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Re: words & more words

Poster: Corun MacAnndra <corun@access.digex.net>

Eogan wrote:
>Have you ever noticed that by removing acronyms, abbreviations, and
>contractions from one's speech that it takes on a older, more archaic
>sound.  Even if you were to speech simply and use modern words by remove
>the slang and short cuts, the same effect it achieved.  Remarkable, yes no.

Removing acronyms and modern abbreviations and contractions, yes. But there
are some period abbreviations and contractions that are quite appropriate
that would enhance the ambience of any event. For example, one could
exclaim 'sblood, an abbreviation for God's blood, a common exclamation of
at least the Elizabethan period (Shakespeare uses this in several plays).
One can abbreviate it is into 'tis. Also, one could just as easily
substitute the word yea (phonetically yay) as an affirmitive instead of the
more modern yeah (phonetically yah). Often, when I am called from afar by
someone I will answer aye instead of what. It is also more period to greet
someone with good day or well met rather than howdy or hiya or even g'day
(usually said with an Australian accent).

It has been long since last I had a language lesson from Lord Beornherd,
and I do wonder if this has been done at University of late. I recall that
such classes were called Learning to Speak Forsoothly or some such (though
I am not entirely certain that the syntax or grammar in that title is
correct in or out of period). Hmmmmm, mayhaps it's time to resurrect such a
class and educate (and in some cases re-educate) ourselves in the proper
use of language in period. Oft have I heard some decry the use of made up
words or alternate but improper words to name a thing that already has a
perfectly useable, period word. But since we still use the word modernly it
is mistakenly assumed that it is not a period word. We have named but a few
in this discussion (I nearly used the modern word thread instead of
discussion, it takes but little thought), such as the dreaded feastocrat.
And such words as dragon to describe ones conveyance do naught but call
attention to a thing that is clearly out of period, but would be ignored if
simply called car, carriage or cart.

But learning the proper words is only half. The other is to use them
naturally and not force them, which causes ones speech to sound stilted and
unnatural. One should let the words fall, as the Bard so aptly said,
trippingly from the tongue. It takes practice, but is well worth the effort.

So Mistress Keilyn and Mistress Deirdre (or Master Henry Best if he's
lurking about the tavern), when was the last time a class in speech was
given at University?

In service,

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