Speaking of Speech

Just discovered a great book – “The Mother Tongue” by Bill Bryson. It’s witty and informative – about where our words, spelling and pronunciation came from. With all our bodies have to do to produce speech it’s amazing that we speak fluently and are understood. Here’s a great quote from the book.

“In normal conversation we speak at a rate of about 300 syllables a minute. To do this we force air up through the larynx…and by variously pursing our lips and flapping our tongue around in our mouth, rather in the manner of a freshly landed fish, we shape each passing puff of air into a series of loosely differentiated plosives, fricatives, gutturals, and other minor atmospheric disturbances. They emerge as a more or less continuous blur of sounds. Syllables, words and sentences run together like a watercolor left out in the rain.”