Friday 13 September 2013

A Speech to Write

I have been invited to make a speech next week. That is a relatively rare occurrence, so naturally, I start with a (mental) literature search.

 A corner of my mental library

The first thing my mind settles on is Gussie Fink-Nottle's speech at the Market Snodsbury Grammar School Prize Giving.  This must rate as one of the greatest passages of comic writing in the language, but I scarcely want to emulate Gussie.

The late, great, P G Wodehouse

Then the name King came to mind.  Not Martin Luther King, I'm afraid, but Clive King.  Lou's speech in Stig of the Dump is another classic, but again not one I would want to copy.  

My highbrow literary tastes

After all, I will be addressing an audience of academics.

An audience of academics hanging on my every word (fantasy #3542)

With a vague feeling of gloom, I thought I might have to do all my own work; and then a friend pointed me at these two fantastic resources.

One is an academic sentence generator, that produces wonderful results such as: 
The linguistic construction of normative value(s) is, and yet is not, the discourse of pedagogical institutions.
This is clearly the stuff for the occasion, and I realised my problems were nearly solved. 

More useful still, however (though arguably slightly less entertaining), is the Postmodern Generator, which will write the whole thing for me, in this style:
1. Narratives of stasis
“Sexual identity is fundamentally a legal fiction,” says Sartre. Thus, Hubbard[1] holds that we have to choose between capitalist discourse and preconstructive situationism.
The characteristic theme of the works of Rushdie is the role of the observer as artist. Bataille suggests the use of postcultural nationalism to modify sexuality. However, the example of semanticist theory intrinsic to Rushdie’s Satanic Verses emerges again in The Moor’s Last Sigh, although in a more subcapitalist sense. (... and on it goes)
However, I am not sure I could deliver such a speech with the straight face it would undoubtedly need to carry it off.

I would muse further about this, and indeed the ethics of delivering a speech generated by a random phrase-maker.  But I can't - I have speech to write.

Enough procrastination: I must get to work!

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