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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:I've been amazed at how well worded some of the replies are on this board. Recently, I've been reading the posts in NYC's thread about wanting children. I've thought, wow, I wish I could have said that as eloquently as so and so.

So, my question to you is how does one become so eloquent? Is it even something one can learn to do? Do you find a style you like and copy it? Where would one start in such an attempt?



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pounce
SILVER Member since Jan 2003

pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...

Total posts: 9831
Posted:i have no idea if i'm eloquent in my writing. i tend to have pretty good writing and speaking skills. that's in part because my mother is an English teacher (was raised to know my grammar and with high vocabulary), but i think part of it too is just from my education.

I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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WryTerra


WryTerra

The reason we say "European"
Location: Cheltenham

Total posts: 912
Posted:In my experience there are two ways to develop a way with words. Read a lot and write as much. Words are like poi, the more you play with them, the more familiar you become with them.

"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty" - Mal Reynolds

"I can't tell the difference between an electron and a cat" - Brother of a friend

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Quote:
In my experience there are two ways to develop a way with words. Read a lot and write as much. Words are like poi, the more you play with them, the more familiar you become with them.



Very true, and well put.

I feel that in eloquence there is also alot of emotion. Some of the most eloquent speakers are those who not only use proper language and thought out words but who also puts them together with conviction.

Some exercises we use in improv performance is to take notice of your speech patterns. For example, we all have a catch phrase or a word we tend to use more than others, almost like a speaking security blanket. An fine example of this is the "valley girl" use of the word "like".
Ex] "Like, I just totally got like my hair all done and like stuff, you know?"

If you can detect that one word or phrase you use like this, and work it out of your speech pattern, then you are well on your way. However, sometime speech patterns are part of what helps to well, punctuate you. So be sure it is something you are willing to live without.

Another way to sound eloquent in speech is to extract space holders from your speech patterns. "Ummm...", "Uhhhhh....", "Emmmm..", etc are all space holders. We use them when we try to catch up with our thoughts but do not wish others to "interupt" us, so we use these to somewhat inform others that we are not yet done speaking. Interestingly enough it is something so ingrained in people that we don't always notice when we do it. And have you ever noticed that people who are deliberate speakers and do not use these tend to choose their words, which sometimes gives others the impression they are 'slow' or otherwise mentally impaired when in fact, they are not. I was fascinated by this whole study.

In writing, it is much easier to be eloquent. Take your time and really feel what you are saying. Proof read and edit as need be.

You can also try the whole thing about learning a new word per week/day and incorporating into your vocabulary. Friends and I have had some fun with that in the past! smile

Either way you choose to communicate, just remember to be yourself, as that is the best speaker of all! wink

Kindest Regards,
Pele


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction

Total posts: 13215
Posted:ok, so on here i'm extremely slack, however i love writing and i like to think that i do it well! when i write, i try to write from the heart and make sure that it flows and sounds natural. i dont see any point in writing in a way that you wouldn't speak, because when someone turns around to read it it doesnt flow for them.



or alternatively, dont mind me, im related to a bloody poet!



anyone else fine it highly amusing that my spelling is so crap i had to edit this! :P

EDITED_BY: Rouge Dragon (1074666292)


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:There's also a hell of a lot of bad grammer and punctuation misuse going on here too; the amount of mistakes with similar sounding words (they're, their, there or were and where for example), plus the inevitable misplaced apostrophe (CD's or "I was spinning with my chain's") Eugh!

There's also been a rise in the nmbr of ppl usng txt abbreviations. It's ugly. It's almost imcomprehensible and with a full keyboard in front of you it's downright lazy.

There are also people who write very beautifully. Have a star and go to the front of the class.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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Matthew B-M


Matthew B-M

Lemon-Aware Devilstick-wielding Operative
Location: East London Wilds

Total posts: 605
Posted:pounce: I think in your case it's lots and lots of practice.

