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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
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    Default accustomed to speak and be heard.

    What is "accustomed to speak and be heard."? Everyone is used to speaking and hearing. Does it have any special meaning?

    Hearts and Hands by O. Henry
    As they passed down the aisle of the coach the only vacant seat offered was a reversed one facing the attractive young woman. Here the linked couple seated themselves. The young woman's glance fell upon them with a distant, swift disinterest; then with a lovely smile brightening her countenance and a tender pink tingeing her rounded cheeks, she held out a little gray-gloved hand. When she spoke her voice, full, sweet, and deliberate, proclaimed that its owner was accustomed to speak and be heard.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: accustomed to speak and be heard.

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    What is "accustomed to speak and be heard."? Everyone is used to speaking and hearing. Does it have any special meaning?

    Hearts and Hands by O. Henry
    As they passed down the aisle of the coach the only vacant seat offered was a reversed one facing the attractive young woman. Here the linked couple seated themselves. The young woman's glance fell upon them with a distant, swift disinterest; then with a lovely smile brightening her countenance and a tender pink tingeing her rounded cheeks, she held out a little gray-gloved hand. When she spoke her voice, full, sweet, and deliberate, proclaimed that its owner was accustomed to speak and be heard.
    That is a rather odd paragraph. In places, it sounds as if it is from a somewhat old-fashioned novel (Jane Austen style) and in others as if it was written by a non-native.

    "The linked couple" is a strange phrase although I suppose if they were linking arms at the time, they might be described as such.

    However, "... the owner was accustomed to speak and be heard" is very unnatural. I cannot see why it wasn't written "... the owner was accustomed to speaking and being heard". Perhaps, at the time of writing, "accustomed" was followed by the infinitive etc but I somehow doubt it.

    As far as the meaning goes, it means that her tone of voice showed that she was used to people attentively listening to her whenever she spoke. She was not used to being ignored. The "be heard" part is the relevant part here.

  3. #3
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: accustomed to speak and be heard.

    I get the sense that the "be heard" means she is used to people doing what she says, i.e. being obeyed.

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