"I, take thee, Earl"

Business Speech was taught as part of the curriculum in the Adult Education Center programs.  It was a unique approach that was sometimes thought to be controversial.  Here is a funny story about practicing and mastering one of the sounds that Alice Geoffray recounted in the 1967 final report to the Manpower Administration of the US Department of Labor.

The students were usually able to master a sound in a week’s time, with sometimes amusing results.  One student had had particular difficulty with the “oi” sound and finally learned to say “oil” instead of “erl.”  Shortly after the completion of the course, she married.  She confessed to me at the wedding reception, “Mrs. Geoffray, I almost said, ‘I, Arlene, take thee, Oil, to be my lawfully wedded husband.’”

You see, her new husband’s Christian name was “Earl.”

–Alice Geoffray, 1967

'66 Lorraine Theophile in Speech Class lab hearing and practicing the sounds of business speech.

The speech course captured national positive attention.   For the AEC participants, do you think of this as controversial?