Regardless of where you come from, there are ‘native-like’ ways of speaking. These are distinct from ‘foreign’ ways of speaking. You cannot speak English in the way you speak your native tongue. Similarly, when we’re doing public speaking, we moderate the way we speak so that people can understand what we’re saying. We slow down, we are mindful of our breathing and we speak out more consciously. The pauses between clauses – whether punctuated or not – are heightened for speed of delivery.

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    I would say it means, we make the pauses are more conspicuous and more pronounced so that the talker can get the point across better through letting the audience have the enough time to connect the dots and comprehend what already mentioned.
    – Cardinal
    Jul 5, 2020 at 19:49
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    It doesn't sound like the right word to me. A pause is silent. How can you heighten silence? Jul 5, 2020 at 21:15
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    @JackO'Flaherty Probably an artifact of over-editing - lots of similar phrases would be fine with heightened - or the author was in too much of a hurry to find the correct word/phrase.
    – MikeB
    Jul 7, 2020 at 16:54
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    @Cardinal - You should post your comment as an answer.
    – MikeB
    Jul 7, 2020 at 16:55
  • It is hard to give a good answer because that sentence is inconsistent with the previous one. The previous sentence suggests slowing down, this one emphasises speed of delivery.
    – brendan
    Jul 9, 2020 at 15:06

1 Answer 1


The pauses between clauses – whether punctuated or not – are heightened for speed of delivery.

I hate to be critical, but this is not the best English sentence. Up until the word 'for' it scans well. In context it would mean, "When I am speaking to people who might have difficulty understanding me, I emphasize the pauses." This would mean I make them longer, and make the edges sharp... I try not to 'umm' or anything in a pause.

They might have meant, "especially when I am in a hurry..." ie I try to pay careful attention to these pauses when I am speaking very quickly, and they are most likely to be swallowed up.

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