A productive exchange with a fellow blogger always makes me happy. Here is what blogger Steve responded to my recent post about the differences between English and Russian writing styles:
And as Clarissa gave examples of Russian writers who wrote in a clear and direct style. And the same could be found in Afrikaans in the writing of people like Beyers Naude (a dissident Afrikaner theologian), who could turn Afrikaans from the clumsy and ponderous tool of bureaucratic oppression into something light, clear, and beautiful to read.
But while oppressive bureaucracy may account for some of the differences in style, I don’t think it accounts for all. Perhaps English has also been affected (or infected) by the urban fast-food culture, with people eating on the trot.
I think that the fast-food culture definitely is one of the factors that contributed to the creation of the eating on the run and enjoying a meal with friends while standing and walking around at a party.
However, I believe there are also other reasons why this eating culture arose. One of these reasons is the belief that resting is somehow too indulgent or even sinful and one needs to be constantly on the move. Parties turn into opportunities to network instead of offering an occasion to relax. I have a terror of networking as a practice not only because of my autism but also because I always feel embarrassed when I observe these naked attempts to exploit festive occasions to meet the right people.
The very concept of “fast food” that is eaten out of a brown bag or a plastic box is very strange to me. I work a lot and always have but I don’t understand how it is possible routinely not to have time to sit down for a nice and leisurely meal served on beautiful crockery and arranged and decorated prettily. If you don’t have time for things like these, then what do you have time for?