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OROTUND

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OROTUND

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:26 pm

• orotund •


Pronunciation: or-ê-tênd • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Clearly and elegantly articulated (speech), sonorous, full of deep, well rounded sounds. 2. Bombastic, pompous, pretentious.

Notes: Originally, today's Good Word was used to describe clearly articulated speech, with broadly rounded Os and rolled Rs, speech that rolled trippingly over the lips. However, the melodramatic speech of the orator and stage actor of previous centuries was quickly associated with pretension and theatrical wordiness, hence, its newer meaning. Of course, you don't have to be rotund (plump, having a roundish figure) to speak orotundly (the adverb), which is to say, with orotundity (the noun).

In Play: Stage actors are most closely associated with the original sense of orotundity, since their voices must travel a great distance yet remain clear, "Hector's orotund delivery of Lear's monologue carried easily to the back row of the balcony." As drama moved from the stage to the screen, however, the second meaning began crowding out the first, "The new minister let loose such a flurry of orotund phrases, that even he lost track of what he was saying several times before he finished."

Word History: Today's Good Word originated as a Latin phrase, ore rotundo "with a round mouth": ore "with the mouth" + rotundo "round". Os is the Proto-Indo-European word for "mouth" that hardly changed in Latin. It appears elsewhere most notably in osculate "to kiss". This root also emerged in Russian ustnyi "oral" and ust'je "mouth of a river". Latin, however, harbored a peculiar sound change called 'rhotacism' that sometimes changed [s] to [r]. So, the root of os became or- in some cases: os "mouth", but ore "with the mouth". This is why we also have oral, orifice, and today's Good Word—all borrowed from Latin. Rotundus is related to a series of words referring to rolling and things that roll, including English roll and German Rad "wheel". (Today we are indebted to Ralph Mowery for this roundly entertaining Good Word.)
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Re: OROTUND

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:30 pm

I think of James Earl Jones: "This is CNN".
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Re: OROTUND

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:18 pm

In a jocular vein, notice that if you leave off the "o" you get rotund. Perhaps it's not over until the fat lady speaks.
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Re: OROTUND

Postby Slava » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:05 am

Philip Hudson wrote:In a jocular vein, notice that if you leave off the "o" you get rotund. Perhaps it's not over until the fat lady speaks.

I do believe that that's the whole deal with this word. Do we not speak of full-bodied and well-rounded voices?
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: OROTUND

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:29 am

The Baptist pastor Carlyle Marney had a very orotund delivery and a voice deeper than God's, according to a discussion about him following his death. Someone else responded to the similar basso profundo in the Hollywood extravaganza Exodus. Another raised the question, "How else would you have God sound."

American preaching has undergone a revolution for similar reasons given above. The early preachers had to yell to be heard, especially in the summer with open windows and all kinds of outside noise. That yelling got to be identified with preaching, and those of us in the vanguard of conversational delivery often got criticized because we weren't preaching. That same bombastic delivery now often inhabits political pulpits.
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Re: OROTUND

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:22 am

Slava: Yep. You get my drift.

Perry: Great Uncle J L was a rather fiery preacher in my mother's childhood. My mother refused to go to church because, "Uncle Jim, stomped the floor, hit the table (pulpit), and said Hell and Damn all the time." Later, Uncle J L baptized my mother, so she must have come to terms with his preaching as she grew older. Some preachers and other public speakers get too loud and too animated, but that is not how I understand orotund. I prefer definition 1, and by that definition, Dr. Carlyle Marney was a master at orotund speaking. He was a master communicator in speech and writing. He was so good that Baptists could not tolerate him. So they cast him into outer darkness. Watch who you preach the Social Gospel to.

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Re: OROTUND

Postby MTC » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:48 am

Orotunda

orotund voices
debate the choices

in basso profunda
across the rotunda

brontosaurs bellow
knees turn to jello

there's more thunder than light
when the Congressmen fight

MTC
Last edited by MTC on Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:03 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: OROTUND

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:56 am

MTC: If you keep writing these poems, you will have to publish a book. I will buy one.
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Re: OROTUND

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:17 pm

As would I, this is terrific.
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