Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Just Talking

I've lived all my life in New York City, and, as I found out last week from the NY Times Style Section, we've all grown up here with varying degrees of a New York accent---losing the letter r as in New Yawk, adjusting vowels as in drinking a morning kawfee, and the list goes on. And so I've become sensitzed to speech patterns from other parts of the United States.
Recently, during a CE tax seminar, I encountered two speech patterns that kind of make me fume---one new and one around for about thirty years or so. The lecturer, a woman from Colorado, exhibited both numerous times during the seminar.
The newest speech aberration is the dropped g at the end of a verb. It probably became popular last year during the last Presidential election campaign, when Sarah Palin started goin' places and seein' things. It seems to me to be a feeble attempt at being one with the common man. She's not the only person I've speak who comes from Alaska, and my sense is that the majority of Alaskans speak properly, or as properly as the rest of the country.
The other speech pattern is upspeak, the nasty habit of a rising inflection in the voice at the end of a sentence, when you aren't sure that you've explained yourself well enough to be understood, or when the speaker thinks the listener doesn't understand what's being said. I'm pretty sure it came from Valley Girl Speak a long time ago.

Neither one of these speech tropisms is attractive, neither one is cute, neither one is intelligent, neither one makes us friends, or friendlier. If you speak this way, think about stopping, and sounding more intelligent

1 comment:

David said...

Well said, I have noticed both of these and share your disdain.

While you are on this campaign, perhaps you can add the replacement of "said" with "goes".

Unfortunately, it seems to have become completely ingrained.