Surviving the sounds of society

Published January 25, 2012, in MSUM’s, The Advocate

The sound of nails on a chalkboard; the screaming of a baby in the grocery store; the loud whispers of people chatting in a movie theater; a fork screeching against the surface of a plate; all of these things are desperately annoying and make you want to hurt the instigator of these crimes of chaos.

Though the above instances are entirely pet-peeve-worthy, they cannot top an epidemic that has taken over the nation, one woman and femme man at a time. With celebrities speaking in the tongue of Valley Girl, it’s no wonder why the nation followed suit. Monkey hear, monkey speak. “If they sound dumb, so will I.”

Oh, how I wish we could turn back time to the days when people still sounded like people, not monotone robots manufactured on the shores of the west. Over-pronounced Ss and prolonged vowels that are as nasally sounding as a plugged-up schnoz are filling our ears and don’t want to leave. Even if you are spouting off the Gettysburg Address from memory, it is impossible for you to sound remotely intelligent because you have submitted your voice box to the ValGals – you have brought yourself down to their level of stupidity and everything else they are associated with.

“AS IF” the Valley Girl, that makes declarations questions, isn’t bad enough, there is a dialect even more terrifying, a voice even more maddening: The Dakota Girl. The Dakota Girl is a hybrid of the Valley Girl and the North Dakotan accent many statesmen are known for. It’s frightening and it’s everywhere.

Some may find it “ca-u-utt,” but they’re lying to themselves thinking it makes them sound more chic and Kardashian-like. I would take the Fargo/Minnesota accent over the Dakota Girl, Valley Girl and Stupid Girl any day of the week.

You may be thinking I’m being “meee-uhnnn,” but I assure you, I’m just trying to be honest and to hopefully save some of your poor vocal cords from screeching these atrocities ever again, except in jest. I’ll admit freely that this voice is “ree-uhh-lee” fun to use every once in awhile; to interject in a conversation when fitting. But “ssseri-us-leee (tonal inflection goes up on the last lee),” don’t use it all the time. Apart from making you sound like a moron, you lose your vocal identity and some of your credibility.

Which sounds more intelligent? It may help you to say the following sentences aloud in your cubicle, room or dark corner to help you determine the answer.

Your normal voice, usual accent and all: “I really like those shoes. They’re cute.”

Your distorted Dakota Girl voice: “Oh my goshhhhhh! I ree-uhh-lee like those shoe-uhhs. They’re ssssuper ca-u-utt.”

I can only hope that more people will be aware of this distasteful craze and find their voice once again.

BY MEGHAN FEIR

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