I love Jo Wicks.
He’s sincere, enthusiastic, a bit naff, totally unselfconscious. And so bloody good at what he does.
I even love the way he talks – scrap that, I especially love the way he talks.
His choice of the double negative over a straight statement..
“There is no way that’s not the toughest work out yet. Not ever.”
And his exclamations.
“Oh my days. That is savage. Pow! Pow!”(shouted while slapping thighs)
Because eloquence comes from the sincerity of intent, not the assembling of bon mots.
There was a particularly wanky post that was making the rounds about why the british despise Donald Trump. It was full of strangled sentences like:
“Trumps lacks certain qualifications the British traditionally esteem. For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit – all of which his predecessor Mr Obama was generously blessed”
To which anyone with an ounce of traditional esteem could only respond with a massive and extended raspberry.
I could listen to Jo Wicks all day rather than this kind of tepid, mimsy put down. I don’t know what mimsy means, or even if it’s a word, but it works for how I feel right now.
Trump is a special kind of arse bucket but it’s got bugger all to do with what we traditionally esteem and everything to do with his peculiar brand of dishonesty every time he opens his mouth.
Hugo Rifkind wrote a funny piece about catching Covid and the weird incompetence around track and test.
“There is a real social awkwardness to being the contact with Covid; you think about who you’ve seen and steel yourself for having them know you’ve messed up their lives for a fortnight, balancing that against how much more socially awkward it would be if you actually killed them.”
Read it all. It’s funny and informative. But below the line there were many commentators who just don’t like ‘that kind of writing’.
“Terrible English. So self-consciously vernacular that any meaning quickly evaporated.”
Was one such criticism.
Yes, someone who uses the term ‘self-consciously vernacular’ thinks they’re an authority on clear communication.
*glass houses shatter around the world*
I had to respond with a black adder almost-quote.
“It’s not self-consciously vernacular, it’s different and it’s called wit.”
In my book – that I haven’t written – language is there to be pulled, pushed, prodded and poked into saying exactly what you have on your mind.
Like music, it has many different genres. You don’t have to love them all – although anything that has the heft of sincerity behind it is pretty lovable – but please allow the rest of us to do so.
Let us enjoy the rhythm of the unselfconscious.
Woody Allen says when he first makes a joke he finds it as funny as his audience, because that’s it’s the first time he’s heard it too. Straight from the sub-conscious – pow!
Just like Jo and his thighs.