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(BBC-US)   Whatever it's called, the habit of making statements sound like questions is a genuine linguistic mystery?   (bbc.com) divider line 109
    More: Interesting, yes-no questions, Mark Liberman  
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4797 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Aug 2014 at 9:08 PM (10 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-11 05:52:45 PM  
Anytime someone does this, no matter what they say, respond with, "I don't think so" or a similar variant. They'll either eventually stop doing it, or they'll stop talking to you. Either way, you win.
 
2014-08-11 05:54:14 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Anytime someone does this, no matter what they say, respond with, "I don't think so" or a similar variant. They'll either eventually stop doing it, or they'll stop talking to you. Either way, you win.


I know, right?
 
2014-08-11 05:55:15 PM  
Yeah... put me in the "makes me stabby" column
 
2014-08-11 05:55:45 PM  

fusillade762: I know, right?


I don't think so.
 
2014-08-11 06:10:31 PM  
You don't say?
 
2014-08-11 06:38:46 PM  
27.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-08-11 07:31:17 PM  

Pocket Ninja: fusillade762: I know, right?

I don't think so.


It's like a 100% female thing?
 
2014-08-11 07:44:45 PM  
i know what you mean?
 
2014-08-11 08:26:56 PM  
It's not a mystery for anyone old enough to have lived through its evolution. It originated from the way grade school teachers talked when they were lecturing and writing on the chalkboard in front of the class. Teachers talked through their subject matter and inflected their statements to sound like questions to keep the students' attention and to give them a constant prodding to ask questions if they didn't understand the point being made. Valley girls eventually picked it up and began using it in sarcastic fashion. It made its way into movies and television. Then everybody began doing it. Whenever someone talks this way to me, I want to ask, "Are you asking me or telling me?"
 
2014-08-11 09:13:10 PM  

edmo: Pocket Ninja: fusillade762: I know, right?

I don't think so.

It's like a 100% female thing?


I was always told it was a Jewish thing?
 
2014-08-11 09:14:14 PM  
Calvin Trillin wrote about touring a college campus with his daughter, where their guide, "introduced herself by asking us her name".
 
2014-08-11 09:15:19 PM  

Fark Me To Tears: . Valley girls eventually picked it up and began using it in sarcastic fashion.

 Gnarly? Like gag me with a spoon? Surely you're not serious?
 
2014-08-11 09:15:35 PM  
I can't think of anyone doing this unless they were actually implying a question.  I'm just getting towards onion-belt status but I work with lots of twenty so etchings, and again, never hear it.
 
2014-08-11 09:16:25 PM  
It is termed "uptalk", and my step-daughter has a Masters' degree in it.
 
2014-08-11 09:16:55 PM  
Fair dinkum only bogans would talk like that

(Difficulty: Austrailian-obscure)
 
2014-08-11 09:21:22 PM  
From TFA:  Some people believe the phenomenon is used by uncertain speakers hoping to win their audience over.

Always supposed it was something like that, uncertainty, insecurity, seeking confirmation, wanting to persuade, the same way people add, "right?", "yeah?" to the ends of sentences.
 
2014-08-11 09:23:26 PM  
Freaking' NPR does this all the time with their well educated guests.  It still stuns me that very smart people (genuinely smart, like, scientishimans and everything) do this.

That and starting every answer to a question with "So".  For example Diane Rehm might ask "How did you do this study on social interactions of chimpanzees in the wild?"  Answer:  "So... we put together these existing studies and concluded that there blah blah blah."

Every.  farking.  Time.

When I was in school, we had it drilled in us not to 'uptalk', say shiat like "um", "uh" and similar vocalizations when speaking publicly.  They should have added "So".

\I see you, Cloud.  Yeah, I'm yelling at you, biatch.
 
2014-08-11 09:24:28 PM  
"..a genuine linguistic mystery? "

I'd say it was pretty cunning.
 
2014-08-11 09:25:21 PM  
I wonder how many people incorrectly punctuate their "I wonder" statements with question marks?
 
2014-08-11 09:27:57 PM  
Years ago I had a housemate who had a 9-year-old son who visited on weekends.

Whenever he told a story? he would break it up like this? about four or five times? the pitch would go up? and then it ended in a sad-ish dooownward piiiitch.

