Pacing of Speech LO6693

John Paul Fullerton (
Mon, 15 Apr 1996 00:25:07 +0000

Replying to LO6683 -- was: Spirited Debate on LO
[Subject line changed by your host...]

> I'm conscious of adjusting my pace, insertiveness, use of
> pauses, use of questions, etc. to match the other person. Of these, I find
> pace of speech to be the single most important. Why? I don't know.

First, in relation to "pace of speech", I'm from Texas and have lived
here all my life. "Fixin to go meeohk the cows" makes sense to me
though I don't work at a farm. From slightly different focus - I've
worked at a university library for about 13 years, and there have
been times in a group when I have been asked to restate what I said,
possibly because it was not heard, and I would respond by speaking
more quietly. Anyway, I can imagine that the slowness of speech gives
time to relate slowly in mind to the meaning of the words, like
walking out the full distance of the pier to say that the water is
still tonight. There always seems to be another place that is "really
the deep South", and so I don't hear conversations around here as
very slow. There may be a savoring quality to speech when time is
given to regard the individual meanings of words. To forsake that
slow consideration might seem inconsiderate to the speaker themself.
I'm not saying that making others endure the process is necessarily

I do not mean that that is how I see my own communications; however,
it seems relevant to the pace of communication.

Another useful consideration is that as people grow older, they gain
more associative links in memory. There's some evidence that
remembering (and, I would think, use of what is remembered) increases
in requirements as learning increases. There's a theory, don't know
if it's still considered true, that we categorize things that we
learn and remember more if we categorize things. Putting things in
categories results in "tree-like" structures in memory so that we get
to certain information through its association with other
information. When the tree has extensive branching, then it takes
more time to search it. If I just know three things about a movie
star, it's fairly easy for me to pursue my links and be finished
speaking. If I grew up during the development of their career, it
might not be so easy to say everything. When it's something possibly
less tangible, like the responsibilities of a supervisor, the
application of learning may not be easy to explain.

Have a nice day
John Paul Fullerton


"John Paul Fullerton" <>

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