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Now re-read the poem, reading the. following words in slightly higher tones than you read the rest, but do not increase emphasis: Music, vibrates, odors, sweet violets, live, quicken, rose leaves, thy thoughts, love.

Emphasize the thought contrasts by changing the tone, and notice how much more meaning you give the poem.

Now take up a daily newspaper, or a magazine, and read a paragraph aloud, making an effort to make your tones pleasant and varied.

Without giving your voice too great a range from high notes to low, make it flexible, make it musical, because it constantly changes its quality. Practise this tone flexibility in daily oral reading, and in your speech.

Read the following in a low tone:

"Come away, come away, Death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid."

"Not a flower, not a flower sweet
On my black coffin let there be strown."


Read the following in a higher tone:

"Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry;
. On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily."



How to Avoid Nasality


In the United States one of the most common faults in speaking is nasality—"speaking through the nose," as it is commonly called.

As a matter of fact, nasality is caused by not speaking through the nose. Take your thumb and finger, hold the nostrils tightly closed, and say this sentence aloud: "Well, now, I'm glad you've come down to town."

You will find that closing your nostrils entirely in this way makes you speak in the dialect and tone often ascribed to up-state, farmers.

Nasality is caused by the accidental or habitual stopping of the nostrils. // your voice is nasal in tone, practise breathing through your nose.

Open your mouth more widely than usual when you speak.

Make an effort to throw the voice forward in full, rich tones.

When you are practising to avoid nasality, think of a great, round ball when you speak. Think of it so clearly that you can see it. Say this line over and over in as full, round tones as possible: "Oh, the round, round ball, it rolls and rolls around in the merry morn!"

Then think of a gigantic cannon filling the air with sound. Say aloud in full tones: "Boom! boom! boom.' came from the mighty cannon's mouth!"

Make a firm resolve that you will not speak in nasal tones like a farmer. Train your ear to notice richness and fullness of sound in the speech of others, and try to imitate the most effective speech.


1. Say the following words, giving your speech all possible resonance:

Clang! clang! clang! boomed the great gong.

2. Repeat the following, holding the sound as long as possible:

To whoo! To whooo! To whoooo!

3. Make a long humming sound as you say the following:

Hummm, hummm, hummm, buzzed the bumble bee around the king.


How to Pronounce Vowel Sounds Correctly


Although there are only five vowels, a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes two others, w, and y, in the English language, there are in reality about forty different vowel sounds.

If you are to speak in a cultured manner you must pronounce these vowel sounds in accordance with general usage. Any good dictionary will tell you what that general usage is.

At the bottom or at the top of every page of a good dictionary you will find a list of specimen words containing the vowel sounds. These words are marked with diacritical marks, or symbols, to show different sounds. In the front of the dictionary you will find a full explanation of every mark.

Take your dictionary now and read over the vowel sounds in the words at the bottom of any page.

You will do well if you learn the diacritical marks, although that is not necessary.

When you have read the list at least five times, turn your attention to any complete page of the dictionary. In a parenthesis following every word you will find a phonetic or sound spelling of the word, with the sounds indicated by diacritical marks corresponding to those at the bottom of the page. Read aloud every phonetic spelling on the page, paying attention to nothing but vowel sounds. The exercise is so simple and so short that'it will take only a few minutes.

Repeat the process of reading a page phonetically every day, and you will soon find, not only that you have unconsciously memorized the diacritical marks, but that you have actually mastered vowel sounds.

Go through the following vowel exercises:

1. Ah. Open the mouth wide, and lower the tongue, holding its tip against the lower teeth. Say the following words: far, mar, car, star, tar, father.

2. A. Open the mouth less widely than before, hold the tongue slightly raised, but touch the lower teeth with its tip. Say the following words: ape, cape, lake, rate, state, mate, came, date.

3. EE. Hold the tongue as directed in "2-A," but bring the teeth somewhat closely together. Say the following words: me, see, tree, bee, free, knee, feel, heel.

4. Aw. Open the mouth to a fair degree, slightly arch the tongue and extend the lips. Say the following words: paw, daw, raw, saw, law, jaw, brawn, lawn.

5. Oh. Bring the lips into a circle, at the same time projecting them forward a little. Touch the lower teeth with the tip of the tongue. Say the following words: dome, home, blow, know, go, low, so, toe, woe, foe.

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