It seems to me the older we get the less we whisper.
In fact, our voices get louder as our hearing diminishes. Guess when we can’t hear we shout in order to hear ourselves speak.
Often it isn’t the volume that makes it difficult to understand someone, but rather it is the speed at which they talk. I’m thinking if everyone would just slow their speech down a notch or two, we could get back to more whispering.
I spent time on the phone recently with a not-English-first language speaking-tech person recently, and I swear, I hadn’t a clue what he was saying most of the time. I kept insisting he slow down, mouth the words clearly, distinctly, and slowly. After about the third time I asked him to repeat at a non-racing speed, I could tell he was more than irritated. I offered to talk with someone else, but he wouldn’t let go of my ear. He was determined to stay connected, no matter how frustrated I became or how angry he became.
Eventually I said goodbye without a solution, but with a headache. So, I gained something in the exchange. I doubt that it was any better for him, but I didn’t ask.
So, back to whispering. I recall as a child, I whispered a lot. Now that I think about it, I also screamed a lot, laughed a lot, ran a lot, cried a lot. But whispering had a special place in my life. It was a place of secrets, filled with surprises, intrigue, mystery shared with one other person. We learned early that a secret became rumor very quickly if you whispered to more than one. Of course, there was no guarantee that your best friend wouldn’t spill the beans about what you were planning, but hey, you had to trust someone. Right?
I do find it difficult to whisper anymore. Seems that whomever I am speaking with keeps saying ‘huh?’, ‘what?’, ‘speak up’….or did they say ‘shut up?’
That’s when I slow my speech down, lower my voice, and make guttural sounds…just to see if they nod their head in agreement or smile knowingly.
Gee, getting older is such fun.