Is Proper Speech a Learned Skill or Innate Ability?

  • Thread starter leroyjenkens
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In summary: If you're in theatre, you should know that the best way to learn is to take it slowly, open your mouth all the way, and deliberately pronounce every sound. Then the skill will build and you can speed it up.
  • #1
leroyjenkens
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Recently I've been trying to perfect my speech so that I articulate and enunciate everything correctly.
Today I was trying to say "that's the thing" in normal speech speed, and the "the" doesn't get enunciated properly at all. It sounds sort of like this: "that'sa thing". There's not enough time for my tongue to go from the roof of my mouth pronouncing the "s" in "that's" to under my top front teeth to get the "the" pronunciation without slowing down my speech strangely.
Is this just a problem with me? I've noticed that when I pronounce "s" the air is always going out of my mouth from the right side of my 2 front teeth. If I try to make the "s" sound come out from the left side of my 2 front teeth, it sounds strange. Maybe it's because I've been doing it like that my whole life?

Here's another one. Try saying "I received the package this morning" in a normal talking speed. Do you notice a bit of trouble going from "package" to "this"? There's a delay between the two words as my tongue has to go from the middle of the roof of my mouth to sort of make a plucking motion on the top of my teeth to create the "th" sound for "this". It doesn't flow like a lot of words are able to. And if I try to just go through it, saying it like I'm casually talking without any real care if I pronounce the words the correct way, it sort of turns into "I received the package zis morning". That's the only way to make it flow at the speed of my speech.

I got into theater a year ago and that caused me to pay close attention to how I'm speaking, and I discovered a lot of little nuances about speech that are never talked about.
I'm wondering if everyone goes through this, or is it somehow exclusively a problem with me and my way of speaking, or possibly the structure of my teeth? I don't know.
 
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  • #2
I have no problem with "package-this", but "received-the" is tricky, if I want to take extra care that the 'd' is enunciated.

If you're in theatre, you should know that the best way to learn is to take it slowly, open your mouth all the way, and deliberately pronounce every sound. Then the skill will build and you can speed it up.
 
  • #3
leroyjenkens said:
Recently I've been trying to perfect my speech so that I articulate and enunciate everything correctly.

I got into theater a year ago and that caused me to pay close attention to how I'm speaking, and I discovered a lot of little nuances about speech that are never talked about.

I'm wondering if everyone goes through this, or is it somehow exclusively a problem with me and my way of speaking, or possibly the structure of my teeth? I don't know.
I believe it is a matter of education and/or exposure. In my primary school, the teaching supervisor spoke with a clear formal accent, so-called Queen's English. Mrs. Hawkins pronounced every syllable, clearly and distinctly. She was adamant that we speak proper English, as opposed to colloquial Australian. She had a profound affect on me, as did my 10th grade English teacher (who was Irish), Mrs. Ford, who emphasized grammar and structure.
 

Related to Is Proper Speech a Learned Skill or Innate Ability?

1. What are conventional ways of speaking?

Conventional ways of speaking refer to the traditional or commonly accepted methods of communication within a particular culture or society. These can include specific language patterns, use of formal or informal speech, and adherence to cultural norms and etiquette.

2. How do conventional ways of speaking differ among cultures?

Conventional ways of speaking can vary greatly among cultures, as each culture has its own unique set of linguistic and social norms. For example, some cultures may place a greater emphasis on formality and respect when speaking, while others may have more relaxed and casual communication styles.

3. Can conventional ways of speaking change over time?

Yes, conventional ways of speaking can evolve and change over time as societies and cultures change. For example, advancements in technology may lead to the adoption of new vocabulary and communication styles, and societal shifts may also influence changes in conventional ways of speaking.

4. How do conventional ways of speaking impact communication?

Conventional ways of speaking can greatly impact communication, as adhering to the accepted norms and etiquette can help to ensure effective and respectful communication. However, it is also important to be aware of and sensitive to different cultural conventions in order to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication.

5. Are there any benefits to deviating from conventional ways of speaking?

Deviation from conventional ways of speaking can lead to creativity and innovation in communication, and can also help to challenge and break down societal norms and barriers. However, it is important to consider the potential impact and implications of deviating from conventional ways of speaking in different contexts and cultures.

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