Friday, August 7, 2009

Speak Up but Don't Up Speak!

You know what upspeak is, right? It's that maddening speech pattern that has reached epidemic proportions - the habit of ending every sentence as though it were a question? I'm not sure where or when it started? It may have had its roots in Valley Girl speak? but it's now safe to say that upspeaking has left the Valley and spread far and wide? Even my clients who have learned English as a second language have fallen victim to it?

Upspeaking is problematic for two reasons; mainly because it makes the speaker sound as though he/she is not sure about the validity of what it is they just said. It makes them sound as though they are asking the listener for permission to make the statement they just made. For professionals it's even more problematic because it makes the speaker sound very unsure of themselves which does not instill confidence in the listener. If you are not sure of what you're telling me, how can I be sure of you. So remember, Speak up but don't Up speak!

Let me know your thoughts and issues with upspeaking.