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Business Productivity Strategies for Success (Collection) by Daniel Silvert, Merrick Rosenberg, Mark I. Woods, Jerry Weissman, Martha I. Finney, Trapper Woods

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50. Valley Girl Talk

Invisible Question Marks

One of the most familiar quotes from the Bible is, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”1

Unfortunately, legions of men—and women—have not followed the Biblical progression: They have become adults, but they still speak as children. They punctuate and malign their speech with repeated insertions of “like” and “you know?” But their most egregious and pervasive quirk is the sing-song pattern of their childhood. They speak their declarative sentences with rising inflection at the ends, forming questions rather than statements.

The effect is known as “up talking” or “Valley Girl Talk.”2

Taylor Mali, ...

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