The only sensible answer has been said already, read lots (then as you write you'll only ever get better and better)


Luv 'n' Lemons
purity :: clarity :: balance

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Snakey


member
Location: Isle of Wight, England

Total posts: 16
Posted:I've noticed this too.
I think the abbreviations are part of the text messaging phenomenon where grammer, spelling and punctuation can cost you money.
Elequence is a combination of two things in my mind: grammer and linguistics. You will always sound less elequant if you miss spell things, use the wrong synonym or have sloppy punctuation but you can still word things elegantly. Linguistic ability is a lot about your vocabulary. I was really lucky and both my parents are quite bright and always explained things when I didn't understand. I didn't really start reading books til I was about 13 though so you don't have to be a big reader.

Also there's an innate portion of linguistics. Men tend to think on the left side of the brain which is all about spacial awareness primordorly used in hunting. Women tend to think on the right side of the brain which remembers words, emotions and deals in abstract thought. For men language is a tool but for women it's about communication and expression (it's not just what you say but the way say it). Not saying that men can't be elequant but there is a proportion of your linguistic ability which is genetic and therefore some people will never master language the way shakespear could.

Maybe if we had a spell checker on here it would help?



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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands

Total posts: 7263
Posted:I think that like most things in life you get good at it takes three things

Natural ability
ots of learning time
Willingness to want to learn/study in the first place.

Without either one you're done for



Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Matthew B-M


Matthew B-M

Lemon-Aware Devilstick-wielding Operative
Location: East London Wilds

Total posts: 605
Posted:Quote:
I've noticed this too.
I think the abbreviations are part of the text messaging phenomenon where grammer, spelling and punctuation can cost you money.



It is quite easy to be terse in 160 characters of a text message without resorting to the 1980s modem era abbreviations. I almost always send proper sentences with sensible punctuation, and I don't have a problem. What you save by not doing it is the time to compose the message. I don't necessarily see this as a good thing. In any communication, the writer is trying to save the time of the reader, and the encodings increase the thought the reader must put in. In my opinion, therefore, they are a bad thing.

Quote:
Elequence is a combination of two things in my mind: grammer and linguistics. You will always sound less elequant if you miss spell things, use the wrong synonym or have sloppy punctuation but you can still word things elegantly.



Wording things elegantly, and making text look reasonable is down to use of language, and I find that spelling is way up there with the understandings of grammar and linguistics.

Quote:
Linguistic ability is a lot about your vocabulary. I was really lucky and both my parents are quite bright and always explained things when I didn't understand. I didn't really start reading books til I was about 13 though so you don't have to be a big reader.



I can't think of any way to say this particularly nicely, but I'm afraid that I disagree with you on this, and reading your post, it shows. You've used at least 3 different spellings of "eloquent" and derivatives, and that lack of even internal consistency makes it much harder (from my point of view) to read your article, because my mind gets drawn to the negative aspects (ie spending time deciphering what you've meant to write), rather than the point that you're trying to make.

Being eloquent is about good communication, it's making your point succinctly, without introducing undue ambiguity, and making it easy for your reader to infer what you are trying to say.

Quote:
Also there's an innate portion of linguistics.



Probably, I don't think I disagree with you on this. I would be interested to see what research has been done on it, though. I don't know how one would quantify linguistic ability, either, and how one could separate out innate ability from nurture and upbringing.

Quote:
Maybe if we had a spell checker on here it would help?



ubblol


Luv 'n' Lemons
purity :: clarity :: balance

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Snakey


member
Location: Isle of Wight, England

Total posts: 16
Posted:Nicely put.

My poor spelling and especially the lack of continuity raises an interesting point about dyslexia and visual impairment. Nearly half of the population is now thought to have some dyslexic tendencies or traits so this cannot be a disfunction, merely individual variation. Lots of people with dyslexia are very eloquent speakers and good communicators and merely struggle in a society based in written communication. I am in no way offended by your comment. I think I was lucky that I was exposed to a huge range of words and felt confident to ask about any that I couldn't comprehend. I was also corrected when I misused grammer, e.g. "can I?" instead of "may I?". I don't find words scary, I think that makes a big difference even if I can't spell.

I, however, am not dyslexic and owe my unique spelling abilities to a complex eye movement problem. ubbloco All the words and letters jump about on the page so I can't create a pictorial memory of them. This isn't so noticeable until I try and use a verb I'm not familiar with.

