One recent interview was with a fellow who creates e-learning courses. As readers of my blog are probably aware, this is a subject which has had my attention for about two years now, and after reading some of Pat's interview transcript, I decided to download the MP3 recording and listen to the full interview. I didn't make it far.
The interviewee had a lot of interesting things to say, but I found it extremely difficult to concentrate on his content, because he, like, kept using a rising inflection at the end of every sentence? This is what is referred to as uptalk, upspeak, high rising terminal speech or other expressions. For me, I think the phrase "terminated communication" describes it best. Particularly for older Americans, uptalk can be very difficult to hear.
I've also noticed uptalk creeping into some of the training videos for the language professions. When I raised this issue with one person involved in the production of such materials, the response seemed to indicate that the private communication was deeply offensive and that I was "attacking" the person using that difficult inflection in the recording. On the contrary; I know the presenter is a competent professional with useful things to say, and I simply wanted a good person and a good company to benefit from communication less likely to pose challenges for a key "constituency" in the US and UK. On average, translators tend to be somewhat older, perhaps even more conservative in their language habits, and for now I just can't see uptalk as any possible advantage unless you are doing a guest workshop for students at a community college in the San Fernando Valley of California or some other hellish backwater.
I can't say to what extent uptalk may cause problems in other English-speaking cultures, but where I come from there are definitely issues in a professional setting, as this person rather "offensively" points out:
I prefer the more humorous take from this fellow:
His comments on courtrooms 15 years from now were amusing and are probably frighteningly predictive. How would courtroom judges react to an interpreter speaking that way today?
Have you encountered uptalk in professional settings? Is your experience with it positive or negative, and do you see it as useful in some contexts of training or public speaking? Am I just showing my Jurassic disposition to complain of such things?
And, like, when you comment, like, please, like, let us know if you are, like, a native speaker of, like, some kind of, like, English and like how old you are?