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N order to read well we must look
words as mere symbols, things that represent ideas and thoughts but are not, in themselves, the living beings they become when properly joined together and impregnated with life by the expressive power of the voice. They are symbols representing ideas, and signs that direct us on the way to the delivery of the vocal message, and should be looked upon merely as means to an end and not as an end in themselves. Aim to speak thoughts, not words. Look beyond the words, see the idea they represent and then express it by the voice. This is much easier said than done, and before we can hope to be good readers, hope to express by the tones of the voice the meaning of the words, hope to so govern the voice as to interpret the thought
by means of inflection, emphasis, pitch, force, and time, we must thoroughly understand the vocal mechanism and have it absolutely under control.
Reading is, in some respects, more difficult than speaking. In reading, the eye must first carry the idea to the brain, the brain then conveys it to the vocal organs and it is then transferred into words; whereas in speech, the brain at once sets the vocal mechanism into action and the thought is given immediate utterance. Reading requires two mental actions, speaking but one.
We must gain the faculty of seeing individual words and yet grasping them collectively, because the individual word often indicates how the thought should be expressed, but we cannot tell what the thought is until we have read the phrase and, sometimes, the sentence. For instance: The word “if" in the following, “If it were so, it was a grievous fault,” shows the reader that the opening clause is conditional, but he cannot tell what the completed thought is until he finishes the concluding clause, therefore he must see the word “ if " in order to note the conditional, but he must also quickly sweep his eye along the entire thought in order to know how to inflect and emphasize the voice. In the following, “I said an elder soldier, not a better," it is essential that we grasp the en