by Jill Greenwood
Because it sure as hell sounds like you are asking a question, but I really don’t know what the answer might be.
Anyone else annoyed as shit by “upspeak,” that mind-boggling bat-shit crazy driving method of speaking where the speaker ends every statement with a rising inflection? So it sounds like everything is a question? Even when it isn’t? And they are probably just stating a fact? Like Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” might be the greatest song ever?
Really?! I surely can’t be the only person annoyed by this. I’ve listened to countless interviews in which a person isn’t asking anything, but I wanted to jump in and say, “Don’t bring that inflection up! I have no idea what you are asking!” This first drove me to the brink in the mid-90s. We lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the time, and you would encounter it in stores where there were a ton of college girls (and apparently college and teen-age girls are on the cutting edge of vocal manipulation). But now, it’s everywhere. My own girls did it for a while, but thankfully they didn’t keep it up for very long. Yesterday, I heard a story on NPR about arsenic in rice, and all I could do was focus on the reporter’s upspeak as she talked about the rising levels of a known poison in baby food. Nice! I’m focused on her voice (fingernails on chalkboards) while she’s talking about the safety of our food (click on the link to access the audio file).
And sadly, as with most irritants this month, this post lacks a photo . . . because how do I photograph someone’s voice? Turns out I can’t. But I can leave you with a little bit of Justin Bieber love. You’re welcome?