And that is a question. It has a question mark at the end, giving it permission to rise when spoken. However, it’s getting confusing so many speakers seem unclear about whether they need an answer so let their voices pop upwards.
Now, apparently, our young are all in the grip of a serious affliction… the rising inflection has struck. The high-rising terminal, upspeak, uptalk or Australian inflecting. It’s everywhere at the moment and spreading.
Boy One has a serious case of it. And it’s doing our heads in. Every single sentence sounds like it needs an answer. It confuses all of us.
In the real world, people who go up at the end of what they’re saying do less well at work or in interviews because it sounds like they don’t have the confidence to make a statement.
But that’s not the problem yet. It’s just really, really annoying – the verbal equivalent of scratching a blackboard.
Where has it come from? It can’t just be blamed on too many afternoons spent watching Neighbours and Young Doctors, can it? Perhaps the relentless search for eternal youth has moved from making us look smooth and shiny to how we sound. Uptalk is perceived to be young and enthusiastic – lacking gravitas or confidence.
|We all know who’s really to blame.|
The squeaky perkiness of it might be fine on the kind of TV shows you see on Nickelodeon – iCarly I’m looking at you. But it just doesn’t translate to a country where perkiness frowned on and chipper considered downright strange.
It’s time for some practice – Eeyore’s gloom is preferable to our own personal Valley Girl Boy any day.