I’m trying to write voice over copy for the Xtreme Team video; however, my words sound like a tired university professor reviewing the exploits of a group of adventuresome young people. I find myself using phrases such as in retrospect and along those lines. I’m not sure if this is a warning that my writing and speech is verging on cliché or I merely have the wrong set of vocabulary to write such things.
I recall meting a group of teens in a Philadelphia transitional home a few years ago. We fell into a lexically mismatched void of communication; I was saying, “Oh, pleased to meet you; it seems your program is progressing quite well here…etc. etc.” to their bemusement. I left with the impression they thought I was making fun of them. But, that’s just the way I speak. If I had attempted “streety” language it would have been truly false (and—I probably would have been thrashed).
Now, I’m just aiming for neutral language that will appeal to young people who might consider going on Xtreme Team. I’m afraid going into a MSc program this fall will pull me further down into an abyss of cluttered language. I shall endeavour to—I will keep Strunk and White close at hand.