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Sermonphone

Posted by ESC on January 16, 2005

SERMONPHONE - Word describing congregational response patterns related to "give-and-take" of African-American sermons. The three types of sermonphones listed are:
* One-word sermonphones, the "most popular" being "well." "If the congregation believes the service is progressing appropriately, someone in the back may shake his or her head and say, with obvious admiration, 'Well.' Other worshipers may then join in, turning the word into a chorus."
(Here's where the phrase part comes in.)
* Phrase sermonphones. Examples are: "Preach it." "Tell it." "Thank you Jesus." "Carry me Lord."
* Nonarticulated sermonphones: Expressive nonverbal sounds described as "mooning," "mourning," "turning" and "zooming."

From "People Get Ready: A New History of Black Gospel Music" by Robert Darden (The Continuum International Publishing Group, New York, 2004). Page 61-62.