In our grandparents’ day, children practiced elocution and debate from grammar school up. Young ladies were taught how to speak pleasantly with correct diction, and young men were trained in public speaking. Sadly, nowadays the only place you are likely to see such instruction is through the 4‑H Public Speaking program. Children mumble, slur their words, use “like” or “you know” as an introduction to every phrase, and communicate extensively with slang terms (“That, like, you know, really bums me out.”) Not only does this inability to speak correctly cause communication problems, but it causes employers untold headaches because it is so hard to find employees who use proper speech patterns and conversational skills when interacting with customers.

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