Tone or Attitude: #
The tone is the attitude or feelings of the composer towards their audience and the subject matter. In oral presentations this may be carried by the voice, while in written communication it is conveyed by the choice of words and sentence construction. The following columns are varied attitudes that can be expressed.
considered, restrained, monotonous, ironic, impartial, impersonal, deliberative, disinterested, apathetic, apolitical
Sad, anguished, grieving, dejected, melancholic, mournful, plaintive,
Despairing, gloomy, saturnine, resigned, pessimistic, cynical, distressed,
contemplative, pensive, reflective, pondering, reminiscent, nostalgic, introspective, ruminative, brooding, vexing, rapt, fugue-state, maudlin,
longing, yearning, craving, wistful, pining, needy, supplicating, pleading, urgent, lustful….
Disparaging Glib beseeching brooding
Bombastic Slick diplomatic melancholic
Critical romantic maudlin longing
Contemptuous personal compliant sad
Arrogant intimate flattering anguished
Supercilious jovial unctuous dejected
Haughty jocular agreeable yearning
Disdainful genial respectful gloomy
Scathing pleasant humble
Aloof ingratiating despairing hostile servile
blunt crawling resigned
polite craven cynical
sincere obsequious distressed
false toady grief-stricken
Derisive meek forelock tugging pensive
Judgmental affectionate brown nosing reflective
passionate consensual reminiscent
caring satirical complacent
Exercises on Tone:
Tone as Attitude
Identify the tone or attitude of each of the following speakers:
a) “Get out of here! How dare you question my authority?”
b) Would you mind leaving the room and giving us some respite please?
c) “I hope you don’t mind me saying so, but I don’t think you have the ability to complete this course.”
d) “You’re despicable! You have the manners of a pig!”
e) “You and I both know that the government has completely failed to inspire its citizens. You are too intelligent to put up with this for long.
f) Of course the parliamentarians need another raise. Why everyone knows they are destitute. One look at their faces and you can tell how gaunt and emaciated they are.
g) Mr Jackson,
My daughter tells me that you and other teachers call her Sarah. Please note that her name is Zara. See that you call her that name in the future.
h) Dear Mr Robinson,
I should deem it an honour to be considered for the position of junior salesman in you establishment. I have always wished to work in a progressive organisation like yours and I assure you I will give every satisfaction.
i) “People are important to me” expressed the personnel officer signing the dismissal notices.
j) Mr Squeers is modest; he told us so – frequently.