Sunday, February 09, 2014


Have you ever heard of uptalk?

Uptalk is a lilting way of speech? That you'd normally associate with a 14-year-old girl? But it's, like, starting to spread? To hipsters? And young professionals?

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who has, like, wholly adopted uptalk?

If you ever do? Particularly if the person is, like, in a professional setting? You might, you know, notice some things? When a person turns every statement? Into a question?

You may notice the uptalker shrinking. You might notice his power melting away.

You may notice how imbuing every verbal assertion with uncertainty blurs the sharp lines of detail, how it dulls language and diminishes credibility.

So all you uptalkers out there? Who don't want to listen to a grouchy old lady? Go ahead and listen to this good looking young guy (Taylor Mali), because if I can't convince you that conviction is cool, maybe he can.

It is not enough these days to simply question authority. You've got to speak with it too. 

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Erin O'Brien said...

CODE ORANGE INFORMATION ALERT: Through the power vested in me by Our Lord Google, I hath just learned that Taylor Mali and I are the same age.

J9 said...

Young indeed, then...

So I just read this the other day - related to uptalk:

Mike Roby said...

Mr Mali's pretty good here.

It seems to me this verbal tic or tone is often saturated in condescension, by individuals seeking to convince the listener of the obvious truth and virtue of his/her words.

Shame on me, but like the guidance counselor on 'South Park'. Uuhm 'kay?


PS-We may have seen a turning point in our battle against the machines. The 'WV' is all in numbers. We can read it.

God bless you, John Connor.

Mrs. C said...

Taylor Mali is the kind of teacher I hope to be.

If you haven't run into him elsewhere, he's worth a youtube search or six.

Anonymous said...

..........I would like to see Mr. Mali land with both feet on the speech of those who seemingly are unaware of the existence and availability of the verb “to say.” How long must we have inflicted upon us atrocities such as: "Queen Victoria was, like, 'Mr. Disraeli, you will forthwith remove your hand from between my thighs.' ”?
From «Senex Ægypti Parvi»

Anonymous said...

And besides, Victoria would have never ordered Disraeli to take his hand OUT of her drawers.


Erin O'Brien said...

MR, I have no idea what the impetus of uptalk is. I think it started back in the early 80s with the Valley Girls--Maybe even earlier than that.

I love that Mali clip.

Anonymous said...

Like Victoria was hot for Disraeli?


Anonymous said...

@RJ-Queen Victoria survived her husband by 40 years.

There hadda be a reason she would say "WE are not amused"(italics mine).


Anonymous said...

sorry-caps not italics...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I realize that monarchs, popes and possibly rightist talk-show hosts use the plural number when referring to themselves, but if Her Majesty had done so when referring to thighs, especially when Disraeli was part of the subject being discussed, the scope of “Our” might have been construed so as to include Disraeli's thighs as well. We couldn't have that, now could we?
From «Senex Ægypti Parvi»