Sunday, August 5, 2018

linguistically challenged

Of late, I cannot tell if it is my own waning capacities or the changing of circumstances around me:

1. I can no longer listen to people whose English is pretty good but whose accents blur the words, as when I call Geek Squad or some other electronic first aid outlet to help me with my computer needs. Ditto on television news when more and more reporters bring an accent with them and there are no subtitles.

Either I have to recalibrate my understandings or the news programs might be well-advised to use subtitles to back up any speaker who sports an accent from his/her native land.

2. Also on the television news, increasing numbers of people seem to be talking faster than they once did ... as if rushing to stuff as much of their collected information as possible into an increasingly shrinking space (sort of like the old 33.3 rpm records played at a 45 rpm speed). I trust (or anyway hope) that they have done their homework, but when they talk so fast, I get lost in what may start to sound like jibber-jabber.

As I say, I'm not sure whether the problem is my deteriorating mind or if it is the circumstance of a penny-pinching mandate. I honestly don't know, but I do know I find it annoying. I'd rather get less information clearly delivered ... or maybe I mean better-lubricated brain circuitry.


  1. I suspect it's an aging brain thing. I increasingly only watch recorded content so I can backup and replay certain lines a few times in hope to understand what they said. And even then, I often give up and accept that I can't understand what was said.

  2. Probably some of both.
    It’s also a function of one’s emotional state. Eg Already frustrated by a dysfunctional computer then having to deal with a slick foreigner who lacks language skills and customer support skills trying to side step faulty hardware and software issues gets many people to To boiling point.

    Also I think being retired and living in the ‘burbs you probably are declining culturally. It’s diiferent when on a daily basis you deal with barely English speaking people in restaurants, grocery stores, news stands, etc.

    Dealing over the phone makes things worse. I have to prep a “smile in my voice.” It works sometimes.

  3. "Dealing over the phone makes things worse. I have to prep a “smile in my voice.” It works sometimes."

    Thanks Andy ... "sometimes" is such a good word. :)

    1. Interesting how much is written in the vein of Theravadan based Psychological Buddhism in dealing with being unloved, depressed, frustrated, angry or having other negative emotions. The answer is Meditation, Mindfulness and Metta (Loving Kindness).

      Evidently it resonates.

      Briefly one may want to meditate then to “Send Metta” to oneself to reduce one’s vexations and to the foreigner seemingly lacking language skills, wisdom and compassion. Then proceed Mindfully.

      BTW - it works _sometimes_.