Monday, December 28, 2009

Post-youth Listening Problems

I happened to be in the room this morning when Barbara was watching The View on TV. Kathy Griffin was the guest.
First let me say that she talks and talks – if I were around her all day she would drive me nuts. But that’s her style, it works for her, and she has lots of loyal fans, so who am I to complain?
But she illustrated a few problems some of us post-youths have when we are around young people. Notice I said we have problems – it is not necessarily the fault of the youngsters.
First, I get tired of hearing “ya know” before, during and after every sentence. If I know, you don’t have to tell me, and if I don’t know, then don’t tell me I do. Please just tell me what it is that I don’t know, then we will both know. Ya know.
Second, I don’t know if they are talking faster or if I am just listening more slowly, but they are often speaking two sentences ahead of the one I am hearing. I realize  young people are in a hurry, but believe me, the second-to-last place they are rushing to is (how shall I put this?) adult emeritus. Trust me – rushing means missing way too much along the way.
Third, they seem to leave all sense of punctuation behind in English class. It is not unusual to hear twenty or more sentences strung together with “and” as the connecting word, especially when a jock is doing the speaking. Here’s a thought: when you get to the end of a sentence, stop talking for an instant, then start a new one.
Fourth: it would be helpful if they would put some inflection into their speaking. Or perhaps they are doing that, and I am hearing a monotone. I doubt that, however, because I don’t have the problem when I listen to a post-youth speak.
I suppose I am being a crotchety old man, but it’s my blog, and I’ll say what I want to say. Come back tomorrow when I am in a better mood.

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