I think that it's also important to note that there's a big difference between writing and verbal communication. Writing is always going to be more heavily dependent on the correct use of spelling and grammer than verbal communication. There will also be a variation in spelling and grammer between different nationalities or dialects due to the global bastardisation of the English language. Communicating successfully will always be dependent upon the target audience.

As for innate abilities it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish nature from nurture. However, when determining which side of the brain is being used in a particular thought process you just need to detect the electrical activity in the brain. Obviously we do not know for certain which part of the brain does what yet but there was a lot of research done by evil nazis and fascists. The study of damage and disorders in people is the main source of research, e.g. monozygotic twins.





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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Quote:
Nearly half of the population is now thought to have some dyslexic tendencies or traits so this cannot be a disfunction, merely individual variation.



There are over 30 forms of dyslexia, most of which are directly related to things such as ADD, or other learning disabilities. However, dyslexia is something that with work is treatable, and as you said, will only primarily effect a persons written communication. However, researchers are finding this is not necessarily the case when you give many forms of dyslexic people a keyboard with properly taught typing technique. It becomes body memory where letters are and so the confusion of b-d-p-q (for example) is eliminated by removing the need to look at the letters.
There are more serious forms that do take more work, certainly, but in this day and age the lack of eloquence online I agree is due to the expediency which people feel they can have by typing abbreviations.

Quote:
I think I was lucky that I was exposed to a huge range of words and felt confident to ask about any that I couldn't comprehend. I was also corrected when I misused grammer, e.g. "can I?" instead of "may I?". I don't find words scary, I think that makes a big difference even if I can't spell.



Thank you. That made me feel really great. My son is the same way. We encourage him to speak properly, to use "large" words correctly and to ask if he doesn't understand what something means. And he does, all the time. I did the same with my parents as well. I do feel that there is a lack of home involvement that does plague society on the whole, and does in fact effect our children. It is hard to expect a child to grow up to speak eloquently when they are hearing incorrect things at home.

Quote:
I think that it's also important to note that there's a big difference between writing and verbal communication. Writing is always going to be more heavily dependent on the correct use of spelling and grammer than verbal communication. There will also be a variation in spelling and grammer between different nationalities or dialects due to the global bastardisation of the English language. Communicating successfully will always be dependent upon the target audience.



Yes! Especially on the parts of the differences in dialects and such. I have a great example of this. My son has a science book which contains a pronunciation guide in the text for important lesson works. Recently he was learning about the differences in animal families and classes. In the book was the word REPTILE. Now, most people I know pronounce it Rep-Tile, and so this is the commonly accepted pronounciation.
My son called me over when he got to that part giggling. The pronounciation key told us that the word was said "Rep-Tuhl". I checked through the book and there were what I perceived as several "mispronounciations" in the book. Then I checked where it was published. Down in the southern US where the drawl dialect does determine many things to be said very differently, and it was reflected in the book.
We simply told Noah to ask us if he had problems with a word and to not pay attention to the pronounciation guide, simply because it was incorrect for up where we live, though not for everyone.

Just wanted to share that!
beerchug


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Dom
BRONZE Member since Dec 2001

Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK

Total posts: 3009
Posted:A girl I was seeing a while ago used txt abbreviations to the extreme, even in emails. It really annoyed me as I always use full words and sentences unless I'm 5 characters over. So, the relationship didn't last long.

Back to topic - I think it's a matter of time and thought. Like great speakers, great writers think before they type. Think about if this is really what they wanted to say, if it is going to be interpretted correctly. And they write with a certain efficency that says what needs, but without waffling on too much. Currently I think none of the above happens too often.



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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:i grew up with bogans mate so i talk like a gallah, flat out!
strewth! mate it's chronic. peace


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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pounce
SILVER Member since Jan 2003

pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...

