“Slur (noun): A disparaging remark or insinuation; insult, aspersion, or sleight; derogation or stigma; a sliding over without due consideration or attention; in utterance, a blurring or omitting or sounds, thereby running syllables or words together. Verb: slur.

‘This slurring of words into a refined cadence until they cease to be words at all is due partly to the Englishman’s disinclination to move his lips. Evidently the lips and teeth are held stationary for the most part, open just wide enough to let in air for breathing )many Englishmen must breathe through their mouths, otherwise they would not breathe at all) with an occasional sharp pursing of the lips on a syllable which does not call for pursing the lips.’

Robert Benchley, ‘The King’s English: Not Murder but Suicide.’”

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

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