Friday, July 21, 2006

Like and Go

Sharp intake of breath. I'm standing in the lineup for Via, in Toronto, and behind me a couple of youngsters are chatting away. "Like" occurs with the regularity of automatic rifle fire, as deadly to normal speech as a stammer; I want to look away, wring my hands. Is it because, increasingly, communication is mediated by screens rather than face-to-face?

Someone has also dinned it into young women not to raise the voice at the end of a statement. ("I'm thinking of applying for that new job? The pay's so much better? And I won't have that long commute?") The new "thing" is to lower the voice at the end of a sentence so that it loses all musicality and becomes a rasp between clenched teeth. It's hard to listen to.

One of the most beautiful voices around is that of Shelagh Rogers, on CBC radio. Smooth, sexy, melodious, with a hint of mischief and a wicked laugh. She sounds as though she's having an intimate tete-a-tete with an imagined bedmate. For a while Massena, NY, had a woman announcer with the sultriest voice imaginable too--though she was unremarkable to look at, like a nightingale. But male listeners would obsess about her.

The human voice is a powerful instrument. I'm so much in awe of what a good actor can do with it, and what a turn-on a beautiful voice can be. I hate to see it wasted.


Susannah said...

Ma, you're, like, starting to sound like a senior citizen?

Juliet Gill said...


Tricia Dower said...

I hate Shelagh Rogers's voice, but I love your blog. What a talented threesome you women are.

Juliet Gill said...

Thank you for your kind comment.
My daughters taught me everything I know; I didn't realize someone else read my ramblings.

Tricia Dower said...

Well, I do, so keep posting! I took a workshop with Charlotte and her website led me to your blog. And, by the way, I'm sure you've taught your daughters a thing or two, yourself.

Anonymous said...

Ma! We need more cat stories! It's been soooo long! -Alex