Fleeting talk: one question in India

The author discusses the value of speech/talking as a communication tool, and the distortions that occur depending on the way speech is recorded and presented. During travels in India, de Caires asked one question of people he met along the way, recording their responses on paper and noting the influences on people's responses and his own impact on their choice of words. In relation to development, the point is made that face-to-face talk should be valued above other reported or mediated methods of communication, which can `amplify misunderstandings, and...alienate people from the fundamental process of sharing information.'