The 1920s saw the emotionally dramatic practice of elocution replaced by a more restrained model of public speaking. During this period, the “Pronunciphone” Company sold phonographs designed to teach the appropriate pronunciation of words alongside psychologist Carl Seashore’s phonophoto-graphic images of scientifically defined beautiful vocal performances. As these and other thinkers produced technologies to measure, manipulate, and improve the voice, speech acquired a technological aesthetic—something demonstrated particularly well by the speech of the radio announcer. Good speech was to be controlled, controlling, and efficient, much like the technologies through which it could be captured and broadcast. Looking at this history sheds an important light on a variety of ways in which technologies are used in speech, exposing the rhetorics of technology and emotion that underlie both past and present discourses of speech technologies.


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pp. 1-19
Launched on MUSE
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