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#7618 - 04/03/01 11:00 AM Re: Speaking in sentences  
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shanks Offline
old hand
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London, UK
Bob

I am not very familiar with my nominal mother tongue - Malayalam - but from what little I know of it, it demonstrates greater diglossia (is that the word?) than any other language I know of. My mother is the only one in our family who is literate in it, and when she reads out a letter written to us (from say a relative back in the home state), it sounds like a different language. She reads it phonetically, as one is supposed to do with most Indian languages, and I cannot recognise most of the words she says until she 'converts' them into the spoken versions.

As far as oratory is concerned, I suspect we have lost the old rhetorical flourishes for good. But it is possible that the new, sound-bite generation may eventually create something of lasting worth?

As for your citation of FDR and Churchill, you are probably right as far as classical forms go, but I have to confess a fondness for the rhythmic flourishes in the speech of one Martin Luther King. You may have heard of him - he had a dream?

cheer

the sunshine warrior


#7619 - 04/03/01 12:47 PM Re: Speaking in sentences  
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inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah
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Pooh-Bah

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New York City
But it is possible that the new, sound-bite generation may eventually create something of lasting worth?

Do you mean lasting worth, or long remembered?


#7620 - 04/03/01 12:58 PM Re: Speaking in sentences  
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shanks Offline
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shanks  Offline
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London, UK
But it is possible that the new, sound-bite generation may eventually create something of lasting worth?

Do you mean lasting worth, or long remembered?

I mean, I suspect (though I never know what I mean until I say it ), that they might actually create a new idiom of rhetoric and oration. It may not be what we are accustomed to, or accustomed to consider as good, but it may spawn its own culture, art forms, conventions and values that, to its users (particularly if it becomes endemic), is the golden standard against which speech is measured.

cheer

the sunshine warrior


#7621 - 04/03/01 01:23 PM Re: Speaking in sentences  
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wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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Ohhhhh, I'd love to know what I know now and "come back" in, say, May 2003 and see how this board has evolved.
(Huge West-of-Ireland sigh.)
wow




#7622 - 04/03/01 04:42 PM Re: Speaking in sentences  
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Bobyoungbalt Offline
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Dr. King's oratory
Certainly Dr. King was a great orator, as is shown by his masterpiece, "I have a Dream", and other speeches equally effective but not as well known. However, his oratory falls into a special category, that of the sermon. Indeed, most of his speeches could have been called sermons. He was, of course, a clergyman and had mastered the art of preaching, specifically the preaching style known as the "black preacher" style. This is far from a derogatory term, as this style is much practiced and admired by white preachers as well as black. Since it was originally developed for the benefit of an intellectually unsophisticated and mostly uneducated audience/congregation, it is marked by the following characteristics: a) the content is strictly limited to one, or only a few, basic points, although a sermon in this style may last an hour or more; b) ideas, expressed by sentences or phrases, are repeated over and over with or without variations, e.g., "I have a dream that ..., I have a dream that ..., I have a dream that ..."; c) the call-and-response technique is often used, which is the preacher deliberately but tacitly inviting a response from the auditory, usually supplied by ejaculations such as, "Amen!", "Yes, Lord!", "Tell it, Brother!", etc; d) a dramatic oratorical delivery, with carefully arranged crescendos rising at times to the top of the preacher's voice, at others falling to an almost inaudible whisper, accompanied by dramatic gestures, hand-waving, Bible-thumping, leaning out of the pulpit, etc., all as carefully scripted and carried out as an opera. To read one of Dr. King's speeches (or one by another preacher in this style) gives you about as much idea of what it was really like as reading the text ofThe Magic Flute or some other operatic masterpiece without hearing or seeing it.


#7623 - 04/03/01 07:30 PM Re: Speaking in sentences  
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wwh Offline
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The effectiveness of the best black sermons is illustrated in the instructions of an old preacher to a young one:

"I tells 'em what I'm going to tell 'em, I tells 'em, and then I tells 'em what I told 'em."


#7624 - 04/05/01 02:55 PM Re: Speaking in sentences  
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rego park
"I tells 'em what I'm going to tell 'em, I tells 'em, and then I tells 'em what I told 'em." is good advice for any oral presentaion-- i use it all the time!

Crossing thread, now, i realise i speak in sentences-- and i don't! (Now isn't that a typical Irish answer!)

Just as i know, but rarely use formal Standard Written English-(SWE) but rather instead use a less formal, written dialect-- i also speak several dialects--

Since i have to give a number of presentation-- i have a "Formal Speaking voice" and style-- that I can "turn On" when needed. I can also "turn on" a very low class style of speaking--(and use a vocabulary that would shock sailers, and send dear Dr. Bill to early grave!--he would have difficulting living with the knowledge i could speak so crudely)--when needed.

All this has been covered before-- i think of GBS scene in My Fair Lady-- where he has Dr. Higgins point out that a "shop girl" in a fancy shop need to speak a different dialect -- a more formal one, than even a princess! and GBS said it all better than i can!


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