top of page
  • air voice
    The voice exiting the mouth and heard by others. This is your recorded voice. You can hear your own air voice without recording it by placing the fingertips of your cupped hand around the outer edge of the ear, pointing your palm toward your mouth and holding it a finger's width off your cheek. See body voice.
  • body voice
    This is the first voice we hear of ourselves. It is only heard by oneself or with special equipment. It sounds muffled when compared to our air voice because this sound travels through the bones and tissue between your vocal cords and the ear drum. It sounds similar to our voice under water, but with better clarity. See air voice.
  • emotion bravery
    An event or circumstance that requires courage to say, courage to not say, courage to hear, or courage to feel.
  • Four Windows
    The Four Windows, also called the Johari Window, are: One - knowledge of self known by self and known by others. Two - knowledge of self known by self and not known by others. Three - knowledge of self unknown by self, but known by others; and Four - knowledge of self unknown to self and unknown by others. Getting feedback looking through the Four Windows is key to knowing your complete self.
  • melodic contour
    A line drawn through the changing pitches of speech and through the melody of written (sheet) music.
  • neologism
    A new word, usage, or expression ( New words help us name and tame a hazard or a danger, like malaria. They also help us share joy and pleasure, like a newborn baby, and every sense in-between.
  • neuroscience
    The science of nerves and nervous tissue and their relation to behavior and learning. Paraphrased from Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1991 by Merriam-Webster Inc.
  • Practice What You Know
    When you ask for changes in the volume, tone, or word-speed, you need to practice what you know, i.e., say it the way you want it said. Using the volume, tone, or word-speed appropriately is a practice, so let yourself and those around you make a few mistakes using them.
  • Sound Barrier
    Sound barriers are any thought word or action or even a physical block that prevents talking or thinking about volume, tone, and word-speed. Fear of bad consequences if you bring attention to someone’s volume, tone, or word-speed is a sound barrier.
  • Sound Herd
    The Sound Herd are those who hear a conversation, but are not the intended audience.
  • Sound Message
    Every sound that leaves your mouth or throat (from the vocal cords, as in a growl, grrrrr, -moans, etc.). Mouth sounds include the volume, tone, and speed of words spoken AND tsks, laughter, raspberries (bilateral fricatives), quick breaths, crying, etc.
  • Sound Message Contract
    A written or unwritten contract, but always present, of the expectations of civil and appropriate uses of Sound Messages. Everyone has a right to a safe and productive environment everywhere.
  • sound message levels
    level one - not recorded and working from memories of what was said. The least accurate. level two - recorded. Orders of magnitude more accurate than level one.
  • Sound Message Method
    Sound Message Methods are conversational tools that enable safe, constructive, and even enjoyable conversations. Asking for someone to lower their volume is a Sound Message Method that will put limits on the volume used in any conversation. Stating "This is not a constructive talk. I'm going to walk." is another Sound Message Method. See blog titled "This is not a constructive talk. I'm going to walk."
  • speed
    (Also word-speed): the speed of spoken words measured in words per minute (wpm). It ranges from zero to 330 wpm for humans and up to 500 wpm for computer-generated speech.
  • spoken oxy-moron
    When the volume, tone, and or speed of spoken words do not support or take away meaning from the words. Sarcasm are spoken oxy-morons; so is boasting "I am humble!"
  • tone
    (Also tone-of-voice) The color of our speech. This voice variable is initially harder to describe than volume or speed. The only way to ‘measure it’ is by your own decision and the opinions of others. Perhaps linguists can measure this feature of our voice. Us lay-people cannot and it is not necessary or needed anyway. The opinions of those who hear the speech and speak the speech are in the best position to determine the tone of their words. If there is disagreement describing tone, choose different words to describe it until a comfortable opinion reveals itself. When you have a list of words to describe tone, then it becomes as easy as describing volume and speed. Remember, when we name something, we tame it or at least make way for others to work with you on that something to accomplish a common goal. To describe or ask about tone, use adjectives like boldly, angry, joyously, sadly, lamenting, sarcastic, pining, happy, fearful, trembling, ecstatic, and emphatically. Make your own list and add many of the other descriptors you can use for tone. When you wonder how someone is feeling, get that information from the source. Make a casual statement with your best guess of their tone. Something like “Those are very bold words. Is this something you feel strongly about?” Even if you are not sure at first, guess and ask anyway. Eventually, your accuracy will improve to the same level as the rest of us with your repeated efforts. Sometimes all we can do is guess, so give yourself an A for guessing and a D if you don’t ;-).
  • word-speed
    (Also speed): the speed of spoken words measured in words per minute (wpm). It ranges from zero to 330 wpm for humans and up to 500 wpm for computer-generated speech.
  • vocal bullying
    When one or more person's volume, tone, and or speed of their words cause the listener(s) to feel annoyed, uncomfortable, scared, or threatened. Vocal bullying DOES occur when people use excessive volume, tone, and or speed of their words at each other.
  • volume
    How loud or silent we speak. This ranges from silent to EXASPERATINGLY loud. Volume can be no quieter than silent and no louder than EXASPERATINGLY loud. While this feature of our voice can be measured, the opinions of those who hear the speech and speak the speech are in the best position to determine the volume of their words.

The Sound Message Dictionary

bottom of page