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Breathy-voiced long low back unrounded vowel with advanced tongue root
May 22, 2013 12:32 PM   Subscribe

A linguistic dissection of 7 annoying teenage sounds
posted by iamkimiam (106 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wait, who uses [kx] for annoyance? Is that the new "pfft"?
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 12:34 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone want to volunteer reproducing every one of these sounds for the next podcast?
posted by mathowie at 12:36 PM on May 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


This is a trick article; all sounds produced by teenagers are annoying, even to most other teenagers.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2013 [27 favorites]


Yeah, I need audio examples of these because your fancypants linguistics terms are confusing to me, dammit.
posted by elizardbits at 12:40 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyone want to volunteer reproducing every one of these sounds for the next podcast?

There's a video at the bottom of the page where you can hear them.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:40 PM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


whatEVER
posted by lonefrontranger at 12:40 PM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


noooo i just have a blank black rectangle.
posted by elizardbits at 12:41 PM on May 22, 2013


Tell your doctor if you have advanced tongue root.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:42 PM on May 22, 2013 [13 favorites]


Anyone want to volunteer reproducing every one of these sounds for the next podcast?

Actually, those sounds are the sounds I hear whenever I read one of Cortex's deletion reasons.
posted by HuronBob at 12:42 PM on May 22, 2013 [13 favorites]


"Wait, who uses [kx] for annoyance? Is that the new "pfft"?" less sibilant, more abrupt, think "tchah!" - it's a nice consonant-y replacement for "FUCK" when that may or may not result in a slap upside the head from a parental unit.

source: coaching teenage bike racers.
posted by lonefrontranger at 12:44 PM on May 22, 2013


ddduuuuuuhhhhh.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:44 PM on May 22, 2013


elizardbits, here's the video.
posted by HuronBob at 12:45 PM on May 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


They and their sounds can get the hell off my lawn.
posted by jonmc at 12:45 PM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Both of my daughters (not teenagers yet, but total lingual sponges, especially amongst their peers) have a habit of inflecting the end of all clauses with a rising, questioning tone, when telling a story.

I might be over-thinking it (redundant, as I'm a longtime metafilter user), but I see it as the seeds of "girls shouldn't be smart" culture, so we are actively trying to battle against it. We ask them if they'd like it if they were sick and went to the doctor and the doctor talks in the tone of "I'm your Doctor? And it seems like you're sick? So I'm prescribing you some medicine? Which should do the trick?"
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:46 PM on May 22, 2013 [18 favorites]


I suspect watching the video once I'm at a computer that can access YouTube will make me glad I don't have to deal with teenagers every day.

I mean, I'm already glad of that, but still
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:46 PM on May 22, 2013


your fancypants linguistics terms

I read this three times as "your underpants linguistics terms," and it was only on the third time that it seemed out of place.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:46 PM on May 22, 2013


"I'm your Doctor? And it seems like you're sick? So I'm prescribing you some medicine? Which should do the trick?"

Doctor Wha?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:47 PM on May 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Wait, who uses [kx] for annoyance? Is that the new "pfft"?"

Now there are two. There are two annoying sounds.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:48 PM on May 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


Doctor Who?
posted by jonmc at 12:48 PM on May 22, 2013


Dr. Seuss!

I'm your Doctor! It seems that you're feeling quite sick!
But these pills, I am sure, are exactly the trick!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:48 PM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


HILARIOUS video
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:48 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Wait, who uses [kx] for annoyance? Is that the new "pfft"?" less sibilant, more abrupt, think "tchah!" - it's a nice consonant-y replacement for "FUCK" when that may or may not result in a slap upside the head from a parental unit.

Oh! Yes, right, more "pissed off" or "frustrated" and less "sarcastically dismissive." I don't use it much myself but I do think I know what you're talking about.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 12:50 PM on May 22, 2013


dont forget to include the full-body eye-roll, requiring varying degrees of hip dysplasia.
posted by lonefrontranger at 12:50 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Both of my daughters (not teenagers yet, but total lingual sponges, especially amongst their peers) have a habit of inflecting the end of all clauses with a rising, questioning tone, when telling a story. I might be over-thinking it (redundant, as I'm a longtime metafilter user), but I see it as the seeds of "girls shouldn't be smart" culture, so we are actively trying to battle against it.

