Am I the only person who grinds her teeth when a grown woman speaks with that ‘valley girl’ ‘little girl’ pitch in her voice?
The trend started probably 20 years ago, and I had hoped it would remain on the west coast where it was purportedly started. But, no, it caught on and spread across the mountains and plains of this country afflicting young girls.
Today those young females are adult women in the main stream of our society, teaching, managing, mothering, demanding a place at the adult table. But, they sound like children.
Of course, my view about such things could be tainted by age. I didn’t grow up hearing this particular high pitch, sing-song cadence from women.
I’m assuming girls embraced this inflection because they thought it made them sound attractive. Back in the day (which is my distance reference point), in order to sound sexy, a woman would drop her voice into a lower octave. Sultry was the mood we wanted to create.
I write this with some trepidation, because I don’t want to imply a woman should have certain standards about their speech that affects their credibility. Men certainly aren’t judged by the pitch of their voices, so why should women?
But I have noticed that I have difficulty understanding women on the phone who use baby talk. (I’m also frustrated by men and women who talk faster than I comprehend.)
Perhaps no one notices these things since you hear fewer and fewer words spoken as tweeting takes over our communication channels. None the less, I do wish that women would abandon this style of speech and join the adult-sounding folks. It just might help them sound more credible.
Now that I think about it, how many times have we heard the Biblical term, ‘out of the mouth of babes…’ which in today’s world is regarded as ‘an innocent but brutally honest comment a child will make after making an observation or being asked a question’ (Urban Dictionary).
I guess it is time to adjust my hearing aids and my attitude about child-like speech.