I would usually hear the kid through the wall, so he was muffled and I could hear no words.  So it was: doodle doodle doo? doodle doo? doodle doodle doooo? doodle doo? doodle doooooooo.  All freaking day.

It got to the point where I started unconsciously whistling the melody of it.
 
2014-08-11 09:28:42 PM  
Next up: people texting what might be a statement or a question with no ending punctuation, leaving the recipient baffled on how to respond.
 
2014-08-11 09:31:53 PM  
I first noticed it used by some US Southerners, but it seemed more tentative and subtle than it later became.  Kind of like statements phrased as soft questions...."I'm from North Carolina?  They told me you were gonna come today and I should show y'all around?....."
 
2014-08-11 09:32:56 PM  

B.J. Cummings: I wonder how many people incorrectly punctuate their "I wonder" statements with question marks?


Or this one: "Guess what?"
 
2014-08-11 09:33:47 PM  

Dragonflew: Years ago I had a housemate who had a 9-year-old son who visited on weekends.

Whenever he told a story? he would break it up like this? about four or five times? the pitch would go up? and then it ended in a sad-ish dooownward piiiitch.

I would usually hear the kid through the wall, so he was muffled and I could hear no words.  So it was: doodle doodle doo? doodle doo? doodle doodle doooo? doodle doo? doodle doooooooo.  All freaking day.

It got to the point where I started unconsciously whistling the melody of it.



Yes, well I had a boss who would talk to all his subordinates that way, while tilting his head to one side, then the other.  Apparently he just took what he learned relating to toddlers at home and applied that to management.  It was pretty maddening.
 
2014-08-11 09:34:13 PM  

somemoron: Freaking' NPR does this all the time with their well educated guests.  It still stuns me that very smart people (genuinely smart, like, scientishimans and everything) do this.

That and starting every answer to a question with "So".  For example Diane Rehm might ask "How did you do this study on social interactions of chimpanzees in the wild?"  Answer:  "So... we put together these existing studies and concluded that there blah blah blah."

Every.  farking.  Time.

When I was in school, we had it drilled in us not to 'uptalk', say shiat like "um", "uh" and similar vocalizations when speaking publicly.  They should have added "So".

\I see you, Cloud.  Yeah, I'm yelling at you, biatch.


Not saying umm or some other variant is stupid. You get a horrible strained throat clicking sounds from people who attempt to stop themselves from making thinking noises.
 
2014-08-11 09:35:05 PM  

Dragonflew: Years ago I had a housemate who had a 9-year-old son who visited on weekends.

So it was: doodle doodle doo? doodle doo? doodle doodle doooo? doodle doo? doodle doooooooo.  All freaking day.



That would drive me nuts.  Like being trapped in a pigeon coop.... B^D
 
2014-08-11 09:35:29 PM  

somemoron: Freaking' NPR does this all the time with their well educated guests.  It still stuns me that very smart people (genuinely smart, like, scientishimans and everything) do this.

That and starting every answer to a question with "So".  For example Diane Rehm might ask "How did you do this study on social interactions of chimpanzees in the wild?"  Answer:  "So... we put together these existing studies and concluded that there blah blah blah."

Every.  farking.  Time.

When I was in school, we had it drilled in us not to 'uptalk', say shiat like "um", "uh" and similar vocalizations when speaking publicly.  They should have added "So".

\I see you, Cloud.  Yeah, I'm yelling at you, biatch.


I knew a guy who would throw "Okay, [sentence]" into presentations when he was nervous. The "so" is probably a mental and verbal pause under pressure. If enough guests do it, it becomes expected.
 
2014-08-11 09:37:30 PM  
"media.tumblr.com ?"
 
2014-08-11 09:37:42 PM  
usatftw.files.wordpress.com

What is the proper mode of response, Alex?
 
2014-08-11 09:39:59 PM  
It is a psychological affectation of the feeble-minded and cowardly.
 
2014-08-11 09:40:35 PM  
There was a caller on APM Marketplace Money a month or so ago who did this. I wanted to stab myself in the ears.

/css?
 
2014-08-11 09:43:49 PM  

somemoron: Freaking' NPR does this all the time with their well educated guests.  It still stuns me that very smart people (genuinely smart, like, scientishimans and everything) do this.

That and starting every answer to a question with "So".  For example Diane Rehm might ask "How did you do this study on social interactions of chimpanzees in the wild?"  Answer:  "So... we put together these existing studies and concluded that there blah blah blah."

