Article archive

Changing a Speech Habit (with regards to accented sounds)

10/09/2017 14:53
Changing any habit is hard. And changing speech habits is especially difficult because they are deeply rooted and often an indelible part of who we are. And when we are talking about changing the way we sound, especially when it is part of an accent pattern, they are really ingrained.   I’ve...

Shakespeare and the English Language

10/03/2017 08:18
  Just how profound was Shakespeare’s influence on the development of the English language? Incredibly profound! Before Shakespeare’s time, written English, on the whole, was not standardized. His works contributed significantly to the standardization of grammar, spelling, and...

The Secret to Making a Good Speech Great?

09/09/2017 14:49
Sing it! Now hear me out— I’m not saying you should serenade your department with the results of the last quarter’s earnings. But— singing your speech can actually be an excellent strategy for improving all aspects of your vocal delivery. Here’s why. When you sing, you are connecting your words on...

A Fun English Poem

09/09/2017 11:16
Our Strange Lingo When the English tongue we speak. Why is break not rhymed with freak? Will you tell me why it's true We say sew but likewise few? And the maker of the verse, Cannot rhyme his horse with worse? Beard is not the same as heard Cord is different from word. Cow is cow but low is...

Hot drinks are soothing; they’re good for the voice, right?

09/09/2017 10:04
A nice hot cup of tea is comforting, but even after you remove the caffeine, the lemon, and the honey or sugar, you’re still left with a problem: the heat. The temperature of a fluid affects the tissue it comes in contact with. Heat causes blood vessels to dilate (open up), allowing the liquid...

Becoming a Better Communicator-- It's Never Too Late to Learn

07/07/2017 14:20
Frequently the first question people ask when they come to my office is “Can I really change my voice?” or “Is it really possible to change the way I talk?” The answer I typically offer is, “You absolutely can— with good instruction and diligent practice.” You have a unique relationship with the...

To Lead Well, Speak Well

07/03/2017 12:53
When speaking to large groups of employees, remember that your tone of voice and body language are just as important as  what's being said. When verbal and nonverbal signals are inconsistent, listeners will focus attention on nonverbal factors rather than your actual words…cont.

Does This Name Make Me Sound High Fat?

12/01/2016 08:58
For my liguistics-loving clientele! Excerpted from  The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu  by Dan Jurafsky.  Could the names of some foods make them sound heavier or lighter than others? This seems unlikely; after all, as Shakespeare said in Romeo and...

The Importance of "Soft Skills" in Engineering Fields

11/29/2016 09:57
Judith Weinman Lately, I have found myself working with more and more engineers, especially chemical engineers. The relevance and importance of "soft skills," in relation to the ability to communicate, within the field of engineering should not be underestimated. In academia, students must be...

Making the "W" Sound

10/26/2016 14:17
Tips for Producing the "w" Sound   Many of my Indian, German, Chinese, Korean, Middle Eastern and other clients find the “w” sound in English to be especially challenging. The advice I give is this: To make the /w/ sound, you’re just rounding your lips and blowing air with sound (voice) out of...
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