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Powerful use of English by Native Speaker. Options
Romany
Posted: Friday, October 06, 2017 4:39:43 PM
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I don't think I've ever started a topic before? But this is a Language Forum; and it is the Knowledge and Culture section, so I want to discuss some beautiful and skillful language.

It was in a speech which throughout was inspiring, compassionate, deeply empathetic and which will travel through history;- if not for any other reason but that it illustrates the way English at its very best works.

This speech never mentions political platforms or views, doesn't denigrate anyone,doesn't talk about 'us and them' only about 'us'. It never claims superiority, or authority, but encourages and empathises.The words that are used and the way they are used makes those who hear it feel courageous. Positive about the future.

I would suggest people who are learning English especially,listen to the words and how the whole speech makes one feel a little braver and a little comforted and a little inspired. So it would be a good exercise to listen to it, to note the calm, measured way it is delivered; see the way people react to it; and listen to the way each strand of the speech fits together to form a coherent whole: this is a great example of how powerful English can be when its used correctly.

Unfortunately I still can't post links (I've just accepted it now).I'm sure JJ or someone will be able to locate and pass on the url, but, if not, just google Barack Obama Profiles in Courage speech.It is, as it says, a speech about Courage: not about politics.

I should imagine all the Americans on the forum have already seen it: but to anyone who is learning English, facing an oral exam in English (Doom - are you there?), or has only heard AE in movies this is the kind of speech that we mean when we urge you to listen to spoken EnglishApplause Applause

tunaafi
Posted: Friday, October 06, 2017 5:10:36 PM

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almo 1
Posted: Friday, October 06, 2017 5:17:19 PM
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https://twitter.com/






"All I remember is every time Obama gave a speech the stocks would drop. It really was scary under him. so Grateful for President Trump"




Andrew Schultz
Posted: Friday, October 06, 2017 5:50:06 PM

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As an American, I missed this one. I've been wrapped up in other things. So thank you very much for posting it.

I could say a lot of things about Obama's speeches, but they belong in the politics forum. But I can't resist noting another good one is his 2004 Democratic Convention speech, when the nation really saw him for the first time. It's also google-able, and it may be more political, but it's quite good. (Yes, I'm biased. I voted for him in the Illinois Senatorial primary that year, thinking hey, this guy's really good, who knows, he could be President in 2012 or 2016 if things fall right.)

I think and hope any country would be glad to see someone make a speech like that, whether or not they supported the speaker's policies.

I particularly enjoy the idiom section of this fine website.
almo 1
Posted: Friday, October 06, 2017 5:58:23 PM
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Hope123
Posted: Friday, October 06, 2017 6:06:11 PM

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Obama is a very inspirational, philosophical, honest, and thoughtful speaker, even when speaking extemporaneously answering questions of the press. He took his time, searching for the right word. I so miss listening to him. It was pure pleasure. I loved just hearing him tell recently about how he felt dropping his older daughter off at university.

Good advice, Romany.

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. Phyllis Diller
Romany
Posted: Saturday, October 07, 2017 11:55:29 AM
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It's really sad to me that in both America and England the art of rhetoric is no longer part of our everyday experience.

With education standards dropping our kids have very few opportunities these days, to hear what English can do! The power of language is so strong - yet there exist people who have never heard that power used in positive ways!

Both of our nations have produced powerful speakers; the words of some of whom have become immortalised. But not for decades.

We are still producing inspirational writers. But what has happened to our Speakers? The people who can weave words together and deliver them without artifice, hyperbole, imprecision.

English is the repository of more words than any other language. It is very difficult to convince many English students - native speakers or non-native - that the key to speaking good English is *NOT* to learn as many impressive-sounding words as possible; and/or
to substitute a simple word with a complex, multi-syllabic one at every opportunity. The reason it's difficult is because it's so hard to provide them with examples of what we mean.

Great speakers illustrate that the most powerful way to use English is usually to use simple words - but ensure each word is chosen with intent. If they do use a word people are not familiar with it becomes self-explanatory...because it is the *right* word. The one word which exists purely for use in THIS particular context. That's what having a good vocabulary means.

I shames me when we speak to learners about how good English can be - and yet have to send them to sources that are thirty years old or more to hear it being 'good'!!
almo 1
Posted: Saturday, October 07, 2017 12:14:32 PM
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Hope123
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 7:25:39 AM

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Romany, I had not thought of the fact that there are so few good speakers today. That is why it was fun to watch Obama while waiting to see what word he would come up with when he was not giving a speech but speaking “off the cuff”. You could see the wheels actually turning and it was always worth the wait. He not only was positive in his speeches, but lives a positive life with a positive outlook.

Positivity is refreshing in this world full of negative people who only want to feel important and the only way they have to do that is to be negative as they have nothing to contribute themselves. So they criticize others (either outright or passive-aggressively) who have actually stuck their necks out to make a difference.

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. Phyllis Diller
almo 1
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 8:24:29 AM
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Just relax.

There are (a lot of) bloggers who are good writers.





Autumn in New York: Advising a Japanese Friend about NYC








Romany
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 4:17:46 PM
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Almo - would you please explain why a reference to a thread where I speak of being bi-polar has been posted in the middle of a thread I have initiated?

Are you inferring that I am not competent of rational thought?

In other words are you, in public, questioning my ability to function in a sane manner? Was the purpose of putting the link to discredit what I was saying on the grounds that I am mentally incapable of functioning? Or was it an attempt to humiliate and discredit me?

Or did you also post links to something which explains why you did so? In which case tell me where I can Google it and I'll share the joke. (As I have made plain - I don't see external URLs on my computer.)

tunaafi
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 4:25:15 PM

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I too, question the relevance of that link.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 5:11:42 PM

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Is it this, Romany?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3FCv3fTG9s


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Hope123
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 5:29:48 PM

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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:


Thanks, JJ.

::::

Ro, I almost responded re Almo's link too but waited for you.

I don't know if you've noticed that, once again, and quite often after you and I have posted, there will be an almost immediate post, often irrelevant, by Almostfreebird. Don't take it personally.

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. Phyllis Diller
almo 1
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 6:57:40 PM
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Yes.
Andrew Schultz
Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 8:27:01 PM

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There's an amusing contrast of presidential styles on YouTube and examples of how sometimes Obama's regular style might be right for a given situation. Dana Carvey's had some great Presidential imitations, and he takes on Obama here.

TFD's software isn't letting me link directly, but search for "Dana Carvey Is A Presidential Impersonation Machine" on YouTube, and there it is.

(small warning: bleeped out swears)

I particularly enjoy the idiom section of this fine website.
almo 1
Posted: Monday, October 09, 2017 12:40:18 AM
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Joined: 10/16/2016
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Well...Dana Carvey was in the Wayne's World.



I did not know he could do impersonations.




https://www.youtube.com/Dana Carvey Is A Presidential Impersonation Machine








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