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should at all times use distinct speech. It was made imperative that customers should not be annoyed by clerks who could not be heard across the counter or whose replies to inquiries over the telephone were always indistinct and unsatisfactory; in short, that every employee who expected to hold his place with that firm should at all times employ clear and businesslike speech.
We find that the demand for clear speaking is found in nearly every commercial field at the present time. Employees are rapidly coming to realize its value, and those who seek positions of responsibility soon discover how important it is as a commercial asset. No longer is it possible for persons in responsible positions to speak in "just any way that it happens." Conditions are now such that they demand clear and effective speech, and this necessitates a mastery of the principles of good enunciation.
PRACTICAL EXERCISES IN ENUNCIATION
EXERCISE I. Work for a definite muscular impression of each vowel sound by means of such combinations as the following from Bell's vowel chart:
ale eel - pool
3. awl-pull pool - eelill-ale-ell — air.
· ell an
ill — eel — pool — pull — pole
EXERCISE II. Work for precise and delicate touch on the following vowel and consonant combinations.
ah-ka-ka-ka - kar
EXERCISE III. Enunciate the following words, bringing out each individual syllable distinctly, yet linking them all properly.
1. The following are dependent upon teeth and tongue : accredited, education, stupendous, tremendous, credulous, arduous.
thither, thence, thine, thin, throne, writhe, wreath, tithe, booth, scythe, with, though, blithe, æsthetic, athletic, mathematics.
persist, cease, decease, effervesce, resuscitate, reminiscent, statistics, statistician, schism, scenic, height.
seize, quiz, disease, chasm, casualty, casual, casuistry, azure, leisure.
2. The following require definite action of the tongue :
parallel, eligible, all, law, lawful, lawless, lowly, lily, lilting, elegant, liable.
error, rare, horror, mirror, rarely, mirroring, wither, whither. 3. The following require precision of the lips and teeth: support, supplant, purport, perplex, poplar, popular, pulpit, people, plump, plumb, plow, probable, probably, probability.
being, beaming, ebony, ebbing, rubber, rubbing, robber, rabid, corroborate, proper, proposition, biblical.
vivid, vivacity, vivacious, irreverent, irrelevant, dive, divide, divisible, revival.
fifth, effort, nymph, fifteenth, fiftieth, triumph, physical, effervescent.
witch, which, whist, what, wheat, whole, thwart, unholy, wholesome, wholesale.
4. In the following the palate and throat play an important part:
judge, edge, ridge, jug, egg, go, get, give, dirigible, prejudice, jugular.
choir, chorus, quarrel, querulous, curious, pique, quick, exquisite, creak, asked, kept, tact, attacked, cracked, skate, chick, cheek.
5. In the following the nasal cavities have an important
mammal, animal, memorable, murmur, mimic, emblem, mechanic, romantic.
knowledge, known, knead, king, hang, lung, going, arctic, article, articulate.
WORDS AND COMBINATIONS OF WORDS
Enunciate the following sentences with careful attention to consecutive words.
1. Sink or swim; live or die; survive or perish; I give my heart and my hand to this vote. (Avoid saying, "Sink'er swim; liv'er die; serviv'er perish.")
2. What will he do? When will he
3. I am glad that my weak words have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.
4. Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.
5. Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines.
6. They met me in the day of success; and I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge.
That but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
We 'ld jump the life to come.
Better be with the dead,
Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
In restless ecstasy.
9. Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.
Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf;
I must not look to have; but, in their stead
The importance of correct pronunciation for the educated person cannot be overestimated. In public speaking it is indispensable, for the mispronunciation of a few common words which everyone ought to know marks the speaker at once as either deficient in scholarship or slovenly in method. No fault of the public speaker is more readily observed or more severely condemned by an intelligent audience than that of careless pronunciation.
The student of speaking cannot be too painstaking in perfecting himself on this side of the work. He should exercise the same care with his pronunciation in speaking that he would with his spelling or punctuation in writing. Indeed, those who will judge him by his spelling or punctuation will likely be few compared with those who will pass judgment upon him by the way in which he pronounces common English words. It behooves him, therefore, to become as proficient as possible in his pronunciation.
Pronunciation defined. Pronunciation is the correct utterance of words in four particulars:
I. Correctness of the vowel sounds, as 'get," not
git"; "since," not sence."
2. Correctness of the consonant sounds, as "profuse," not "profuze"; "exit," not egzit."