About the Colony

Want to be taken seriously? Speak properly

Special to The TribuneFebruary 17, 2014 

Lon Allan


I will admit I am generally the first to complain about change. In fact, I’ve written thousands of words in these opinion pieces about my reluctance to change with the times. My wife complains that I have not progressed much past 1957.

She exaggerates, of course. But then again, I am slow to rally around anything put forth since, say, the end of World War II. Seriously, out of necessity I have adapted to many changes.

The changes I adapt to the fastest are those I can understand or am forced to deal with. I buried my analog cell phone a few years ago when they became obsolete and got a new one (it cost $14 and it only makes phone calls). There is no way I am apt to get anything that has an “app” on it.

So you’ll understand my total disregard for popular music, most all current television programming, whether it is news or entertainment, and what Hollywood is turning out.

Some change is simple to deal with. It hits me, and I finally buy pants with a larger waist size.

Sometimes, at this stage of my life, I just don’t get it.

For example, for the past several years I’ve been mystified by the female voice, especially in young women who sound as if they need to clear their throat. It is sort of a baby talk wherein the words are practically swallowed before they are out and you have to ask, “What did you say?”

There is also a growing trend, which also includes young males, to send the voice higher at the end of a sentence. That drives me nuts.

How do you take a 23-year-old woman who sounds like an 8-year-old seriously?

You don’t.

Perhaps in this modern culture where there is such pressure, especially on women, to appear forever coquettish, making those child-like sounds is thought to be appealing.

Good speech is important at any age, but especially to young men and women who hope to be successful in any career where they encounter other human beings.

But wait a moment. The more people who talk like they have a mouth full of marbles emerge, they’ll understand each other, so there is no problem. Maybe it’s just one more change I have to put up with.

Lon Allan has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades, and his column is published weekly. Reach him at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.

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