How does Shaw utilize idea of “Visible Speech”?
There are 3 kinds of speech: audible, visible and uttered. In his play Show implements visible speech when Higgins writes down all the words of people who crowded near the flower-girl. Everybody thought that he was a nark but he just was a professor, the biggest phonetic specialist in England. Higgins makes big money with his job.
”Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby!” Higgins said during his first meeting with Pickering. Higgins explains him how ”Visible Speech” helps him to earn pounds. Using ”Visible Speech” Higgins can say where every Englishman was born and can repeat everything he said with the same accent. That knowledge show how professional Mr Higgins was. ”I can spot an Irishman or a Yorkshireman by his brogue. I can place any man within six miles. I can place him within two miles in London. Sometimes within two streets.” That is how Higgins boasted about his skills.
As for the adequacy of that concept, using this approach, people may be scared and think that you are strange a bit. In the play we can see that everybody who stood near the flower-girl was frightened. They began to doubt about who Higgins was and what he wanted. Agree that it is very oddly that a person can say the place of your birth without knowing you. ”Visible speech” and the way of using it were strange for the people of those ages. Almost nobody knows what it was. ”What is this? It is not our language. I can understand nothing here.” – said Eliza when she saw what Higgins wrote down into his notebook.
As a conclusion I can say that Alexander Melville Bell (the inventor of ”Visible made a hard work and ”Visible Speech” is a great and very important idea that has many functions of using it even nowadays.
1. Bernard Shaw. Pygmalion. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2015, from http://citaty.info/book/bernard-shou-pigmalion?page=2
2. Pygmalion Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2015, from http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/184399-pygmalion
3. The LitCharts study guide to Pygmalion. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2015, from http://www.litcharts.com/lit/pygmalion/quotes
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