Google "uptalking" and learn way more than you want to know from a vast selection of articles from two years ago.
posted by furiousthought at 12:51 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yay, bastardizing phonetics and dumping on teenagers in the process, what a treat.
posted by Nomyte at 12:51 PM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Wait, no, it's vocal fry that was two years ago. Uptalking was more like four or five, I think.
posted by furiousthought at 12:52 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


iknowright?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:52 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Young Women Often Trendsetters in Vocal Patterns - "Girls and women in their teens and 20s deserve credit for pioneering vocal trends and popular slang, they say, adding that young women use these embellishments in much more sophisticated ways than people tend to realize."
posted by lookoutbelow at 12:53 PM on May 22, 2013 [10 favorites]


uptalking? has been this thing? since, like, back in the early 90's? but totally mainstreamed in Napoleon Dynamite, doncha'know?
posted by lonefrontranger at 12:53 PM on May 22, 2013


This post is so bershon.
posted by Lou Stuells at 12:54 PM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


Don't you give me a creaky-voiced long alveolar glide with mid front unrounded vowel and glottal stop while I'm talking to you!
posted by Kabanos at 12:54 PM on May 22, 2013 [23 favorites]


That's so fetch.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:56 PM on May 22, 2013 [19 favorites]


iknowright?

Pardon me but I think you'll find it's spelled inorite.
posted by elizardbits at 12:57 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Complaints about uptalking have all of the social cachet of complaints about "those kids who use 'like' all the time".
posted by kiltedtaco at 12:58 PM on May 22, 2013


shit, **I** use like all the time and I'm forty-five and have been trying to cure that particular infuriating tic since, like, 1989 OH MY GOD DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN?!?

*shoots self*
posted by lonefrontranger at 1:00 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Complaints about uptalking have all of the social cachet of complaints about "those kids who use 'like' all the time".

In other words, at least one joke per episode of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:00 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


once you explain vocal fry to somebody, it's all they'll ever hear again. It's amazing.
posted by boo_radley at 1:02 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think Wait Wait's jokes about "kids these days" are actually jokes about "old person complaints", but that might just be me interpreting them more generously than I should.
posted by kiltedtaco at 1:03 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


They should have had Jon Heder do that video.
posted by Kabanos at 1:04 PM on May 22, 2013


Actually, those sounds are the sounds I hear whenever I read one of Cortex's deletion reasons.

Except for this one which is the BEST DELETION REASON EVAR!
posted by blurker at 1:05 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, at this point I'm old enough to have teenagers of my own, and these are the same "kids are ruining language" complaints that were leveled at people old enough to be my parents.

It's like if someone was still griping about those awful vulgar blue jeans that kids these days insist on wearing, not noticing that they — and everyone else in the room — were wearing blue jeans themselves and had been for the past several decades.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 1:05 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Stop trying to make vocal fry happen!
posted by The Whelk at 1:06 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


And their pants are falling down. How do they walk like that? I'm all for expressing oneself through fashion but that's just objectively wrong.
posted by 256 at 1:08 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


mcstayinskool: We ask them if they'd like it if they were sick and went to the doctor and the doctor talks in the tone of "I'm your Doctor? And it seems like you're sick? So I'm prescribing you some medicine? Which should do the trick?"

I work at a veterinary teaching hospital? And we have lots and lots of students that uptalk? And it kind of makes them seem like they don't know what they are talking about? Which is not really a good impression to give at a teaching hospital?
posted by Rock Steady at 1:09 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


6. Glottal fricative and breathy-voiced mid-low central unrounded vowel, repeated
Teenage girls don't usually make this sound, but teenage guys do, often to irritate teenage girls. It's just a low, perverted laugh, often spelled huhhuhhuh or hehhehheh. Yet again it's breathy-voiced, reminding us just what an important part heavy breathing plays in the teenage experience.


Are they trying to describe Butthead?
posted by thelonius at 1:11 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Are "they" still using "fierce" all the goddamn time?
(shakes ruby-studded walking stick madly, drops monocle)

Also: constantly behaving like an uptalker has asked a question is hilarious.

