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That’s the Word For It: Sotto Voce

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Sotto voce means to lower the sound of your voice, not out of embarrassment or fear but more for emphasis. it’s a dramatic technique and also used in music and screenplay writing. I especially liked the Wiki reference to Galileo Galilei’s sotto voce utterance “Eppur si muove (And yet [the Earth] moves’.

Some more quotes from literature:

“I still can’t believe,” Michael said, sotto voce, “that you came to the Vampires’ Masquerade Ball dressed as a vampire.”
― Jim Butcher, Grave Peril

“Is it life-threatening?” they asked. They said it slightly sotto voce, but you could hear the thirst for sensation right through it: when people get a chance to come close to death without having it touch them personally, they never miss the opportunity.”
― Herman Koch, The Dinner

 

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