Total posts: 9831
Posted:this is quite an interesting topic.

matthew, you are probably right, i've lots and lots of practice. i was also blessed with wonderful genes and my parents created an environment that fostered my creativity and learning. i think as a combination of this all, i've been able to hone my writing and speaking skills. i'm also a writer (poet to be exact), and i've had practice in that arena as well.

communication through the internet is a tricky one, particularly in chat and message boards. it's difficult to convey your tone, your facial expressions, etc. when we take that into account, sometimes people's use of abbreviations or punctuation makes a little more sense. i almost never capitalize my sentences when talking online, not because i'm lazy, but because i have a soft voice, i speak lowly, and a lot of people who speak to me in person agree that i come across as "small" (not in a negative way) through my speech. that's not something that comes across over a computer screen. so instead i choose to not capitalize. i'm still extremely anal about my spelling and grammar (sometimes i love my mom for that but sometimes i hate her ubblol ). even after i've posted something, if i notice i've made a mistake, i'll go back and edit it, even months later. i definately blame my mom for that one....i still get evil looks if i state something incorrectly ubblol (by the time i was three years old i knew to ask "may i go to [a friend's] house?" versus "can i go to [a friend's] house?" ubblol )

i think also in this forum, and in forums similar to this, you shouldn't judge a person's language skills entirely based on what they type. i know that it's "kind of" and not "kinda." "going to" and not "gonna." but i still use them because in real life, i use slang just like anyone else. but i also can give a perfectly thought out, well-spoken speech if i need to. this is a more informal environment. versatility is important too smile


I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Actually, I finished my "not having kids" post way past my bedtime so I had to pull the "I don't care if I've proofread it or not, it's going out like this!"

I can only speak for myself. I consider myself a pretty good writer, though I mostly shoot from the hip on HoP and allow myself "spoken grammar" rules, which are very different than actual grammar rules (as seen in this sentence.) Heck, I don't even spellcheck while on HoP. I am 100% thankful to my high school English teacher, who threw out his original lesson plan and decided to spend the entire year on writing.

I not only learned where commas go and why, but how to make sentences stronger and use grammar to illustrate a point. He taught me tricks to streamline thoughts and build structure within paragraphs and essays. I do it unconsiously now.

But that's just me.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:WhAt r3@LlY g375 0n My N3Rv35 iz WhEn 50m3 n00b 57@r75 uP wI7H 7h3 L337 h@x0r 7@lK - 7h3n i7'$ @lL OvEr, R3D r0v3r!

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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spritie
SILVER Member since Sep 2001

spritie

Pooh-Bah
Location: Galveston, TX

Total posts: 2014
Posted:I completely agree with what both Pele and NYC have said.

Giving a good presentation is a true art form. While in grad. school, I got paid to coach others on how to give a good presentation. A large problem that most people had was getting rid of "ahh", "uhm", and "and" in what they said. The easiest way for them to realize this, I found, was to video tape them doing a practice run of their presentation, and play back a few minutes of that tape for them. Then, have them try again, but this time trying to point out to them when they were using those filler words. Once that was accomplished, we could move to other things such as content, cohesiveness of the ideas presented, and flow. Then, we could talk about how to express yourself better with hand gestures to help keep the audience interested as well as voice inflection at key times.

Like NYC, I too had the odd English teachers while in high school. I always seemed to get the ones that only taught english for one class period (mine) and for some reason were determined to focus on our writing skills. Luckily, those classes did come in handy when writing my PhD. thesis since that was obviously something formal.

However, for everyday writing such as e-mails to friends and stuff I post on boards my brain seems to shut down on how to make something sound smooth and elegant. Maybe it has to do with the emotional content of such items? I really don't know the answer. I do know that in social settings, I tend to write exactly like I would speak which is very much stream of conscious thought coming out. I guess it's this that I would like to make a conscious effort to change.

I have read a lot in my time, and I also agree that reading can help with both vocabulary and how you choose to express yourself. I guess I'll just have to make a conscious effort to type differently, and hope that one day my internal notions of my eloquence will change.


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:l33|\||)3|25 4 4@770l2 tongue

Unfortunately, one of my larger shortcomings as a human being is that I don't read fiction. I read all the time, but only for facts and learning. All of my friends think I'm a freak. But I don't think it had much to do with my writing, despite what others may say to try to link the two...



Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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