Culture of Speech
“Oratory is the art of practical verbal influence, providing us with the ability to expertly use the word as an instrument of thought and belief. The field for rhetorical activity is boundless: how to organize your speech to the teacher? How to make a declaration of love? how to speak in parliament? Science, forgotten in the country and in need of rehabilitation, must answer these and many other questions – rhetoric.
For many centuries, it has been the norm of culture, one of the classical humanitarian disciplines that studies human speech and recommends the rules of skillful, appropriate and persuasive speech. ”
What served as an incentive for the revival of rhetoric and increased attention to the disciplines read at the philological faculties? Note that today these subjects have become popular both at political science, and at financial and economic, and even at engineering and technical departments of universities.
The fact is that in recent decades, the communication and, accordingly, linguistic situation in society has changed dramatically. New ways of storing and processing verbal information have appeared, in which the audible and audiovisual sources of speech (radio, television, telephone communications), i.e., oral speech in its completely new varieties, have become dominant.
The visual sources of speech have acquired new qualities, significantly expanding and enriching the situational-thematic areas of application of written speech (for example, written speech, functioning in a computer). And until recently, the problems of the formation of speech skills were relevant, as a rule, for specialties related to the so-called humanitarian cycle, and for teaching the Russian language as non-native, today almost the entire education system has faced the task of forming skills and oral art skills.
One cannot fail to mention one more, no less important factor that influenced the extreme urgency of the problem of communication culture in our country. The fact is that to the global scientific and technical processes that covered the vast majority of the regions of the world, we have added purely specific ones – the democratization of public life, social and, accordingly, verbal activation of the huge layers of the population (with all the ensuing processes in the language itself)
Today it is important not only to be able to build one’s oral statement, convincingly defending one’s own position (naturally, in compliance with the rules of the culture of verbal communication), but also to be able to understand someone else’s speech and adequately respond to it.
Moreover, if in contact communication the listener can to some extent adjust the pace of new information by asking the other person (lecturer), asking him to speak slower, comment on some not very clear statement, then with distant perception of speech (radio, television) there is no such possibility . The listener is forced to perceive speech at a pace, language design and volume that do not take into account his individual capabilities.
In connection with what has been said, we recall that “ancient rhetoric, focused mainly on judicial and ceremonial speeches, was redesigned in the Middle Ages with the intention primarily of writing letters and sermons, and in the Renaissance and Classicism, with reference to all fiction”
To our great regret, modern rhetoric – in terms of its content and the methods used in speech writing – continues to remain at approximately the same level as centuries ago.
It does not take into account, firstly, new tasks and historical realities, and secondly, the results of studies in related fields of knowledge, for example, linguodidactic data on the temporal characteristics of speech and the optimal duration of texts in various situations and from different sources of information, linguistic data on specifics lexicogrammatic design of thought in various communication situations.
But such information obtained as a result of scientific research has long and successfully been used by specialists in the field of teaching non-native languages.
Can the manual, designed to develop the skills of using speech as the main tool, an instrument of influence and obtaining information, not contain information that full listening (listening and understanding of speech) takes 20 minutes for contact and 5-7 minutes for distant communication, and the pace of their own speaking is optimal for the listeners, and it is from here that a need arises for interphrase pause, so that during the pause the listeners have time to comprehend the information.
As a rule, rhetoric textbooks contain only known truths about the need to express one’s thoughts “with feeling, plainly, with arrangement” or indicate that “where words fly off too easily and smoothly, be on your guard because the horse is lucky trolley loaded, at a slow pace. ”