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d for the fifth sin.
Recent studies of why the German people enjoy a tendency to melancholia have begun to concentrate on their language. How would you like to spend a lifetime contorting face and tongue into the peculiarities of the Umlaut? Physiologists and psychologists blame a lot on the Umlaut. Anyone in doubt should attend a conference of public speakers in Germany. Some languages are joyous and playful, as Italian seems to be. English with its hisses and th's and sylabet sounds, so difficult for envious foreigners, happily portrays much of its Germanic origins. Little wonder that we often share Germanic melancholia and have now inflicted it, as the universal language, on the rest of the world.
6. Boring self-absorption
Everyone has his or her little obsession. In Australia, it usually takes the form of a football or cricket team. But with a little luck it might involve the late symphonies of Gustav Mahler. The urgent needs of law reform. Or religious attitudes to homosexuality. With a little persistence, a public speaker with such obsessions is well on the way to a first class honours degree in boredom. To consider that many find Mahler's music too noisy for too long; that some think the law bad enough without law reform; and that numerous people find sexuality a yawn, can come as a terrible shock to an accomplished bore. But fortunately, most people of this disposition are so impervious to their audience as never to notice.
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