Upspeak(?) Has a generation lost (or never had) the ability to accent words correctly in a sentence?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by L.A. Mike, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. Endless Mike

    Endless Mike Friend of Leo's

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    I don't mean to misdirect the thread, but shouldn't it actually be about the overall breakdown in a variety of norms?

    Language, written and spoken seems to be breaking down, or if you prefer, changing.

    Driving is another one. People have been, for a while now, pulling out in front of oncoming cars, at the last possible second, when there are other lanes they could pull into, or even wait for the car to pass. In the last year, another trend has emerged - now people make u-turns in the middle of the road wherever they choose to, and in the middle of four way intersections.

    Foot traffic has had an unspoken 'keep to your right when passing' rule for as long as I can remember (which means around the early to mid 1970's) but now people insist on passing on their left, which frequently means cutting in front of someone or cutting them off.

    The one I find most disturbing is how blatant dishonesty seems to be okay now. Lying seems to have become the norm, to the point that many seem to accept it without question.

    Something is going on, and I'm not quite sure what. Things are changing, and it might be viewed as breaking down, or not.
    It seems to be happening in numerous ways, and on many different levels. It is most apparent in the way we act and speak.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
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  2. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Holic

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    Great info here. Thanks for contributing.

    I was teaching some beginning guitar lessons to a couple of teens last summer to cover for a friend who teaches full time but had to have surgery.
    I have a Big Ben round office clock on the wall in my room. Probably made in the 1950s.
    They couldn't tell what time it was by looking at it. They had to look at their phone.
    I guess cursive is no longer taught either.
    My wife left a hand written note on a message board in the room. Written, not printed. She has very nice handwriting (I think).
    They asked me what language it was since neither one could read it.
     
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  3. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Sadly, my handwriting has always been atrocious, legible, but certainly not pretty. My daughter has clear functional handwriting, one of my daughter in laws writes naturally and it looks like old English flourished handwriting. I don't see how that's possible the one who has the old English writing can go at a furious clip too! She also plays piano and the violin. She doesn't care for guitar much at all, but a long time ago, when I played bluegrass I was struggling with a lick, she says, let me hear you do that again. I played it again, but did not have it right, and knew it, she took the guitar from me, thought for a moment, and played the lick perfectly. She said would you like me to do it slower? She said, I don't know what that stuff you are playing is, but I don't care for it.

    She could have her moments though, when I was learning to play the five string banjo, and gotten to the place where I could play a little, she brought a fellow over that she and my son knew. He was a decent guitar player, she brought her violin, and we played bluegrass music for nearly an hour. She said happy birthday TD, and please, don't expect this to ever happen again. :lol::lol::lol:
     
  4. Flat6Driver

    Flat6Driver Friend of Leo's

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    We discussed this issue when I was in high school. In 1987.

    I have not read the whole thread, but it signifies lack of confidence .
     
  5. fraser

    fraser Tele-Holic

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    When I was a kid, in the 70s, people did this. Ok maybe not ‘people’, but kids I went to school with.
    I remember a few who we used to imitate because we found it hilarious.
    In grade 6 we got a teacher who hated it.
    I remember him berating one little girl for most of a morning over it.
    He repeatedly reduced her to tears in front of the whole class.

    At first it was funny, but after a short while we came to hate him.
    Yelling and smacking her desk with his pointer stick lol.
    The poor girl continued to talk like that into high school in any case.

    That teacher was a dikk, but he had a point.
    Maybe these days it’s become more common because nobody teases or yells at those that do it.

    I’m like, not really sure?
     
  6. Rick330man

    Rick330man Tele-Holic

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    I think it translates their state of spirit of never being sure about anything.[/QUOTE]
    I speak Spanish and lived in Latin America for 12 years. I understand what you are saying. The biggest challenge for me when learning Spanish (besides conjugating verbs) was sentence structure. And not taking an American expression and trying to directly translate it.
    Like "it beats the hell out of me".[/QUOTE]

    A simple "Que carajo" should do it. (Unfortunately, I can't get Spanish characters/accents out of this laptop.)
     
  7. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Holic

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    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Jondanger is correct here. And, forgive me for any perceived slight, but I think Notmyusualuserid is guilty of, what the kids these days call, "mansplaining."

    We're old. The world is moving quite fast. But it hasn't completely passed us by. Yet.
     
  8. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Holic

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    I'm not going to exempt myself from my own critique here. But it amazes me how we here at the TDPRI have the answers for all of what ails everyone else out there today.

    Language is fluid. It was never supposed to be a rigid code for everyone to follow without question.

    If we perceive that the damn kids these days aren't doing it correctly, maybe the problem isn't with the kids. They seem to perfectly understand what they are trying to communicate with one another.
     