Every.  farking.  Time.

When I was in school, we had it drilled in us not to 'uptalk', say shiat like "um", "uh" and similar vocalizations when speaking publicly.  They should have added "So".

\I see you, Cloud.  Yeah, I'm yelling at you, biatch.


Yep, NPR does a lot of that love-to-hate stuff; different hosts have different tics, like the guy that adds "sort of" in the middle of sentences where it doesn't belong, or say things like "...nine trillion - that's with a 't' - dollars..."  Oh god, I thought you said "mrillion" or "brillion" - thanks for clarifying.....Maybe it's all a plot to make Tom & Ray CarTalk sound eloquent...
 
2014-08-11 09:47:28 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Anytime someone does this, no matter what they say, respond with, "I don't think so" or a similar variant. They'll either eventually stop doing it, or they'll stop talking to you. Either way, you win.


I don't know what that means, but I think I really like it?
 
2014-08-11 09:48:09 PM  
It's called the high-rising terminal and it's abhorrent. Everyone should stop it
 
2014-08-11 09:48:21 PM  

Billy Liar: Yep, NPR does a lot of that love-to-hate stuff; different hosts have different tics, like the guy that adds "sort of" in the middle of sentences where it doesn't belong, or say things like "...nine trillion - that's with a 't' - dollars..." Oh god, I thought you said "mrillion" or "brillion" - thanks for clarifying.....


And I'm mee-shell nooris!
 
2014-08-11 09:49:33 PM  
Surveys have suggested bosses dislike it.

That's actually how my last boss talked. She was pretty awesome otherwise, though.
 
2014-08-11 09:51:06 PM  

70Ford: Pocket Ninja: Anytime someone does this, no matter what they say, respond with, "I don't think so" or a similar variant. They'll either eventually stop doing it, or they'll stop talking to you. Either way, you win.

I don't know what that means, but I think I really like it?


I'm not sure that's right.
 
2014-08-11 09:51:10 PM  

kyleaugustus: Next up: people texting what might be a statement or a question with no ending punctuation, leaving the recipient baffled on how to respond.


My typical response is "What?" or "I don't understand what you're saying." And somehow I become the asshole.
 
2014-08-11 09:52:37 PM  

kyleaugustus: Next up: people texting what might be a statement or a question with no ending punctuation, leaving the recipient baffled on how to respond.


Are you serious
 
2014-08-11 09:54:07 PM  
England - Where posh teens end every sentence in an upward inflection, and every news announcer ends their sentences in a downward-then-middle inflection.
 
2014-08-11 09:55:37 PM  

Dragonflew: B.J. Cummings: I wonder how many people incorrectly punctuate their "I wonder" statements with question marks?

Or this one: "Guess what?"


Chicken butt.
 
2014-08-11 09:55:42 PM  
You farkers are all so perfect, huh.
 
2014-08-11 09:57:07 PM  
It's called the passive voice and anything said like that is a lie.

/.
//.
///.
 
2014-08-11 09:59:03 PM  

Pocket Ninja: Anytime someone does this, no matter what they say, respond with, "I don't think so" or a similar variant. They'll either eventually stop doing it, or they'll stop talking to you. Either way, you win.


Where have I heard this before?

Oh yeah:

cdn.hark.com
 
2014-08-11 10:00:13 PM  

ThighsofGlory: Dragonflew: B.J. Cummings: I wonder how many people incorrectly punctuate their "I wonder" statements with question marks?

Or this one: "Guess what?"

Chicken butt.


"Guess why?"
 
2014-08-11 10:00:28 PM  

jaytkay: Calvin Trillin wrote about touring a college campus with his daughter, where their guide, "introduced herself by asking us her name".


Please go on
 
2014-08-11 10:00:32 PM  
In an interview.....

Don't use a firm handshake, it will make you seem aggressive.

Don't make a lot of eye contact, it makes you appear to dominant to be a subordinate.

/Things actually taught to millennials?
 
2014-08-11 10:01:21 PM  
This is news?
 
2014-08-11 10:09:23 PM  
I'm Ron Burgundy?
 
2014-08-11 10:10:41 PM  
Porn stars love this vernacular. Usually because they stop maturing after they get molested when their boobs grow in.
 
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