He liked to start sentences with, okay, so. It was a habit he had picked up from the engineers. He thought it made him sound smarter, thought it made him sound like them, those code geeks, standing by the coffee machine, talking faster than he could think, every word a term of art, every sentence packed with logic, or small insights or a joke. He liked to stand near them, pretending to stir sugar into his coffee, listening in on them as if they were speaking a different language. A language of knowing something, a language of being an expert at something. A language of being something more than an hourly unit. -Charles Yu, Standard Loneliness Package (free to read online at Lightspeed Magazine)

Writing Prompt: Spend some time listening to someone’s speech pattern. Write a poem, scene, or story using their speech pattern.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about the way that you speak? If you could change, how would you want to speak different?

Art Prompt: Speaking

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Challenge yourself to include dialogue in your story and to make each of their voices individual through use of speech patterns.

Photo Credit: Sam Cockman on Flickr

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