1: Spoken


How many ways to speak?

We can take a measured, conscious decision about the words we use. More often, we subconsciously mirror the expectations of a situation through an implied but unwritten agreement. We make these choices together, in conversation and dialogue: It’s simply O.K. to say some things, sometimes, and very not O.K. to say those same things, at other times. Or in a different form.

Our most used mode of language, the thing said, the thing heard. What word is the right word? Should I have said that in another way? (Probably.)

There are appropriate and inappropriate words to use, sometimes we know their identity in advance and at other times they catch us by surprise. Sometimes they’re subtle, sometimes it doesn’t matter. Sometimes it matters more than you are aware.

It can take some time to learn the codes.

We don’t have difficulties, we have challenges.

And it’s never shit.


(And don’t share a photo of your dog and The Giant Book of the Unknown as this weeks office inspiration.)



To explore language, it’s hierarchies, successes and challenges, and only consider this through language once more (i.e. in the form of an essay) could be considered through Linguistic Determinism or Relativity theory: that language, to some greater or lesser degree, defines thought itself. Using the spoken to explore the spoken runs the danger of being only self referential. Drawing can expand the boundaries of reference and methods of exploration: Drawing, mapping, cartooning and illustration allow an interplay with visual and verbal language on the same surface.


In dialogue and communication, situation is everything. The transformation of people seated around a boardroom table is instant and fascinating: We have a shared purpose, an understood way of communicating and a short time in which to discuss. Exchanges can get loud, heated, funny, passionate, digressed. Some things can only be said given this situation: Expectations and experience, purpose and the environment, all collaborate to create unwritten rules of communication etiquette.