Friday, 12 August 2011

The many voices of me!

Just like Robin Williams in this movie (at 2:00), I think most people can 'do' voices.

Do you find yourself, after spending some time with someone with an accent, begin to speak like them or even picking up some of their mannerisms? Most veteran Globetrotters find that with time, they begin to draw hazy lines over what their original voice sounds like, because years of interaction with so many different people, places and cultures has affected their natural accents.

People naturally tend to change the tone of their voice to fit the situation they might be in. It could be to get attention, to win an argument, to display authority or to simply blend. Note that we're not discussing enunciation - which simply put is the act of speaking articulately. This is more a short discourse on how the pitch/tone of our voices can change the context of what is being said.

Business Voice - This is the voice most people use when trying to sound all-important and officious. It is usually a clipped, well modulated tone, often accompanied with the use of big, verbose (sometimes meaningless!) words. This type of voice is mainly used in business settings - setting up the voicemail on your official phone, talking to clients / your boss / your subordinates, talking to new acquaintances.

Kiddie voice - This is a high pitched tone, often used to communicate with children and babies. Not sure why, but a lot of adults do this! It gets really ridiculous though when the adult is trying to take control of a tricky situation, and is still shrieking in that same high-pitched tone! Some adults also use this voice in romantic settings, to beguile their partners into doing things they would not ordinarily have done. Silly!

Normal Voice - This is your normal voice. Often used when in relaxed and familiar settings or when you think you are not being observed.

Argument Voice - Depending on how you are faring in the argument, this could be a low persuasive tone, or a high-pitched whiny and frantic tone that already signals to your opponent that you've lost the argument.

Talking to the Elderly voice - I find people tend to speak louder and slower when speaking to elderly people. Quick fact - not all elderly people are hard of hearing!

Chilling with my pals voice - This is a tone used only in the company of very close friends. In fact, the casual observer might be aware that you are speaking but not understand a word that you have said. This is because this tone is most likely best represented in vernacular, that only you and your close friends understand.

So which voice do you use most of the time? Do you have any other 'voices' to add to this list?

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