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Does diversity send you to sleep?

A friend recently asked me to name my passion.  We were having a general discussion about good topics for creative non-fiction writing and brainstorming ideas.  Without pausing to give it much thought, I answered, “equality and diversity”.  Her reply was interesting and not altogether surprising.  She said that the very word ‘diversity’ said in a room full of people was guaranteed to send them all to sleep.  I couldn’t disagree.  She had a point.   It wasn’t that she didn’t care – on a very basic level, most people care about unfairness –  it was just that she understood the immense power words have (and she should being a lecturer on the highly regarded Professional Writing MA at Falmouth University).  The right combination of words will make your audience sit up and take notice.  The words you choose of course depends on your audience, the people occupying the room.  

Over time, people can become inured to the everydayness of language deployed to interest and inspire them.  As a term, ‘equality and diversity’ has been around for a while and these days it means more on a business level than it does on an individual level, unless of course you have had direct or indirect experience of discrimination.  If the room full of people in question had all at some point in their lives been victims of injustice, unfairness, inequality or discrimination, the words I described as my passion, would have engaged them on an emotional level.  And as a writer, that is often my starting point.

I’ll be posting more about this in future blogs and how as a speechwriter, learning as much as I can about my audience helps the writing process.

By Sonya Thomas

  • Belinda

    Found your post interesting and felt compelled to reply. I’m most definitely the type of person to adopt a meerkat stance (standing up to attention) when the words ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ are mentioned; so the concept of someone falling asleep at those concepts baffles me.

    I do agree with yourself and your lecturer friend to a certain degree. The way words are delivered and percieved are conducive to the emotion they evoke whether that be positive or negative.

    However, if an individual knows the true meaning of these words regardless of delivery and they have a previous vested interest in the topic, I believe they will look at equality and diverstiy in ALL aspects of life whether that be on a personal or a business level. There’s also an argument to say that those people who don’t have some sort of interest in diversity and equality might just be verging on the ignorant….sweeping statement, but that’s me!

    Anyway, just wanted to take this opportunity to say that I enjoyed reading your article and hope to read more of them!


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