Do elocutionists kill people?

Although some may say they've been bored to death during a presentation (while others may have died laughing), the elocutionist's effects on the audience probably aren't permanent.

Elocution is the manner in which a speaker delivers a message, using both voice and gestures. An elocutionist might execute an outstanding speech (and some may even make a killing by charging professional fees for their speechmaking), but the most they're likely to murder is the language.

In The Rise of Silas Lapham, William Dean Howells writes, "Her sister often read it aloud, standing behind her and rendering it with elocutionary effects."

In Ulysses, James Joyce prepares readers for Professor Hugh MacHugh's vocal production with this description: "He extended elocutionary arms from frayed stained shirtcuffs, pausing . . ."

In George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, Professor Henry Higgins suddenly resorts to "the most thrillingly beautiful low tones in his best elocutionary style" as he announces, "By George, Eliza, the streets will be strewn with the bodies of men shooting themselves for your sake before I've done with you."