Today’s Evocative Word from Mark Twain: FURTIVE
How Mark Twain Used Today’s Evocative Word – FURTIVE – to get ’em evocating!
“The cayote (sic) is a long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton, with a gray wolf-skin stretched over it, a tolerably bushy tail that forever sags down with a despairing expression of forsakenness and misery, a FURTIVE and evil eye, and a long, sharp face, with slightly lifted lip and exposed teeth. He has a general slinking expression all over. The cayote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry.
He is always poor, out of luck and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him, and even the fleas would desert him for a velocipede. He is so spiritless and cowardly that even while his exposed teeth are pretending a threat, the rest of his face is apologizing for it. And he is so homely!—so scrawny, and ribby, and coarse-haired, and pitiful. When he sees you he lifts his lip and lets a flash of his teeth out, and then turns a little out of the course he was pursuing, depresses his head a bit, and strikes a long, soft-footed trot through the sage-brush, glancing over his shoulder at you, from time to time, till he is about out of easy pistol range, and then he stops and takes a deliberate survey of you; he will trot fifty yards and stop again—another fifty and stop again; and finally the gray of his gliding body blends with the gray of the sage-brush, and he disappears.”
Source: Roughing It (Mark Twain, 1880)
For unique and interesting insights on Mark Twain, read – What Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speakin‘ from Conor Cunneen which provides wit and wisdom from the great man to help you craft better speeches and presentations.
Mark Twain, long recognized as a wonderful author and humorist was possibly THE most successful professional speaker ever. He enthralled audiences from Berlin to Boston, from Montana to Melbourne with storytelling full of humor, pathos and humanity. He was regarded by many as an exceptional impromptu speaker, except he wasn’t! Twain worked diligently at his craft, researching, writing, rewriting and memorizing his material.
In this book, I showcase the words of Twain and his contemporaries via a unique MARK TWAIN acronym to highlight what Mark Twain Learned Me ’bout Public Speaking. The nine lessons provide a memorable and implementable framework for great speech making and presentation.
The MARK TWAIN acronym spells:
Relate to audience
Know your objective
Titter and humor
Wait (the Pause)
Narration and Stagecraft