Elocution Lessons: Yet Another Tool of the Patriarchy?

“Like, omigod! People are so, like, rude and sexist.” Is it sexism that makes me want to stick a knitting needle down my ear canal every time I find myself at school pickup standing within earshot of the Lululemon-wearing mom who speaks with the rising intonation and vocal fry of a teenager? Perhaps my urge … Continued

Culture

Like, Omigod! We Need to Bring Back Speech and Elocution Classes

The thing that surprised me the most is that they are adults. I was listening to a morning zoo radio show the other day, one of those peppy, commuter broadcasts that are supposed to entertain people stuck in traffic. There were three hosts, and the banter went something like this: “Omigod you guys, I am, … Continued

Culture

Why Is Upspeak So Annoying?

A recent ­Fresh Air episode took up the thorny question of why so many people find vocal patterns like “upspeak” and “vocal fry” so irritating. It’s thorny because these patterns are particularly associated with women. And it’s thorny because so many feel pressured to either pick up or drop these patterns in order to appear … Continued

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