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  1. kilroy65's Avatar
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    We communicate only too well

    I'm currently translating an interview given by Harold Pinter in 1962. I've got a bit of a problem with the part in bold:

    "......We have heard many times that tired, grimy phrase, "failure of communication", and this phrase has been fixed to my work quite consistently. I believe the contrary. I think that we communicate only too well, in our silence, in what is unsaid, and that what takes place is a continual evasion, desperate rearguard attempts to keep ourselves to ourselves. Communication is too alarming. To enter into someone else's life is too frightening. To disclose to others the poverty within us is too fearsome a possibility." (Harold Pinter)

    How should it be interpreted?
    1. The speaker is negative/ critical about the way people communicate (verbally).
    2. The speaker claims that people communicate really well only in their silence.

    I'd go for the first option: ("only too well") often has a negative connotation, but I'm afraid that any misinterpretation may distort the intended meaning.
    Last edited by kilroy65; 09-Feb-2016 at 09:52. Reason: paraphrasing

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    Re: We communicate only too well

    Our silence can communicate the things we don't have the courage to say.

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