I’ve heard the idea more than once. You have too. We want to encourage people to speak from their hearts. Sorry, folks. I agree with Quintilian here. If you speak from your heart you will probably be dancing with me and stepping on my toes.
Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory. Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book II, Chapter 11.
Quintilian observes that he is now at the point in his work where most teachers of rhetoric begin. He cites interviews with teachers who are quite unconcerned with the theory and disciplines involved in rhetoric. “They make it their boast that they speak from impulse and merely exert their natural powers, and say that there is no need of proofs or arrangement in fictitious subjects, but only of grand thoughts, to hear which the auditory will be crowded, and of which the best are the offspring of venturesomeness” (Quintilian II.11.3). He discusses lack of preparation which results in disorderly thoughts and bombast to replace substance. In sum, their speech is disjointed, “like the notebooks of boys, in which they enter promiscuously whatever has been commended in the declamations of others” (Quintilian II.11.7).
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