Tone or Attitude:
The tone is the attitude or feelings of the composer towards their audience and the subject matter. In oral presentations this may be carried by the voice, while in written communication it is conveyed by the choice of words and sentence construction. The following columns are varied attitudes that can be expressed.
considered, restrained, monotonous, ironic, impartial, impersonal, deliberative, disinterested, apathetic, apolitical
Sad, anguished, grieving, dejected, melancholic, mournful, plaintive,
Despairing, gloomy, saturnine, resigned, pessimistic, cynical, distressed,
contemplative, pensive, reflective, pondering, reminiscent, nostalgic, introspective, ruminative, brooding, vexing, rapt, fugue-state, maudlin,
Disparaging Glib beseeching brooding
Bombastic Slick diplomatic maudlin
Critical romantic compliant sad
Contemptuous personal flattering anguished
Arrogant intimate unctuous dejected
Supercilious jovial agreeable melancholic
Haughty jocular respectful longing
Disdainful genial humble yearning
Scathing pleasant ingratiating despairing
Aloof hostile servile gloomy
Aristocratic sarcastic cringing saturnine
Condescending blunt crawling resigned
Patronising direct snivelling pessimistic
Pompous polite craven cynical
Conceited sincere obsequious distressed
Abusive false toady grief-stricken
Dismissive modest sycophantic contemplative
Derisive meek forelock tugging pensive
Judgmental affectionate brown nosing reflective
Denigrating enthusiastic submissive pondering
Assertive passionate consensual reminiscent
Insistent hyper-critical begging nostalgic
Belittling pleading introspective
Intimidating Suppliant ruminative
Hectoring supine brooding
Cold Bright glowing distrusting
Demanding sympathetic humourous morbid
Brutal Supportive frivolous bored
Aggressive euphoric vitalised uninterested
abrasive blissful tedious Nihilistic
Defiant caring satirical complacent
Argumentative Optimistic keen smug
vitriolic Positive arduous self-satisfied
sarcastic assuring wonder apathetic
acerbic consoling awe comatose
bitter warm merriment negative
Combative solacing zestful
Resolute tender excited
Inflammatory sensitive delightful
Intemperate Cheerful mocking
Exercises on Tone:
Tone as Attitude
Identify the tone or attitude of each of the following speakers:
a) “Get out of here! How dare you question my authority?”
b) Would you mind leaving the room and giving us some respite please?
c) “I hope you don’t mind me saying so, but I don’t think you have the ability to complete this course.”
d) “You’re despicable! You have the manners of a pig!”
e) “You and I both know that the government has completely failed to inspire its citizens. You are too intelligent to put up with this for long.
f) Of course the parliamentarians need another raise. Why everyone knows they are destitute. One look at their faces and you can tell how gaunt and emaciated they are.
g) Mr Jackson,
My daughter tells me that you and other teachers call her Sarah. Please note that her name is Zara. See that you call her that name in the future.
h) Dear Mr Robinson,
I should deem it an honour to be considered for the position of junior salesman in you establishment. I have always wished to work in a progressive organisation like yours and I assure you I will give every satisfaction.
i) “People are important to me” expressed the personnel officer signing the dismissal notices.
j) Mr Squeers is modest; he told us so – frequently.
[Go Back A Page] [Top Of Page]