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3. Head turned away from the object and thrown back is expressive of pride, arrogance.
4. Head inclined before the object is expressive of contemplation.
5. Head thrown back is expressive of vehemence, exaltation, abandonment of self.
6. Head inclined obliquely toward object is expressive of veneration, reverence.
7. Head inclined away from object, nonchalance, confidence.
8. Head thrown directly and easily back, with uplifted face, is expressive of spiritual exaltation.
ELEMENTS OF ELEGANCE
The elements that gratify the æsthetic nature are varied, and in most instances subtle things, upon which it is difficult, if not impossible, to put the finger. The principal ones are those that give charm to the literary style of the speaker. A few elements may be specially but briefly considered:
SEC. I. Harmony of Function. – Delivery, to be effective for its purpose must harmonize the various elements, so that each feature shall be timely, accurate, and complete. It should be without hitch or friction. Everything that jars upon the feelings calls attention from the thought to the agent. Not to speak of such co-ordinations as those involved in the simplest alphabetic element, the principal relations involved in speaking may be consciously directed. In brief, the idea must be co-ordinated with the word, as imaginatively seen or heard ; the word with the adjustment of the organs of enunciation (the breathing, breath control, pronunciation, etc.); the gesture with the spoken word; and all related to the audience. In manuscript or book delivery, the idea is read out of the page, and the identical language of the page selected in turn for the expression of that idea. A failure to co-ordinate any of these parts disturbs the expression. Harmony effectively suits the word to the action, and the action to the word. Among other things it means graceful bearing.
Another aspect of harmony is the proper relating of the various ideas of the discourse. It involves the harmony of each part to the other and of each to the whole.
Each speech or selection has its own atmosphere or prevailing emotion underlying all the variety of parts. It gives the ideal and especially the emotional unity of speech, and all the parts must harmonize with this unity. The atmosphere of tragedy differs from that of comedy, and that of the funeral sermon differs from that of the cheerful essay.
Each part of discourse is colored emotionally by each immediately adjacent part. With the ideal differentiation, the unity must also be observed. The anger of one part colors the tenderest sentiment of the adjacent part. Words introducing a quotation are colored by the emotion of the quotation.
Violation of the principle of harmony manifests itself in delivering all types of composition in the same mood. Fits and starts of emotions are most unexpectedly introduced, and the delivery is fragmentary. It is capriciously loud or soft, slow or rapid; the delivery is unsuited to the mental content.
Sec. II. Pronunciation. The word pronunciation is used in the ordinary modern sense. Elegance demands that a word be pronounced according to best usage, so far as that can be determined. Pronunciation that suggests provincialism, or lack of ordinary culture, offends the taste, and calls attention away from the ideas of the discourse; it also weakens confidence as to the qualifications of the speaker, in proportion to the obviousness and seriousness of the blunder. One should avoid calling attention to the pronunciation as such.
Absolute uniformity in pronunciation among all those who use the English language is quite impossible; for each individual has his personal equation. Besides, large sections, equally creditable as authority, differ from one another; and colloquial pronunciation allowably differs from that of formal discourse. The maker of each important
dictionary has found it necessary to give a long list of words variously pronounced. The pronunciation of language, too, is constantly changing. The pronunciation of Chaucer's English is a forcible reminder of this fact. According to Sweet, the pronunciation of the London of to-day differs widely from that of a century ago. A. J. Ellis holds that there are three generations of pronunciation at any one instant, each succeeding one modifying the other.
A changed pronunciation practised by any considerable number of educated speakers is first noted as a "tendency," and finally recorded as the accepted pronunciation of good usage.
For instance, there has long been a tendency to change the long “ū” sound into “ö" (00) sound, in situations unfavorable to its pronunciation. The use of “ö" (00) instead of "ū” after “r” is fully established and accepted by all recent authorities. There is no question about "true," "prune," "ferrule.” Usage is still divided as to the treatment of “ū” after “1." Is it "lūte," "Aue,' "plūme," or otherwise. After “t," "d," "u,” and “s," usage is not uniform. There is a tendency in all these cases to change "u” into “ö" (oo). After “t,” in such words as "tune," "tube," "Tuesday," "70" contends with
After “d” (duty, duly, during, dude, duke), after “n” (news, nude), and after “s” (suit, insulate, sewer, capsule), there is a tendency to change “ū” into “00.”
Usage is undecided as to the treatment of “t," "d," "S" “2,” with the “i” or “y” sound after it before another vowel. Are they fused into "ch,""]," and "sh," "zh," or not? The struggle is between “nature” and “nachure,” between “gradual” and “grajual,'
and “shure," "vizual and “vizhual. But we say vizhon, not vizion; azhure, not azure. According to the Century Dictionary, there is a tendency to change o” in lot into “o” in song; also to omit “p” in many situations. Sweet (“A Primer of Spoken English ") recorded "suh" for "sir," "haad” for “hard," "haat” for
“heart," "staa” for “star,” “pooa” for “ poor,” etc., as the pronunciation of "educated spoken English." Such omission of the “r ” is not unknown in America. Murray, as the editor of the greatest English dictionary ever projected, says, “From the composite character of the English vocabulary, the pronunciation also, of many words is in a very unsettled state.” He instances that he heard the word
gaseous pronounced in six different ways on one occasion, by as many different men eminent in science.
What, then, is to guide the student in pronunciation ? Obviously good usage. But what is good usage ? Is it the usage of London, of Boston, of New York, of Chicago ? Can any section rightly claim precedence? What guides do the guides follow ? Boswell once asked Dr. Johnson why he did not indicate the pronunciation of words in his dictionary, urging that he understood Mr. Sheridan had done so; and Johnson replied, “What entitles Sheridan to fix English pronunciation? He is an Irishman! He says the example of the best educated; but they differ among themselves. I remember an instance. Lord Chesterfield once told me that 'great 'must rhyme with state; 'Sir William Yonge said with 'seat.' One is the best speaker of the House of Lords, and the other of the House of Commons.”. The specialist, A. J. Ellis, ridicules any high claim to a standard of pronunciation. When appealed to, he replies, “I pronounce the word so and so; but I have heard others pronounce it so and so. I have no means of determining which is the correct way.” Henry Sweet and other distinguished phoneticians teach that there is no absolute standard, and that there may
pronouncing any word. Any notion, then, that any one man can determine the pronunciation of a word, or that any one dictionary decides the matter, shows a reverence for authority more submissive than intelligent, and totally fails to appreciate how language is made. On the other hand, those