Drives them up a wall. No stick-shaking necessary.
posted by aramaic at 1:12 PM on May 22, 2013 [6 favorites]


Stop trying to make vocal fry happen!

A Bit of Vocal Fry & Laurie has already happened. If you'll pardon the pun.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:13 PM on May 22, 2013


Huhhuhhuh, that's pretty cool, thelonius.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:13 PM on May 22, 2013


Teenage girls are some of the most inventive users of language. (I say this because I don't have to deal with them.)

I would also love to see if these could be rendered with Visible Speech.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:17 PM on May 22, 2013


< damianwayne>"-tt-"< /damianwayne>
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:18 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe this says something terrible about me, like maybe deep down inside I'm still a snotty asshole teenager, but all this article (and video) made me want to do was go find some 15 year olds and hug them. I find most of these pretty endearing.

Being a teenager sucks hard, and honestly if dealing with someone who sounds stereotypical and obnoxious is the worst thing you've got going, your kid is doing pretty well.

And oh if only we were so lucky that #7 on the list were exclusive to teens. I hear that noise coming from grown men (often grown men ACTIVELY USING PUBLIC TRANSIT, NO LESS) far more often than from kids.
posted by phunniemee at 1:19 PM on May 22, 2013 [12 favorites]


It's like if someone was still griping about those awful vulgar blue jeans that kids these days insist on wearing

No no, it's not the jeans themselves, it's that the kids wear them all wrong. They have holes, and why would you pay for jeans with holes in them already? And they're too saggy and your butt is hanging out, except when they're too tight, I mean do you not want to have kids someday?
posted by Hoopo at 1:22 PM on May 22, 2013


total lingual sponges

Dibs on the band name!
posted by maudlin at 1:23 PM on May 22, 2013


At least they aren't speaking 1337.

I won't give it up, though, suckzorz3z. 1337 as fuck.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:24 PM on May 22, 2013


Ah, the reflexive dismissal of any criticism of Youth has arrived.
posted by thelonius at 1:27 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dibs on the band name!

It's all yours, but I'll add it to my ever-growing list of band names I'd have if I had musical talent.

GOD MONIKER
Neckbeard
Frogtown
1000 chimp army
Yelping bathrooms
Metal As A Service
Cardinal Dolan's Viagra
Cooter Clock
Epidemic booty
Stop Calling Me Shirley
Wolf Blitzer & the 24 hour news cycle
A Crisis of Cicadas
The Bully Pulpit
Random ham
Picked Clean by Vultures
Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker Hero
TOTAL LINGUAL SPONGES

posted by mcstayinskool at 1:27 PM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


The Whelk: "Stop trying to make vocal fry happen!"

Uhhhhhhhhhh
posted by boo_radley at 1:28 PM on May 22, 2013


Fierce? We can add that to the list of words (such as epic, bounce, Twerk, totes, and countless others) that make me want to slap the user upside the head with a two by four. And don't even get me started on people who use textspeak in actual conversation.
posted by jonmc at 1:30 PM on May 22, 2013


Uptalking is just one of the variants of the Australian accent?
posted by Joe Chip at 1:30 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


jonmc, I hope you're satirizing the lawn-preservation society.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:32 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


1:22 in the video is more or less how I imagine Duckie from Cat Town sounding.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:35 PM on May 22, 2013


I didn't full grasp vocal fry until I heard the purest example of it in action, a Jenny Lewis live performance from 2004. Now I hear it everywherrre.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:41 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read this three times as "your underpants linguistics terms," and it was only on the third time that it seemed out of place.

Well, the underpants zone certainly is a very good place for linguistic activity of a sort. It is known.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:44 PM on May 22, 2013


Sometimes I use too much of the bilabial nasal with a mid-central vowel and voiceless glottal fricative.

meh
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:56 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh this is so great.

The video was totally necessary; it was really difficult to imagine the sounds from description and onomatopoeic spelling alone. (It reminded me of the way Grant Morrison's Batman endlessly says "Hh" and Robin says "Tt". What do those sound like?)
posted by painquale at 1:57 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Related: teens using in-jokes to smuggle information past the olds.
posted by emjaybee at 1:59 PM on May 22, 2013


Ah, the reflexive dismissal of any criticism of Youth has arrived.

