Word of the Day Archive
Tuesday December 9, 2008
elocution \el-uh-KYOO-shuhn\ , noun:
the art of speaking or reading clearly in public, including gestures, pronunciation, and tones
No one knew her well but everyone admired her because of the beautiful way in which she recited the poetry she chose for the elocution lessons she gave in her spare time.
-- Virgilia Peterson, Few Were More Delightful, Lovely or Savage," review of The Girls of Slender Means, by Muriel Spark, New York Times, 9/15/1963
The reading textbooks of the common schools emphasized the importance of proper elocution and public speaking; they encouraged students to read out loud.
-- Diane Ravitch, Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms
by 1509, from Late Latin elocutionem "voice production, manner of expression," in classical Latin it meant "oratorical expression," and referred to Roman rhetoricians, from eloqui "to speak out."