The Magic of Imagination

JK Rowling (which she herself has said is to be pronounced “rolling, like ‘rolling pin'”) gave the Commencement address at Harvard this year. Now you can watch online.

Delivering a commencement address is a great responsibility; or so I thought until I cast my mind back to my own graduation. The commencement speaker that day was the distinguished British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock. Reflecting on her speech has helped me enormously in writing this one, because it turns out that I can’t remember a single word she said. This liberating discovery enables me to proceed without any fear that I might inadvertently influence you to abandon promising careers in business, law or politics for the giddy delights of becoming a gay wizard.

You see? If all you remember in years to come is the ‘gay wizard’ joke, I’ve still come out ahead of Baroness Mary Warnock. Achievable goals: the first step towards personal improvement.

That part’s funny, but watch the whole thing.  This is the construction and utilization of language that makes English worth listening to.

(And yes, this is a point to Boston.)

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