  9. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Holic

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    Now get off my lawn!!!
     
  10. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    It, and that "vocal fry" thing annoy the hell out of me as well, especially in a professional environment. I prefer a certain level of formality and "acting and speaking like an adult" at work.

    But one thing I don't like is the sexist way in which is is viewed primarily as a trait of women, when it has been proven that men do it just as much.

    Also, you can bet that our generation doesn't speak like our parents' generation...and our parents' generation doesn't speak like our grandparents' generation...and that every older generation has had similar gripes about the ways in which the younger ones speak, with the main differences being just the specifics.
     
  11. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I graduated High School with an A in English. Big deal. I even taught it at year 12 for nine years even though my specialties were Mathematics and Electronics.
    IMHO practice is the key. I slip up typing and get " corrected" for it on this forum.
    As to young people I only have this to say. If you text too often, and use abbreviations ( handy when texting) you're not actually talking or engaging in real dialogue. Real face to face application of the English language, which has many variants, is a way for all of us, no matter what age, to engage in real dialogue.
    JMHO
     
  12. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

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    We get to see and hear kids and young people speaking a lot more with modern media I suppose. Could be a frequency bias. There was a time when being seen and not heard was the way with young people. So we can’t really compare with any past.

    Studies seem to keep pushing back the age when adulthood and brain maturity is considered to be achieved. Kid and teen speech is full of ‘errs’.. ‘like..’ and other pauses they use to fill time while their developing brains plan and process the next big of the sentence. So in that context I can also imagine that young people are still looking for adult approval and the upspeak may be confidence related. Interested in the comments about it being a ‘female’ thing and the double whammy they face from those groups in society that look down on both their age and their gender. Might be a way young women try to engage in public dialogue without seeming to be ‘too big for their boots’ and getting slapped down by the misogynists and the patriarchy.

    The opposite to talking up would be ‘talking down’ and there is a lot of that goes on here and elsewhere when kids are mentioned. I work with lots of students and even in their 20’s they are not brimming with total self-confidence and public speaking authority but generally they are all brimming with good intent, deep curiosity and good ideas.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
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  13. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Holic

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    The sense I get of it - especially in the workplace - is that people utilise upspeak in order to check that 'you get it.' which gets bloody irritating.

    To me, American upspeak seems to have a subtly different premise. British upspeak can easily switch to have a sarcastic dimension.

    In terms of changes in the way we speak, more and more Americanisations are working their way into British English.

    E.g.

    ''I love that you..' rather than 'I love the fact that you..'

    'I'll debate him' rather than 'I will debate with him' or 'I will have a debate with him.'

    'I train xyz' rather than 'I train in xyz'.'

    Is it an American thing to start every sentence with 'so'? So that's definitely becoming 'a thing' now. o_O
     
  14. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    I'm 64, how old are you? Do you catch condescension after 65? :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  15. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Friend of Leo's

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    What I don't understand is how the Americanism is "debate him" rather than "debate with him" whilst it's "meet with him" instead of "meet him". And yes, I deplore how the American forms are frequently used not only in everyday talk but also by UK politicians and so-called quality newspapers.
     
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  16. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    The way that 'protest' has become misused grinds my gears. "The group gathered to protest the plans for the new bypass"

    Is the group protesting for or against the bypass? Without a preposition it's kinda hard to tell.

    :)
     
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  17. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Holic

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    Yep. Missed that one.

    I don't mind change in language, but I do get annoyed when said changes obfuscate meaning.
     
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  18. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    Upspeak, focal fry, valley girl speak ... all of these are culture memes/habits spread by mass media. I noticed it traveling the US in late 70s - mid 80s. As opposed to a decade earlier, local accents, vocabulary, cooking, seemed to be on the decline. I was hardly doing a scientific survey. Just something I began to take note of. Figured it was due to TV. When the valley girl lingo hit (sometime in the 80s), very quickly, that was what you'd hear everywhere.

    Years later, in the 90s, I did some work for HBO. Realized that satellite dish technology was beginning to transform rural America. Very quickly, mass media began to be everywhere, in places it had barely penetrated. Accelerating this leveling trend on speech and language. Now the internet and wired culture has taken that process a big step further.

    So pop culture tends to dominate culture IMO. And language works the same way.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
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  19. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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  20. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Meister

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    I teach 3rd grade TD, and telling time on an analog clock is still part of the curriculum. This year's batch seemed to be struggling with basic time telling skills so I asked how many of them had an analog clock at home??? Out of 17 students, only 3. And only one of those had been taught how to read it by a parent. It's just a "sign of the times".
     
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