>“I know you’re a daddy now. If the project doesn’t get completed at the earliest, you’ll soon be a Mummy!”
Forceful dialogue is something all of us fancy and rightfully so. It may however border on the amusing, if people make a conscious effort to make grand statements all the time. Like the chap who said in staccato fashion -‘When you gotta shoot, just shoot. Don’t talk’ – the legendary line from The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. He apparently was only egging his buddy on to finish up the work in double time. But even for the mildest cynic, he was probably trying to show off his taste for classics or simply his reverence for quotes. If the author were to be in our friend’s place, he might have taken a meaner route to see that no time was wasted in work and later perhaps had a nice little chat on Sergio Leone and his brand of films, of how Clint Eastwood suited the role and why the lines from the film became history.
What have people achieved by often spewing big lines, famous and otherwise? Once a person becomes predictable in his/her style of talking, it wouldn’t be hard for others to smirk and nod their heads to all he or she utters. The author had asked of an acquaintance, who he had wrongly assumed was a good friend as to why she didn’t bother to stay in touch. Her reply came pat “I’m hermit-like and prefer to remain a recluse! When people need my help, I’m there for them.” Intentions were perhaps true and honest, but the way the words came out simply smacked of pomp. Such lines would probably serve to offend the other person at the least, if he/she were to be slightly more discerning. There’s every chance that people firing punch lines are looked on as having stock ideas in mind and center their conversations on those ideas. Typically they’d visualize the world as revolving around them. Narcissists if you please. The author uses the word, as inflated ego is a very essential ingredient of Narcissism. Their views are generally contrary to reality and tend to be exaggerated.
Using quotes per se is not a mean thing at all, lest the reader begins to assume what he’s reading is a tirade against one liners and quotes. They do act as garnishing to a conversation and help make it spicy. A line referred to as a line has always found favor with audiences. A dialogue which warrants quotes is bound to be an extremely interesting one. There was this gentleman who was talking about how we take ourselves too seriously and that we look at life like we are on battlefield. His talk was agreeable in parts no doubt. What impressed some of us was the way he signed off, quoting Sir Charles Chaplin. “In the end, everything is a gag!” On the contrary, sample this. A bloke who generally felt the world around him was divided in every way was always caught making statements that begin with, “You see there are two kinds of people in this world…” While it cannot be denied that two-kinds-of-people lines are hugely popular, excessive usage of those lines in normal conversations may strip variety off the dialogue.
Without more ado, lets just suffice to say that variety is the spice of language as much as it is of life. Preserve variety and get rid of stereotypes!