Read this man's speech. See how soon you can tell what he is talking about. In it he includes over fifty variations on the words say and speak. See how many of them you can incorporate into your own use of English.'Ladies and Gentlemen!
I hope you will excuse me for butting into your conversations in this way. I know nobody likes being interrupted at such a time, but I have been asked to say a few words, make a speech if you like, on this extra-special occasion. And may I say first what a pleasure and honour it is to have the opportunity to address you like this, this afternoon.
You know, ever since you first hinted to me that something of this sort might be on the cards, I have been debating with myself constantly as to how I could best express the sentiments I want to convey to you, here, this afternoon. And then when you actually broke the news and announced a date, I began to consult friends and acquaintances who have been in this position, discussing the subject with them at length and in detail.
I can reveal today, however, that the problems of phrasing my message have not been solved. I suppose if I were an actor, I could recite a relevant speech of Shakespeare's. Were I a priest, I might preach to you, but I fear it would be a poor sermon. As a politician, I could read out a prepared statement and then go on repeating 'No comment'. If you were a class of students, I might give you a lecture. Were you secretaries, I could dictate what I have to say. If we had more time, we could chatter and gossip together for hours. But you and I are none of these things, so I shall have to put my message across in more ordinary terms. I suppose I could simply declare that this is one of the happiest days of my life and claim that I never thought I could be as happy as I am today. Or I could just state a few useless facts and figures and leave it at that. I could, on the other hand, refer to what great men — and women — have said or written on this theme, and just quote a few famous lines. I might also mention my own experience, reminisce a little, recount a few anecdotes, tell a few stories and make some significant comment on young people today.
Standing here, I can assure you, my main fear is not that I shall 'dry up' -1 have already uttered too many words on this theme to be at a loss for words now — but that I shall, in a rash moment, blurt out what I have to say, gabble away for a few seconds and leave too much unsaid, unspoken. Then again, while I stand here thinking aloud, arguing with myself, contradicting myself perhaps, you will no doubt be thinking, 'Why's the old man rambling on like this without getting to the point?' *Why doesn't he just come out with it?' you'll be saying. 'Spit it out!' I hear you cry.
Well, time marches on, and I can see that you have no need of explanations or illustrations from me; no account of my own life is required, no descriptions or recommendations. I shall not bother to sum up what I have said so far. All I should like to add on this — how shall I put it? - extra-special occasion is: I hope you'll both be very happy.'