Garrett (garote) wrote,


These are very interesting articles. It seems like Mark is establishing uptalk as having two possible origins which are somewhat contradictory in their psychological basis:

  1. A lack of self-confidence
  2. An aggressive need to direct conversation
... and goes on to say that while #1 is a popular interpretation, it's actually wrong, and the lesser-known #2 is the correct one.

His argument seems to be based primarily on inductive reasoning garnered from statistical analysis of "aggressive" speakers, or at least, the speech patterns of speakers whom he expects to be aggressive, like the CEO of a company.

However, I think the flaw in his analysis is that it goes for too specific of a conclusion, simply because he wants to be clever and discredit popular origin #1.

I think a more sensible theory, which can justify both explanations, is that uptalk is used by speakers who have a strong desire to be heard, AND believe that they are AT RISK of not being heard. So they must increase the incidence of prompting in their speech patterns in order to keep a listener's attention.

This tactic would be employed just as much by people who lack faith in the objective clarity or relevance of their message, as well as by people who lack faith in the desire of their audience to pay attention.

For comparison to this, I submit that Mark should run an analysis of the incidence of "uptalk" in a speech delivered by a drill sergeant: A person speaking from complete authority, to subjects that he/she is ensured to have the complete attention of. From my memory of such speeches, I'd say the incidence of "uptalk" is probably low.

But, like, I could be wrong?


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