Can it be treated?
Responding to my quizzical look she opens her mouth, and out comes a rapid-fire string of words. I say string, because every word seems joined together without any end.
"Slow down," I say. "I haven't understood a word you said." She repeated what she was trying to get across my befuddled brain. It was a huge effort on her part, and I had to do the "slow down" request a couple more times, but at the end of it all I understood the obviously programmed and repeated spiel.
This is something that's starting to make me uncomfortable on a daily basis. Why are people talking so fast? Is it part of the whole sped up mentality of the day?
I used to be amazed at the incredible speed of an auctioneer. But now they really don't seem all that much faster than the average person you meet on the street. Except older people of course. They probably learned some diction at school and home.
I used to watch a pretty meteorologist with a rapid-fire delivery. No pauses, just a gabble. It was astounding. One of her most used words was "temchure." (temperature)
That core word effectively cut out two syllables right there. Extending that to other weather terms enabled her to compress her sentences like a computer zip file.
At this point some of you are probably thinking I need a hearing test. But no, it seems I'm not the only one to realise this ever increasing speed speech.
There must have been other viewers who noticed and complained the same thing, and it would be interesting to replay some of those earlier broadcasts, because this meteorologist obviously worked on her speech problem. These days her voice tone is lower, her speech is engaging and listening is pleasant.
So it's possible to change jumbled mumbles.
More haste plus more speed
Young people are now masters at speed speech. They've grown up thinking words are a waste of time anyway, so why not just slur them all together?
It could be that it's a whole new language, but how will they impart knowledge of their language to forthcoming generations, when they've forgotten what words look like or sound like, or so it seems, judging from their speech?
Too much information
There's a sadness too, that these young people know they have problems organizing their thoughts and talking about them in a focused way. They know their speech is cluttered, but what help is available to them? Is speed speech becoming a looming threat to the future of society? It may well be that young people who can no longer organise their thoughts when they speak actually need remedial help. Remember, they are, or are going to be the parents of the future generation.
If that doesn't prod you, remember they are also going to be in charge of decision making at government level, and that has huge ramifications for everyone.
What happened to the gift of the gab?
Now, with more and more observation of speed speech, inability to focus on a train of thought while trying to express themselves, often functional illiteracy in young people, despite opportunities for quality education, it seems important to question whether this is in fact altered brain development in this youth generation? They have grown in a way that was not ever envisioned even two decades ago. It seems they may be technology rich and savvy, but often speech and literacy poor.
Who has the answers to this? More important - who's discussing it? I'm not hearing much.
- Rita Davis on Ava Anderson's Non-toxic, Responsibly Resourced, Cruelty Free Awesomeness! via flashPress
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