What did you say?
Maybe it’s because I’m used to a rural ranch-country drawl, but I ask you. Is the entire population speaking faster than anyone can listen or decipher what’s been said?
Or maybe, I have a “condition” that happens as one enjoys one’s later years? Which is to say, I don’t understand spoken words anymore. Which is to say that warp-speed conversation is today’s method of communication. Or at least I believe that must be true. I’m not positive as I’m not sure what anyone is actually saying.
To illustrate, allow me to run the above paragraphs together with no spaces, no periods, no punctuation, no pauses and no place to take a breath.
MaybeitsbecauseImusedtoarural- ranchcountrydrawlbutIaskyouIstheentirepopulationspeakingfaster thananyonecanlistenordecipherwhat’sbeensaidOrmaybeIhaveaconditionthathappensasoneenjoysoneslater yearsWhichistosayIdontunderstandspokenwordsanymoreWhichistosaythatwarpspeedconversationistodays methodofcommunicationOratleastIbelievethatmustbetrueImnotpositiveasImnotsurewhatanyoneisactuallysaying.
See what I mean? By the time the above is decoded, one has forgotten what one was meaning to write/say in the first place.
Recently, I ate lunch in a local restaurant which employs lots of youngsters during summer break. When I asked the young waitress to tell me what was the special for the day, she said: behappytotellyouitsbeefribsandriesandslaworbeefstroganoffovernoodleswithfriesandslaw. She managed every incomprehensible word in one breath.
I could only stare. I uttered, “what?” And she repeated the babble. Again, I could only stare as I attempted to interpret. Finally, I requested, “would you mind slowing down a bit and say again?”
It took about 10 minutes for me — eventually — to put in an order for a meal.
Later, I went to the local ACE hardware store to purchase a fresh battery for my wristwatch.
“Do you have batteries that will fit this watch?” I asked as I placed the said watch on the counter.
The young summer-employee girl picked up the timepiece while saying: Imsurewedoletmelookjustaminutyeshere-weareilltakethebackoffandputinthenewoneshallitosstheoldbattery?
Since the end of her phrase ended on a rising note, I figured she must have asked a question, so I nodded and watched as she efficiently stuck a new battery in my watch. “Thanks,” I said. “And would you please just add the cost to my charge account?”
“Okay,” I answered, not at all sure what I was answering to, but the word, “okay,” will usually get one by in most circumstances.
So, there you are. I’m either suffering senility or I’ve turned into a politician answering questions during a Congressional testimonial twixt the usual Your-Side-is-Evil versus My-Side-Is-Sainthood-Into-Eternity session:
Questionee: I didn’t get that.
Questionee: Could you slow down a little?
I’m now going outside to pet my horse and dog. Thankfully, both critters speak plain English. Or as the projectile talkers might say: Imnowgoingoutsideto-petmyhorseanddog. ❖