I anxiously await your theory of what's wrong with kids today
posted by Hoopo at 2:14 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is funny. But it's also a really pretty interesting example about how a culture will use sounds that are non-phonemic in their own language to express certain sentiments unique to their group. In Standard American English, we don't have things like pulmonic ingressives, glottalic fricatives, glottalic ingressive alveolar clicks, the diphthong [əi], etc., and it's sort of neat and non-trivial that a social community like English-speaking teenagers use sounds actually quite removed from English to make their own group identity and language.

I think it'd be interesting to look at the origins of the words (because that is what they are, yes?). Ingressives, glottalic fricatives are phonemic in other languages and I wonder if they were sort of interpolated into teenager-dom or if the teenagers to first use them did so because they were simply novel seeming.
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:23 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyway upon watching the video I am now terribly alarmed that I still talk like a teenager if I'm not very careful with my speech.
posted by The Whelk at 2:25 PM on May 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Do teenage girls still say "Guyyyyy!" when you ask then to do something they don't want to do?
posted by Fnarf at 2:30 PM on May 22, 2013


Ah, the reflexive dismissal of any criticism of Youth has arrived.

Criticizing Youth for speaking in a distinct way is foolish. Would you give time to Youth's criticism of the way Age speaks?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:31 PM on May 22, 2013


What's with the weird capitalization?
posted by jonmc at 2:36 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is funny. But it's also a really pretty interesting example about how a culture will use sounds that are non-phonemic in their own language to express certain sentiments unique to their group. In Standard American English, we don't have things like pulmonic ingressives, glottalic fricatives, glottalic ingressive alveolar clicks, the diphthong [əi], etc., and it's sort of neat and non-trivial that a social community like English-speaking teenagers use sounds actually quite removed from English to make their own group identity and language.

I think this is assigning too much exotic otherness to teenagers. Standard American English doesn't have phonetic glottal stops either, except in the interjection uh-oh. It doesn't have alveodental clicks, except in tisk-tisk. The interjection shhh has a syllabic fricative. Etc. Interjections are just weird. We are all former teenagers, and all teenagers are future adults. Let's stop it with the hurr-durr.
posted by Nomyte at 2:39 PM on May 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


What's with the weird capitalization?

Just following thelonius's lead, as is proper with one's elders.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:41 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think this is assigning too much exotic otherness to teenagers.

Ha. Yes, you're probably right about that. But then again, language is often sort of the defining element of otherness. I don't think adults have a set of sounds unique to them(?).

Interjections are weird. Though I will make the very small point that in many English dialects, the glottal stop is used as an allophone for [t].
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:50 PM on May 22, 2013


Uh-oh: hurt-durr. Tsk-tsk!
posted by Kabanos at 2:50 PM on May 22, 2013


[hɝf.dɚf bʌ.ʔɚ i.ɾɚ]
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:54 PM on May 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


Well, duuuhhh!

(Disclaimer, I work at a high school. Like, duuuuhhh!
posted by Lynsey at 3:00 PM on May 22, 2013


in many English dialects, the glottal stop is used as an allophone for [t]

Ask a Cockney to say the word "sweater" or almost any American to say "Clinton". Americans drop the t for an alveolar flap all the time, in words like "sweater" again, "butter", "later", "total", etc. -- we're not saying "budder" as is commonly represented.

When I really concentrate on what I'm really vocalizing as opposed to what I think I'm saying in my head, I think it's a miracle anybody can urnstemme tall.
posted by Fnarf at 3:02 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think adults have a set of sounds unique to them(?).

Listen to an old person sit down sometime.

Also, I saw Criticizing Youth at the Berkeley Square in '90. Very danceable, despite the hectoring lyrics.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:06 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


Listen to an old person sit down sometime.

And then we have to get up again. It's like a symphony of creaks and groans and stifled grunts.

Also, listen to us stuff our pieholes with food, if you have the stomach for it. I can hold forth for five or six minutes on various inflections of "mmm" alone.
posted by Fnarf at 3:16 PM on May 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


We are all former teenagers, and all teenagers are future adults.

came here to say pretty much this, but Nomyte's got it covered. cos despite the gentle snarks above I really do have to say my time spent around teenagers and their various lingual and social mannerisms has only been a net plus in my life, but then, I also don't have to take any of them home with me.

