How You Talk and What it’s Saying About You

voice

 

One of the easiest clichés to think of, is the ditzy blonde valley girl. She’s a lot like Cher in Clueless, and speaks in a certain tone with lots of “Likes” and “Totally’s” thrown into every sentence. What is it that makes her so easy to pinpoint outside of her hair color? It’s the timbre of her voice, the manner in which she speaks, and that meme? It’s typically associated with being dumb (or at least not totally having it together together). It turns out that there are a lot of other vocal ticks that really drive people nuts, and affect how they perceive you. The Wall Street Journal wrote about it first, and I read about it on Jezebel.  And researchers found that people listen less to what you’re saying (11% was the words spoken), and more to how you sound when you’re speaking (read: your voice). All the while, they’re busy making interpretations of your social characteristics, levels of success and appearance just based on how you sound when you speak rather than the words coming out of your mouth.

The most annoying vocal habits are ending every sentence in a question mark (uptalk), talking too loudly (volumizing), talking too breathily or quietly (whisper-talking) and making words sound overly harsh or grating (vocal fry). It can impact your ability to win a job during an interview, get an important message across to coworkers, or just generally get people to listen to what you’re saying without fighting the overwhelming urge to tell you to put a sock in it. While everyone has a particular sound to their voice, most of the annoying habits you pick up along the way (hello baby talk!) can be trained out of habit. The key is realizing what you sound like, and then practicing to fix it.

Are there any ways of talking that really get on your nerves?

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Food Stamps for Pets

Pet Food Stamps

This article on The Wall Street Journal will warm anyone’s heart who has seen someone busking for change with a pet, and instantly worried for that dog/cat/bunny’s health. I am one of those animal loving saps, who often finds myself concerned that when someone is having that much trouble providing for themselves, their animal friend might not get the food and veterinary care it needs. Am I concerned for the person’s health and well-being? Yes, a thousand times over. But do I still worry about their pet’s needs? What dog lover couldn’t?

Now there is a nonprofit that will ease your fears called Pet Food Stamps whose mission is to eradicate the gap for people who subsist on food stamps that prevent the purchase of pet food and supplies. The organization was founded by Marc Okon, is privately funded, and allows anyone receiving government aide to submit an application to receive free pet food. The goal is to prevent pet owners who have fallen on hard times from one of three equally difficult options: feeding a pet before themselves, not being able to feed a pet, and having to give up an animal to a shelter (where it could potentially be euthanized) because of food costs. The organization is currently swamped with applications, but is accepting donations for anyone who wants to help.