I am not sure this was the best topic for a speech but I think it demonstrates how to use language that is best for your audience. See my previous post to compare.
Butch’s point was “Don’t, let a girl put anything over on you.” Because of its human interest, romantic angle, and surprise ending, this illustration was well received by the students. Later, how¬ever, he put the story in a talking picture frame. Told it as people would expect Butch to talk and the way college students would really like to hear it. He dramatized it, and spoke as though the event were happening. at that very moment right before the audience’s eyes. He also gave the talk a title:
THE FLUFF OFF
Last week I was sprawled on my bunk in the dorm when the ‘phone rang.
I hopped up and answered.
Sweet momma! Who could she be?
Sue? Yeah, man. (A doll in anyone’s arms).
“Would I what, Sue . . . Take you to a party?”
“Well – er – well, er – YES!”
Dig that, man! Queenie askin’ me — a li’l ol’ freshman to strong-arm her to the party, with all the upper-class wolves glarin’ green-eyed.
I scraped the grouch-bag and dug up fifteen dollars for an orchid.
Queenie must have the best!
An hour later at the party, Queenie said, “Do you know why I asked you to bring me to this party, Butch?”
“No. I wondered.”
“I’m going with two fellows. And as I don’t want to hurt either of their feelings I asked you to bring me tonight.”
“Oh, I see. Back home, in Massachusetts, they’d call me the ‘fall-guy.’”
“Oh, no, Butch. Don’t feel that way about it … Butch . . .”
“This orchid’s nice. But it is rather small.”
(Small! Fifteen bucks! Small?)—This to myself of course,
. . . And so on into the evening.
Finally I took her home.
We stood at the door.
There was no good-night kiss. Just a frown from me, as I looked at my watch and exclaimed, “Oh, it’s after twelve o’clock! And I promised my wife I’d be home before midnight!”
Within reason a speaker speaks the language of his audience. As a person wears clothes suitable for the occasion, a style of speaking should also be in harmony with circumstances and in keeping with the audience’s tastes. Naturally if Butch were speaking to a group of teachers about the kind of textbooks students like he would adjust his manner to suit the subject and audience, yet he could still be natural and interesting.
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