Talkers Unite!

Uncredited talk labor is exhausting.

 It’s as if the work behind the speech-act is unrecognized while, at the same moment, the speech-product itself becomes fetishized. 

Does the spoken word, aside from those delivered from podiums and such, just occur by some magic? No, and those of us who must toil in our thinking and our annunciations, even in so-called causal conversation, should not have our words taken for granted, as if it’s somehow easy to do most of the talking. 

And often it is us who must describe, outline, project, observe and then struggle to form words and speak them, while the other remains complacent, in the ease of non-speaking, and often in a dominant state of risk-free intersubjective nonrelation. 

You might say the speaker controls and conditions these connections: I would argue vigorously against that assertion. 

What appears as passivity and silence is the power of the arbiter who maintains the choice (and the control) of whether to ignore or listen, to heed or dismiss, with no risk to themselves of misspeaking or “showing their hand”. This silence is power, directed against the talk-laborer. 


It’s up to all talkers to demand a fair accounting of our struggle, of the time and energy we direct to our speech actions, which we cannot reclaim for other purposes, or conserve for ourselves. It is gone! And without compensation. 

With our partners, our associates, our bosses, we must ask for acknowledgment for talk labor, we, talkers of all types, of all classes and creeds, talkers of all ages and stations of life: Talkers Unite!!