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Questioning Intonation

Oh I know there are much more important things to be concerned about,  but it is one of these things that is pervading the broadcast media. I suppose it started about 20 years ago and I believe it began in Australia.

It consists of someone answering a question but raising the pitch of their voice at the end of a sentence, thus making it sound like another question rather than an answer. It irritates the Hell out of me, to the extent that I have begun shouting at the radio when someone does it.

Being a regular listener to speech and news radio, my anger seems to increase on a daily basis.  Another thing that is becoming evident is the increased use of buzzwords in news interviews. Next time you hear an expert or media type being interviewed, just count the number of times they drop in the following words:

Partnership, robust, engage, stakeholders, consultation process, customers, excellence, best practice and the like.

We are drowning in a sea of glittering generality.


7 Responses

  1. Rab, you missed out the phrase that really does my nut in…’fit for purpose’…every would-be politician or leader now uses it.

  2. I agree Rab and I am with you on the irritation level! Unfortunately with the wholesale availability of the world’s English language TV programmes young people in particular are subject to influences like that. They then grow up and become journalists and news readers! Americans are really bad for it too. Didn’t it start over there?

  3. Lessons will be learned
    Does my head in

  4. ‘Community,’ ‘Hard working families,’ (That originated with Bill Clinton). ‘Move forward.’ ,

  5. Good examples. ‘Going forward’ is another one in a similar vein.

  6. Nothing, but nothing, upsets me more – sorry, the sound of children does – than an interviewee beginning their answer with “Absolutely!”.

  7. Canadians tend to raise the pitch at the end of statements, not just answers, so everything may sound like a question.
    What I have noticed recently is the habit (infuriating to me) of starting a response to a question with the word ‘So’. Listen out for it, it will be coming to a screen near you soon.

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