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Concession. When you concede a point, or toss it aside as not worth discussion, when you mention a matter merely to dismiss it, without taking the trouble to make a positive statement, the voice expresses this “unpositive" state of mind by an upward inflection. It rises about four tones, generally with a quick toss.
This concessive attitude is, naturally, more common in conversation than in formal discourse.
There are probably other stores open.
As a matter of course, I am expecting to pay for this.
This is sometimes called a negative. If you use that term for it, you must not confuse negative with denial. We should speak of the two sides of a debate as affirming and denying. To say a thing is not true is a very positive statement. A negative is not the opposite of an affirmation, but the absence of any affirmation.
Mark the cases (a) of concession, (b) of expectation, and (c) of momentary completeness in “Christian's Fight with Apollyon” on page 91.
Note: In Christian's first reply notice the Hesitation. He is for a moment embarrassed by fear. In doubt or hesitation the voice is suspended, going neither up nor downdown, e.g., I–am come—from the City of Destruction.
Mark the same things in the following:
Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern; and having read all the newspapers, and beguiled the rest of the evening with his banker's—book, went home to bed. He lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner.
Now it is a fact that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door, except that it was very large. It is also a fact that Scrooge had seen it, night and morning, during his whole residence in that place. Then let any man explain to me, if he can, how it happened that Scrooge, having his key in the lock of the door saw in the knocker not a knocker but Marley's face. He went upstairs trimming his candle as he went. Before he shut his heavy door, he walked through his rooms to see that all was right. He had Just enough recollection of the face to desire to do that. Sitting-room, bed-room, lumber-room. All as they should be. Nobody under the table, nobody under the sofa; a small fire in the grate; , spoon and basin ready; and the little sauce pan of gruel (Scrooge had a cold in his head) upon the hob. Quite satisfied, he closed his door, and locked himself in, which was not his custom. Thus secured against Surprise, he took off his cravat; put on his dressing-gown and slippers, and his night-cap; and sat down before the fire to take his gruel.—A Christmas Carol.
Explain the reason for exercises 34 and lead the class in giving Some Suitable and familiar Sentences.
You have studied the most important things involved in Discrimination. You can now recognize the Author's purpose and show it by your voice, when it is momentary completeness or cumulative completeness; when it is the hesitancy of doubt, the looking forward of expectation, or the easy toss of concession.
You can with very little practice tell cases of Exclamation, in which the voice rises nearly an Octave. This upward slide is not always on the last word of the Sentence.
What a beautiful sight!
Here the voice rises upon “beautiful” for the exclamation is about the beauty. Exclamations are not always followed by an exclamation point; e. g.,
Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?
This is an exclamation but the interrogation point is put after all sentences that are in the grammatical form of a question, and therefore mere punctuation is not a safe guide to the meaning and purpose of the Author.
Will you be kind enough to shut the door?
This of course has the grammatical form of a question, but the speaker does not ask because he is ignorant and wishes information. It is not a real question, but rather a polite form of command. The voice therefore instead of rising five tones, (as it does in a real question) slides downward, just as if the direction or command had been put in an imperative form:
You will close the door N.
Whether a passage is a real question can be decided best by paraphrasing it in Such a way as to show whether the speaker really wants information.
Study the first scene of “Julius Caesar,” page 88, and
decide whether each question is a real question, an exclamation, or a command.
Mark in the margin the real questions, the exclamations, etc.
A frontiersman reads what he calls “Signs” on the prairies as readily as a city man reads the sign-boards In the streets. Tracks, a broken twig, a crushed weed, and the remains around a camp-fire, are as legible to a cow-boy as an advertisement to a reader. A Texas paper illustrates this art of reading “signs” by the following narrative: “About two miles from town he suddenly checked his horse, gazed intently on the ground, and said, “Some fellow has lost his saddle-horse here this morning.’ “There was no advertisement on any of the trees, offering a reward for a lost horse, and, as there was no lost horse in sight, we were at a loss to understand how, if a horse was lost, our friend could know so much about it. “The doctor inquired, ‘How do you know that a horse has been lost?” “‘I see his tracks.' “‘Are there not hundreds of horses pasturing on the prairie? and how do you know that this is not the track Of One of them?” “‘Because he is shod; and the horses herding on the prairie do not wear shoes.' l how do you know that he is a saddle-horse, and OSt?” “‘I see a rope-track alongside his trail. The horse has a |e on, and the rope hangs from the horn of the Saddle.” “‘But why may he not be a horse that some One has ridden over this way this morning? and why do you insist that he is lost?” “‘Because, if a man had been on his back, he would have ridden him on a straight course. But this horse has moved from side to side of the road as he strolled along, and that is a plain sign that he grazed as he went, and that he had no rider.' “‘After that, it would not surprise me,’ said the doctor, “if you were to tell us the age of the horse and the name Of the Owner.' “‘Well, that would not be very hard to do. There are signs that have told me the owner's name, and there are Other signs that, if I had time to examine, would tell me his age. ... I know he is one of old man Pendergrast's horses. Pendergrast has a large bunch of horses down in the bottom, and an old darky down there does all his shoeing, and shoes no other horses except his. So we know his shoe-track just the same as we know his
brand.’” EXERCISES Describe exercise 35 so clearly that new students, if present, would know how and why to do it. Lead the class in practising it.
Implied Contrast. The last element that we shall study in Discrimination is comparison or contrast, in which the speaker implies a comparison that he does not state in words. He mentions something with an inflection of voice that plainly indicates a contrast between it and something else not there mentioned. Of course assertion sets off the asserted word Or idea from what is assumed, and there is a sort of contrast in that. But in assertion you do not contrast something you say with something you leave unsaid. Indeed there is no definite contrast at all between what you assert and what you assume.
I did not recognize him at first.
This is a simple assertive inflection, downward and Onward. My castles, are my king's alone From turret to foundation stone-–
The hôd of Douglas is his own.
Here, there is a strong contrast between his castles (which he holds as a vassal or renter from the King), and his dignity, over which even the king has no authority. The voice shows this implied contrast by rising and falling upon the same word. This double motion of the voice on a single word is the mind's instinctive way of indicating a contrast that is not fully expressed in words.
Daniel Webster, after discussing Hayne's statement that men must choose liberty or union, wishes to deny that he must give up liberty if he chooses union, and says he will choose Liberty àd Union. The contrast is not stated in words, but is shown by the double slide in the voice upon the word “and” which is contrasted in Webster's mind with “or.”
1. Find five or six cases of such contrast in “Marmion and Douglas” page 74. 2. State clearly and exactly what contrast is implied, ~ and paraphrase each so as to bring the contrasted ideas into sharp opposition.