Damn The Rising Inflection

As you know, it doesn’t take much to get me going on a Victor Meldrew rant. One thing that is practically guaranteed to do it is to hear someone speak with a rising inflection at the end, or even during, their sentences when it is not appropriate. I was brought up to learn that the rising inflection (or High Rising Terminal) is reserved exclusively for signalling the asking of a question or to mark uncertainty in speech, and to hear it used any other way is akin to the reaction I have to fingernails being scraped down a blackboard…
And when the rising inflection is coupled with adjectives such as "cool" or "awesome", then I have a tendency to become apopleptic. So, I present to you Dharmesh Mehta, Director of the Windows Live Team talking about the features on the upcoming version of Windows Live Messenger. The video is found on this page – it’s the one entitled Preview of the New Windows Live Messenger. I could hardly take in the meaning of what he was saying for the sound of my screaming. Watch out also for the excruciating banter between him and his colleague, who also drops the "Whatever" bomb…

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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4 Responses to Damn The Rising Inflection

  1. Kelly Holsten says:

    Indeed. I could not agree more… It’s beyond painful. And my current preferred college radio station has a plethora of DJs that are all seemingly taught to use a rising inflection every four words or so, resulting in my will to throw self off 3rd floor balcony. I actually cant think of anything more painful when it’s accompanied by equally vapid subject matter. Sadly, a mention to the offending party brings nothing more than twice the Horror. Sadness pt II is that once you key in on this attribute it’s an order of magnitude more troubling. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if there will be a cure any time soon. It’s the 35 and under preferred method of oral communication when under the Hipster Spell.

    – kh

  2. David says:

    Spare a thought Geoff, I predominately spend my days filming and editing Lawyers and accountants from City of London firms and they increasingly suffer from freaking RI – it DOES MY BLOODY HEAD IN. But can I say anything? can I hell – they’re my clients, my bread and butter, my mortgage repayment, my wife’s collection of shoes.

    * calming down a little *

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