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11 Dec 2017

Talking’s great. No really, it’s fab. It’s all the rage. We’ve spent hundreds of thousands of years evolving as human beings, improving ways to more effectively communicate with each other and express ourselves in a meaningful way.

But now – it seems to me – the whole communication thing is, in some ways, devolving. Over the last twelve years I’ve been running creative writing workshops with young people, specialising in the tricky art of humour. I’ve visited over six hundred schools, all over the country, and the sessions often culminate in the pupils sharing their work with their peers by reading it out in front of the class. The proof of the pudding is in the reading. Y’know, if laughter occurs, it’s funny.

However, increasingly, when I ask for volunteers to read out their work, the body language of the entire class changes. Eyes are downcast, and the floor suddenly becomes hugely interesting. Ask an individual to stand up and read and they recoil like a salted slug. It’s only natural...

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December 12, 2017

December 11, 2017

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