Articles on Speech

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Go ahead, just let off some steam. 'Swearing' via

Do we swear too much?

With the taboo on swearing loosening over the past few decades, will profanity lose its effectiveness in spoken language?
‘Baby talk’ has shorter sentences, simpler words and more repetition. Shutterstock

Why ‘baby talk’ is good for your baby

People often tell new parents to avoid 'baby talk' because it will slow down the child's language development. But evidence shows it does the opposite.
Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Greensboro, North Carolina on June 15, 2016. Jonathan Drake/Reuters

In the wake of tragedy, Trump takes rhetoric of fear to a whole new level

Two experts in political rhetoric explain how one candidate has used rhetorical devices like framing and 'argumentum in terrorem' to stoke fear and attract voters since the Orlando nightclub shooting.
Raising a child bilingually does not cause language learning difficulties.

Debunking common myths about raising bilingual children

Parents shouldn't be concerned if their bilingual child is slower to develop their vocabularly, because in most cases this is just a temporary lag.
Kim Kardashian West does a good line in vocal fry … how does that affect the public’s perception of her? EPA/Peter Foley

Keep an eye on vocal fry – it’s all about power, status and gender

Much has been written about vocal fry in recent years, with the focus on what it is, where it comes from and what it means ... at least when it comes to females who fry. What's really going on here?
The public response to the eulogies to Gough Whitlam testifies to the power of oratory that draws on and gives fresh life to memory. AAP/Alan Porritt

Memoria in Memoriam: Whitlam’s farewell invokes power of oratory

In a playful rhetorical flourish at the Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday, Indigenous leader Noel Pearson monumentalised Gough Whitlam’s prime ministerial legacy, Monty Python-style: What did the Romans ever…
Thick accents, bad accents, mumbling… BBC/Origin Pictures

Jamaica Inn complaints reveal widespread accent prejudice

The recent torrent of complaints about the “inaudible dialogue” in the BBC’s adaptation of Daphne de Maurier’s Jamaica Inn have prompted a debate about actors’ speech. The cause of the problem was variously…

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