I also vividly remember being a bitchy, dismissive, sarcastic GenX slacker to various parental and authority figures in the ongoing game of one-upmanship to leverage cool amongst my peers tho, and you bet your booty that even at that age I KNEW I was being an annoying pain in the ass, and did it for that precise reason... well plus the lulz (and the occasional detentions/groundings too, but still).

"Anyway upon watching the video I am now terribly alarmed that I still talk like a teenager if I'm not very careful with my speech."

this, embarrassingly enough. Time spent steeped in various cultures tends to rub off on one, I suppose.
posted by lonefrontranger at 3:31 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


See, also, too much time spent on tumblr and Suddently you're talking in tags.
posted by The Whelk at 3:40 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ha. Yes, you're probably right about that. But then again, language is often sort of the defining element of otherness. I don't think adults have a set of sounds unique to them(?).

How about the "wh"-sound in "which," for people who pronounce it differently than "witch"? In some parts of the country, that is a sound which young people have lost and only some older people have retained. (In many parts of the country, it's now been lost by everyone so there's no generation gap).

Anyway, the sounds in this article aren't really unique to teenagers. Adults use them too — just more rarely, and in different contexts. Like, that exasperated glottal-stop-with-aspiration noise? You totally hear adults make it. Mostly it's when they are so completely fucking exasperated that they are about to lose their composure, and not just like slightly annoyed and sarcastic. But it's totally in the adult vocabulary.

(It's kind of like how fifteen-year-olds still know the word "poopy" — they just use it a lot less than they did when they were three.)
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 3:40 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Well, some fifteen-year-olds.)
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 3:42 PM on May 22, 2013


How about the "wh"-sound in "which," for people who pronounce it differently than "witch"? In some parts of the country, that is a sound which young people have lost and only some older people have retained. (In many parts of the country, it's now been lost by everyone so there's no generation gap).

I'd always thought of that "wh" sound as an affectation of NPR speakers. I can't think of anyone I know who would use it. It really must be lost.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:43 PM on May 22, 2013


I recently heard something even more annoying than uptalking: downtalking. It was in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, and the nice lady was telling us to queue up at "carousel 3" to pass through cus- [voice goes down] -toms. Be careful to ensure that all bags are [voice goes down] yours. Do not object to the fact that it takes an hour to hand a piece of paper to an offi- [voice goes down] -cer.

It was oddly infuriating. It made her sound as if she were an adult speaking to unruly children for which she held barely-restrained contempt.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:44 PM on May 22, 2013


Ask a Cockney to say the word "sweater" or almost any American to say "Clinton". Americans drop the t for an alveolar flap all the time, in words like "sweater" again, "butter", "later", "total", etc. -- we're not saying "budder" as is commonly represented.

OK, then let's think of a word that starts with it. Or with the uh-oh consonant.
posted by Nomyte at 3:45 PM on May 22, 2013


I'd always thought of that "wh" sound as an affectation of NPR speakers.

I mean, go back enough generations and it was normal. When I was a little kid I had living relatives for whom it was part of their natural speech pattern — not an affectation at all, but how they talked even when they were distracted, drunk, tired, whatever. You may be right, it may really have died out almost everywhere by now.

(Interestingly, I also know people my own age who insist that they pronounce "w" and "wh" differently even though they quite clearly don't. I think it's like people who insist that they never fart — someone told them it's a bad habit, so they'd better never admit to doing it.)
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 4:03 PM on May 22, 2013


Funny, I'd often wondered why Jon Heder and Mitt Romney make the same types of annoyed grunts, and now I know.
posted by item at 4:31 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


> I can't think of anyone I know who would use it.

Don't know any Scots people, do you then?

