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Clarity

TONGUE TWISTERS

are a fun way to warm up your lips and tongue and to remind you not to be lazy. Try saying these three times - and increase the tempo!

For me there are two areas  which are critical for conveying your meaning clearly


The first is articulating the final consonant/consonant cluster in a word.  In the line ‘I can think of six thin things’, it’s important that we hear thiN, thinK and thinGS to avoid confusing everyone with I can thin of six thin thins!  


There’s a big difference between door and dawn, whirl and world. Don’t leave your audience guessing or inferring what you mean. Be clear!


The second important thing is not to swallow the end of your sentences. The way that Englisg is constructed grammatically, the last word of a sentence is usually the most important for conveying the meaning - good writers think very carefully how to phrase a sentence so as to make the most of the ending.


Swallowing happens either when you run out of breath (so you say “stop with your neighbour for a friendly tour’ - instead of saying ‘friendly talk!’) or because you use a downward inflexion which buries the words in your chest somewhere.

Rather thaqn throwing the ends of sentences away, or leaving them to fend for themselves, clear speakers pay attention to the ends of their sentences and either sustain the energy right through to the full stop, or even give added emphasis to it. Questions (with their rising inflexions) and exclamations (with their attendant drama) are rarely a problem. It’s the run-of-the-mill sentence that, if you’re not careful, peters out in a full stop (or even worse, a  . . . )

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