Bob Fisher Travel Journalism and Editorial Services

“Wayfarer, keep looking back.” — a Swahili saying

“It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance … and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.” — Henry James

“Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.” — Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

“I have wandered all my life, and I have also travelled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfilment.” — Hilaire Belloc, French-born English essayist and writer of travelogues (1850-1953

Visit my main travel literature site where you will find in-depth and content-rich articles, podcasts, photographs;and links to many travel resources

The Philosophical Traveller:
Taking the long way home

Here's looking at you ... and me



The Effective Use of Language

Throughout my professional career I have come to realize that language, whether oral or written, is the essential dynamic in all human interactions.

Furthermore, the effective use of language is fundamental to every successful endeavour, whether it be personal or professional.

Language is what makes us fully human. And yet, language it all its forms — and this includes such modes of communication as non-verbal language, the arts, the emotions, and mathematics — can be our most daunting challenge.

Although we all learn to speak and to write, we do not necessarily speak and write effectively, dynamically, and coherently. Language is a common medium, a skill-based craft, and an art form.

Language and the Individual

Language is the means through which we communicate and understand essential concepts, foremost amongst these is the concept of the self.

Who am I? What are my principal attributes, personal values, beliefs, and character strengths? How can I best enhance and use them to achieve what I want, and to reach self-realization?

In my work as a teacher for 32 years, as a freelance writer, editor, and as a mentor, I have always endeavoured to help my clients progress from crude rhythms to music.

The “Aerodynamics” of Language and the Human Mind

In many ways, the effective use of language involves common sense and observation.

If you understand how language works and how words convey meaning, you can consciously choose to use language well.

Language is like flying and that is why I often have chosen a crane as a visual symbol. Cranes are large, complex, and graceful birds that for millennia have inspired awe and admiration. A crane in full flight is an incredible sight. I like to use the flight of cranes as an analogy for achieving effective language. Given their size, cranes must use their “talents and attributes” effectively in order to achieve flight.

To launch itself, a crane typically runs into the wind on its very long and strong legs to achieve the necessary lift. Once aloft, it can fly as fast as 84 kilometres an hour. And once a desired altitude is reached, the crane uses thermals to soar and to conserve energy.

Initially, achieving effective language requires encountering some resistance, expending energy, and engaging in conscious thought (running into the wind) but gradually the “habit” of effective language becomes self-perpetuating and part of the subconscious.

The effective use of language can become part of an individual's daily mode of living, learning, and working. Effective language can provide the thermals that initiate, support, and maintain individual achievement. I am a lateral thinker and believe that this mode of thinking is often as effective as linear, sequential thinking.

I use the lateral thinking mode in both cognitive and affective ways. I strive to integrate reasoning and feeling; in fact I believe that feelings are the primary and fundamental form of reasoning.

We have emotional reactions because we have an awareness that operates on a subconscious level especially.s

And finally, the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things are principal themes in all my writing. In my experience, travel is all about these two concepts and thus the most experiential form of education.

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