Date: Mon, 8 Jul 1996 15:57:26 PDT
From: Duane Campbell dcamp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]EPIX.NET
Subject: Re: Semi-early "uptalk" citation
--- On Mon, 8 Jul 1996 15:33:45 -0400 Jesse T Sheidlower jester[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PANIX.COM
I was recently reading John A. Williams' novel
_The Angry Ones,_ first published in 1960
I can take it back a bit earlier. When I was a child, maybe 8 or 10 which
would be the late 40's or early 50's, I had a playmate who used "uptalk"
habitually. He was unique -- it was not a family or group pattern. He was very
shy, and I took it to be a form of asking for reinforcement (validation hadn't
yet been invented). There have often been terminal words that have the same
effect: "right?", "ya' know?", "nu?", "Nicht war?", "N'c'est pas?" the word
has dropped, but the inflection remains.
Relating to the shyness of my friend, I note that there is sometimes (but not
always) a power component a la Deborah Tannen. Listening to the puzzles on NPR
on Sunday mornings, Inotice that while men always answer in the affirmative,
women often give the correct answer in a question form: "Is it .....?"
dcamp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]epix.net
In the beginning the Earth was without form and void.
Why didn't they leave well enough alone?