It’s easy to laugh at the mistaken ideas of the past:
Good thing we don’t believe silly stuff like that any more, right?
The thing is, it’s only with hindsight that the error of ideas like these is obvious
In their time, they seemed like simple ‘common knowledge’. Questioning them was preposterous.
Nowadays we know for sure that Galileo was right – but when he first challenged the accepted wisdom that the earth is the centre of the universe, he was tried by the Inquisition, found ‘vehemently suspect of heresy’, and forced to recant.
In those days, of course, heresy had religious implications. But Galileo’s real ‘heresy’ was daring to disagree with the basic common knowledge accepted by all at that time. And that, unfortunately, is a sin that still exists today.
So have you ever wondered what false beliefs we might be accepting as common knowledge, right now?
It turns out there’s a few right under our noses. They have to do with speech, and with how spoken communication works.
Phonetics, the science of speech, shows that many ideas our society currently accepts as ‘common knowledge’ are actually wrong.
And if you’re thinking it’s all those ‘uneducated others’ who accept false beliefs as common knowledge – sorry but ‘our society’ includes educated, well-spoken people, who are very confident in their knowledge of speech!
In fact, without being rude, the more confident you are of your knowledge about speech, the more likely you are to hold the false beliefs uncovered in Rethink Speech.
Does it matter?
Unlearning false beliefs of common knowledge about speech is challenging but not technical – and definitely interesting – and entertaining, and useful. It will put you in the vanguard, shining a light for others to follow.
And don’t worry, you won’t suffer a fate like poor old Galileo!