The 7 Different Ways People Don't Talk Properly
Do you shout into your phone when you’re on a train?
Do you make up words if you can’t remember the proper ones? Are your anecdotes repetitive and boring and full of acronyms?
There are lots of different ways to stuff up conversations. I mean, we’re all pretty great at smashing out written messages (why thank-you auto-correct predictive text), but speaking with our actual voices can be tricky.
Here’s a list of bad talker types. Which one are you?
It doesn’t matter how loudly Mumblers speak, the fact that each word merges into the next makes everysentencejustonereallylongslightlyslurredwordthatnoonecanunderstand.
My husband is a classic Mumbler. I’m pretty good at figuring out what he’s saying, but strangers often have no idea.
Negotiating the sale of a ute, 150 km from home:
Husband: "Can we have our mechanic check it out?"
Car salesman: "Sure, yes, of course."
Car salesman: "As long as you pick it up before Friday."
*Salesman goes to fetch the paperwork*
Me: "He has no idea what you just asked. There’s no way he’s letting you drive that ute 300 kilometres before you decide you want it. He thinks you’re buying it right now."
Husband: "Nah, he understood."
Car salesman: "Congratulations on your purchase!"
Some people feel like if they’re on the phone that means they’re a long way from the person they’re talking to and must therefore SPEAK REALLY LOUD IN ORDER TO BE HEARD.
Shouters especially love making phone calls when they’re out and about, because this is the best time to discuss either incredibly dull or wildly inappropriate things.
You can find them in the supermarket (“DO WE NEED MILK? CEREAL? ANUSOL?”), on public transport (“I’M ON THE TRAIN … YEAH, I GOT THE TEST RESULTS TODAY – IT WAS CHLAMYDIA AFTER ALL.”) and in the library (“I’M JUST PICKING UP THAT BOOK I PUT ON HOLD LAST WEEK – ROOT VEGETABLE REIKI FOR DUMMIES.”).
One of my friends at university spoke incredibly quietly all the time. It felt like she was always TELLING ME A SECRET.
And get this: she wasn’t even studying to be a librarian or a wildlife documentary maker.
I know Whisperers aren’t trying to be annoying, but it’s hard work, leaning in, clutching at sound waves, nodding at the unknown. If you’re not careful you can accidentally agree to all sorts of things.
Whisperer: "Could you please help me feed live rats to my snake tonight?"
You: "Uh-huh." *nods enthusiastically*
Shorteners are busy, okay? No time to say full words. I mean, no time to SFW.
Written communication is full of acronyms and abbreviations, but Shorteners like to use this technique in verbal conversations too.
“OMG, I’m devo ATM. Ryan changed his FB status! Hashtag arsehole, AIR? Like, WTF? So I need a new guy ASAP. Let’s get turnt tonight, BB! TBH, I never even liked Ryan. He’s dumb AF.”
If the Shortener is over 22, the acronyms are almost guaranteed to be, like, so two minutes ago. LOL.
These people have so much to say, and so much time to say it. Their conversations take the scenic route.
Why say something with five words if you can use 50? Why jump to the most exciting part of your anecdote if you can also include the boring lead-up in minute detail?
If a Meanderer arrives at your place sporting a new face tatt and a plaster cast, then says, “Well, let’s see, where will I begin?”, you should quickly reply, “Towards the end.”
Otherwise you’ll have to sit through the bit about the half-price cauliflower and the central heating thermostat and next door’s cat and the overdue library book and …
The Omitter is the Meanderer’s opposite. These people THINK the first part of their conversation and THEN let their mouth join in.
They start stories like this: “So the first one told me he couldn’t get it off! I had to ring Roger!” and you can’t decide if you should fill in the gaps yourself or ask for some clarification. (Filling in the gaps is more fun, though.)
The Inventor is forgetful and also a genius.
“So I was at the … ah … the … you know, lady-parts doctor …”
“That’s the one. And she got out the … er … the, you know, the plastic duck …”
“And during the procedure, she talked about … um, what are they called? Those tiny cabbages.”
Talking can be hard. Thank Christ for laryngitis.