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The presentation could have been great at work because it was relevant to us. Instead it leapt from leapt from the starting line like a lead frog and made as much sense. Still I focused on my breathing and tried to decipher what the person was saying when I heard it. The reason I was having trouble understanding the speaker. Not the sound like the other presenters. No this was innate. The speaker allowed their “r’s” to be mowed over and totally disregarded, pronouncing them like “w’s”.

Angry Kitten. flickr.

Angry Kitten. flickr.

I spent the rest of the presentation accepting the fact that r’s being replaced with w’s is one of my greatest bugaboos. I’m usually very forgiving and very patient. This one drains me like a sieve.

As someone who has a lisp, I feel linguistically superior to someone in perpetual baby talk. I’m supposed to listen to 90 minutes of an expert spouting about “sensowy diffewences” weally intewesting.

I’ve never found it adorable, pouty lips and big round eyes. My biggest “wefewence” point is a girl and her mother who made my life a living hell so when I hear that distinctive “wawa” to a speech pattern I go right back. Aw proceeded the girl’s name. Isn’t she adorable? No. (Sidenote: Barbara Walters doesn’t bug me at all.)

A child–okay. People are thrilled they’re talking so any attempt at a word is applauded. A teenager? Apparently the Elmer Fudd jokes didn’t nip anything in the bud. Maybe help them before going out in the real world. White haired and beaming, the speaker explained she was in her late 60’s, proving a successful life can be achieved regardless of tongue placement.

I caught myself repeating the r words now pronounced with a w. That’s actually not who I want to be so I stopped.

“Are there any questions?” they asked. Yes, does the word “pudaca” mean anything to you?

My pain was only surpassed by the speech pathologists in the front row who rocked in their chair before finally getting up and paced on the side of the room. I feel your pain. I do.

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