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noun [countable]

a brief speech about a social problem that suggests a potential solution, usually taking the form of a very short, web-based video


verb [intransitive]


noun [countable]

'The winning tole-ranter will be prized with having their tole-rant's heartfelt solution put on the road to reality when global tolerance uses its global networks, relationships and communications expertise to catapult it onto the public agenda.'

Global Tolerance 1st October 2010

'Click the photo to hear Sir Steve tole-rant about the bad press young people get …'

myplacesupport.co.uk 2010

'Rather than ranting about everything that is wrong in the world, tole-ranters speak from the heart about social problems, and point to potential solutions – in 60 seconds.'

Youth Leader Magazine 2nd September 2010

Ever felt so strongly about a principle that you would welcome the opportunity to 'get it off your chest' in front of a large group of listeners? Assisted by the magic of the Internet, you can now speak out on those issues you're so passionate about to a worldwide audience – courtesy of the new concept of a tole-rant.

a tole-rant is a lively, animated speech, it has none of the negative connotations of a rant, which is conventionally a long, loud, angry, complaint

A tole-rant (pronounced toll-uh-RANT) is a short speech about a social problem, usually taking the form of a 60 second video which features an individual's viewpoint and is spoken directly to a camera. Though a tole-rant is a lively, animated speech, it has none of the negative connotations of a rant, which is conventionally a long, loud, angry, complaint. A tole-rant is by contrast short, punchy and inherently constructive, pointing to a positive solution.

The creation of a tole-rant consists of the following steps:

1. hitting the record button on a mobile phone, camera or other video device
2. starting with the statement 'I'm tole-ranting about …' where the speaker briefly introduces the social problem they want to raise awareness of
3. an explanation of why the problem the speaker has identified means so much to them (relating something from personal experience is more likely to make an impact on the viewer) and
4. pointing towards and/or describing a possible solution.

All this should take place in a mere 60 seconds! Typical topics featured in tole-rants include poverty, inequality, terrorism and climate change.

If you'd like to see some examples of tole-rants, check out a dedicated website, where you can watch them in action, vote on your favourites and even upload your own. There have been several high-profile supporters of the concept of the tole-rant – among them Sir Steve Redgrave, five times Olympic Champion in rowing, who has tole-ranted about the bad press given to today's youth.

Background – tole-rant

The term tole-rant is a clever play on the verb/noun rant, describing the concept of angrily complaining about something, and the adjective tolerant, meaning 'willing to accept someone's beliefs or way of life without criticizing them'.

The word was first coined in November 2009 when organization 'global tolerance' launched the concept to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Tolerance. Global tolerance is a communications agency which uses the power of the media to inspire positive social change, and has worked with a number of high-profile social activists, including the Dalai Lama and the Prince of Wales.

Tole-rant is used both as a noun and intransitive verb, and the related noun tole-ranter describes someone who participates. Predictably, the concept of the tole-rant has been galvanized by social media, and is particularly popular in social networking domains like Facebook and Twitter.

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

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This article was first published on 8th November 2010.

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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