Barefoot Writer

Click HERE to read:

* “This Opportunity Treasure Trove for Writers Makes Other Solopreneurs Green With Envy”

* “Never Again Hang Your Head in Shame After Hitting ‘Send’”

* “Scoring Big in the Niche You’ve Never Heard Of”

* “The Hidden Value in People Who Don’t Need Your Writing and Will Never Hire You”

* And much more!

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parvenu (noun) 

A parvenu (PAR-vuh-noo) is someone who has suddenly gained wealth, influence, or celebrity but does not yet have the prestige, dignity, or manner associated with it. As I used it today: “I don’t like this parvenu expression ‘speak to’ when its meaning is ‘speak about.’”

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An email from JK:

 I met Mark at a WBC lunch and…  15 minutes of sharing with him made me clear on how to be an entrepreneur in a unique way.

 I had the opportunity to meet up with Mark two more times…. Pool cleaning company, real estate for rent, financial advisory, car sales, taxi license, were some of the businesses that I created after this. Some have failed, but most are still active…. The greatest lesson learned is to prepare, fire….

 Today my life is fuller and better. I enjoy more wealth in all areas of my life, more money, more time, more family, more good relationships, more pleasures and rewards, more mental creation. I can state that the… interaction with Mark changed my life….

 I hope to continue on the path of wealth creation and to have many pleasurable trials along the way, to definitely enjoy the journey.

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