(We traded one of the “oo” sounds for “wh”, and it does us very well.)
posted by scruss at 5:20 PM on May 22, 2013


I like when people confuse rose-tinted bias of the demographic they've since age out of with actual insight as to the current state of said demographic.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:02 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I anxiously await your theory of what's wrong with kids today
They are a bunch of mammothrepts (from Harbeck's very interesting blog).
posted by unliteral at 6:18 PM on May 22, 2013


I anxiously await your theory of what's wrong with kids today

They’re annoying. Keep them away from me, or at the very least don’t let them make any sounds.
posted by bongo_x at 7:55 PM on May 22, 2013


I turned off Alan Parsons Project to listen to the video. While I agree much of it was spot on (disclaimer: I'm a mother of a 15 year old boy), I kept waiting for the up-inflection after every word.

Thanks for posting!
posted by sundrop at 8:14 PM on May 22, 2013


jonmc, I hope you're satirizing the lawn-preservation society.

I ain't satirizing shit.
posted by jonmc at 8:22 PM on May 22, 2013


I've never heard #7 unless someone is actually spitting, and it seems to be people of all ages. In Japan, it was actually the elderly guilty of it. The "duhhh" one I remember more from grade school, not high school. Maybe I've not been around teenagers much lately?
posted by Hoopo at 8:33 PM on May 22, 2013


I ain't satirizing shit.

Too bad.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:40 PM on May 22, 2013


So, um, like, I still use several of those in the first half of the video. And I'm, um, 46 years old.
posted by deborah at 8:43 PM on May 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think that might count as legit old-school cred
posted by Hoopo at 9:49 PM on May 22, 2013


vocal fry with tongue root and shiitake mushrooms is pretty tasty
posted by speicus at 11:02 PM on May 22, 2013 [4 favorites]


noooo i just have a blank black rectangle.

That's teenage feels getting to you.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:25 AM on May 23, 2013


I ain't satirizing shit.

Hey, you old man, get back on your lawn!

I mean, go back enough generations and it was normal. When I was a little kid I had living relatives for whom it was part of their natural speech pattern

I have distinct memories of a kindergarten phonics class in which this was practiced. I know I still hear it, but I know a lot of educated older adults, too. Mostly around here, despite prior inculcation attempts, it's gone.

The one thing that I catch myself transitioning towards more and more is yeers. As in, this must be yeers, rather than this must be yores. Not really part of the NCVS, but it's pretty ingrained around here, so it's either generic American or Wisconsin.
posted by dhartung at 3:04 AM on May 23, 2013


OK, then let's think of a word that starts with it. Or with the uh-oh consonant.

Doesn't it show up sometimes at the start of words that begin with vowels to emphasize them? Like a shocked, "Alex!" or "It's.... Over." where there can be a little explosiveness to the start of the vowel.

Surely there's a middle ground between first-rate language sound and so scarce you can list exceptions. Though I know that gets in the way of nice sweeping statements like, "English has no _______."
posted by fleacircus at 3:05 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


the commentary about NPR "received" pronunciation vs. the rest of us, or even the rest of mainstream broadcast American English just struck me this morning, as I was listening to NPR on the way to work.

There is a DEFINITE divide here. NPR broadcasters almost unanimously hearken back to an earlier time - think Walter Cronkite and the media personalities of the 50's and 60's... it's a more rounded, arch pronunciation that...just...barely veers this side of that comically exaggerated Thurston-Howell-III (or Winchester-from-M.A.S.H.) "lockjaw" style. Listen to Clark Gable in a classic movie sometime. It's an upper-class RP from an earlier age (I'm sure someone on MeFi knows what I'm talking about and can define it more correctly).

Contrast that with the flatter, more clipped "Upper Midwestern" RP of, well, nearly every other modern TV or radio personality from major national networks down to our local weatherman.

I submit that teenagers and youth (as they have essentially always done) are driving linguistic evolution (and RP) forward... because as several here, including myself, have pointed out: today's teenagers are tomorrow's businessmen and women. I hear a LOT of GenX vocal tics amongst my thirty- and fortysomething peers. Not least of which is that most obvious vestige of "Valleyspeak"; aka "like" substituted for "erm" or "uhh" as a bridge for composing one's thoughts.
posted by lonefrontranger at 8:28 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kin Platt spelled it "Gy" in his Chloris books ...I don't think I've heard(or used) it since the early 80's.

Voice coaches seem to have given up on eliminating the horrible whistly s.
posted by brujita at 11:49 PM on May 24, 2013


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