Conisbrough Vicar says Conversation is Acquired Art

August 1946

South Yorkshire Times August 17, 1946

On Conversation
Acquired Art, Says Vicar of Conisbrough

Keys to good conversation: be a good listener – have something worth saying – let it be heard – and, finally let it be brisk and to the point.

These necessary ingredients to the pleasant and profitable exchange of ideas were mentioned by the Rev GF Braithwaite, Vicar of Conisbrough, when he addressed the Rotary club of Wombwell on Tuesday on the subject of “Conversation – a Lost Art.”

Mr Braithwaite said there were two main reasons why conversation failed to reach a high standard, first that the conversationalist had two little to say, and second, that they had too much to say. Brevity could, of course, be overdone.

Perhaps one of the reasons conversation failed these days was because people had not time to think, so much propaganda being thrown about. A beneficial state now did many things which the people of two generations back did for themselves, and consequently conversation became a little stultified unless colourful.

Another bar to good conversation was shyness. But the other extreme conversation was spoiled by verbosity. It was possible, as they did in Yorkshire, to speak and say “nowt.”. When they got the chance and had lulled their victims into a suitable state of passivity, they rode their own particular hobbyhorse or talked about their own jobs. He believed that parsons were very prone to this fault. (Laughter.)

Well-known types were the club bore or the really clever people who simply could not speak. The English language was a beautiful thing when well and intelligently used. Asked how young people might acquire the habit of good conversation, Mr Braithwaite said organised discussions were a good thing. There was no easy road to good conversation; it had to be acquired.

The speaker was thanked by Rotarian Arthur Taylor.