· LESSON SUMMARY
The way you perceive a person’s tone of voice has a great deal to do with how you understand what that person is saying. The same is true of tone in writing; it’s vital to pick up on clues to tone in order to understand a written piece fully. This lesson shows you how.
Say this word out loud: “Sure.” Perhaps you didn’t realize there were so many ways to say this one single word, “sure.” But there are.Why? How did you say it? Did you say it with a smile, as in “Sure, anytime”? Or did you say it flatly, as if responding to a command? Or did you stretch the word out, “Suuuurre,” as if you didn’t believe what someone just said? Or did you ask it, as in, “Are you sure this is okay?” The word itself isn’t different; its denotation (dictionary meaning) isn’t different; so how can the same word express so many different things? The difference in the meaning of all these sures comes from the tone—how you say the word, and thus how your listeners will feel when they hear you say it.
When you speak and listen, you can hear the tone of your voice as well as the tone of the person to whom you are speaking. But how do you catch tone in writing? How do you know how the writer wants his or her words to sound? “Sure” by itself doesn’t tell us whether you should whisper or shout it. You need to look at the context surrounding that word to find clues about the proper tone to use.
Think about how tone is created in speech.When you say “sure,” the tone changes according to how loudly or softly you say the word and how slowly or quickly you say it. Tone is also conveyed (or supported) by the speaker’s expressions and body language. In writing, of course, you do not have these visual resources, but you do have plenty of clues to help you determine tone. Those clues come from the elements of language and style that you’ve studied so far: point of view, diction, and style.
· How Tone Influences Meaning
It may help you to think of a sentence as a collection of ingredients (words and phrases) that result in a dish (idea). These elements of language and style are like the spices that you need to give that sentence a certain flavor. Different spices will result in a different flavor (tone).
· Varieties of Tone
Just as there are endless varieties of tone when we speak, there are endless varieties of tone in writing. Here’s a short list of some of the more common words used to describe a writer’s tone: If any of these terms are unfamiliar to you, please look them up in a dictionary now.
An ability to determine tone is an essential component of reading comprehension. Often, writers will let their tone convey their meaning, so you need to look carefully for clues in the writer’s language and style to determine how writers want their words to sound.
NB: Tugas Reading Comprehension