Feynman's voice

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The Feynman Lectures were recorded on audio tape. I checked out a cd version from the library to listen to as I travel to and from work. Professor Feynman's voice and accent were a surprise. It's like listening to Ed Norton from the Honeymooners.
 

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  • #2
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The Feynman Lectures were recorded on audio tape. I checked out a cd version from the library to listen to as I travel to and from work. Professor Feynman's voice and accent were a surprise. It's like listening to Ed Norton from the Honeymooners.
Hehehehehe. I had the same reaction first time I heard him, though I thought of comedian Jackie Mason. It's a very NY Jewish/Yiddish accent.

Apparently Feynman punched his accent up or toned it down depending on his mood. It's extremely thick in the "lost" lecture on...Keppler, I think. The Yiddish lilt, a rising intonation at the end of thoughts, is not so apparent in his CalTech series.

I'm always fascinated by the difference between the impression I get of people's voices from their writing, and their actual voices. Not just their accents, but the whole phenomenon of their paralanguage which often doesn't come through in print at all.

Paralanguage refers to the non-verbal elements of communication used to modify meaning and convey emotion. Paralanguage may be expressed consciously or unconsciously, and it includes pitch, volume, and intonation of speech. Sometimes the definition is restricted to vocally-produced sounds. The study of paralanguage is known as paralinguistics.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paralanguage
 
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