Thursday, February 28, 2013

To Speak Like A Gentleman

Speaking like a gentleman does not only mean using proper grammar, avoiding slang, and shunning bad language.  It also has much to do with the tone and volume of the voice.  Etiquette for Gentleman, a highly useful compilation of gentlemanly instruction written in the 1890's, states, 'There is a certain distinct but subdued tone of voice which is peculiar to only well-bred persons.  A loud voice is both disagreeable and vulgar.  It is better to err by the use of too low than too loud a tone.'

Unfortunately, unnecessarily strident voices are often heard in public places, most lamentably in places such as restaurants.  When sitting down to dinner, even amongst good friends, it is important that one's voice retain a respectable volume and tone.  It is useful to note, too, that in any situation, a man with a quiet voice yet a firm, commanding tone and bearing is going to be heard and given regard by those to whom he speaks; in contrast, a loud, insistent way of speaking is sure to result only in the annoyance and, eventually, the abandonment of one's audience.