38 posts tagged with language and speech.
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Repetitive words and phrases irrationally irritate me. Why?

Repetitive words or phrases irritate me way beyond all rational explanation. Can you help me understand why? [more inside]
posted by _Mona_ on Sep 13, 2016 - 13 answers

H'improve my h'accents!

I would like to learn to do a passable amateur version of some basic British regional accents-- a Cockney or two, Somerset, Yorkshire, Scottish, RP. Where should I start? [more inside]
posted by Bardolph on Jun 7, 2016 - 8 answers

Is there a word for this?

Is there a word for when you hear someone say something in the background or when you're not paying attention and you don't process it immediately, but recognize the word a few seconds later from the pattern of pronunciation? I suppose sort of like hearing someone say your name without actually hearing them say your name. [more inside]
posted by jourman2 on Jan 14, 2016 - 8 answers

Wee wee wee, all the way home!

What do you call your smallest toe? [more inside]
posted by steef on Nov 5, 2014 - 76 answers

Rolled R-less cultures

In which cultures/countries is it RARE for people to be able to sustain a tongue-rolled R? (Say, fewer than 1 in 10 people can do it?) In this case I mean sustain artificially long, say for 3 seconds.
posted by kalapierson on Sep 25, 2014 - 12 answers

Looking for dialogue with a certain form

I'm looking for lines of dialogue from movies, novels, or elsewhere, in which someone says that something is not an X, even though it is an X, just not a mere X or typical X. An example of the type of exchange I'm looking for: "Wow, you spent a year's salary on a car?" "A car? This is isn't a car. It's a Lamborghini!" The second person knows that their Lamborghini is a car, but means to express that it isn't just a car. (It's important for my purposes that the person doesn't say 'just'.) There must be some recognizable instances of this type of speech, but I'm drawing a blank. Any ideas?
posted by painquale on Jul 7, 2013 - 16 answers

Help me remember this webcomic/illustrated story.

I've Googled and Googled and can't find it nor any reference to it. Several years back, I read this illustrated story/webcomic (I FEEL like I found it via Metafilter but that might be wrong). I think it was about the origins of spoken language? It featured a group of cave-dwelling protohumans, scenes of sex and female copulatory vocalizations, and possibly psilocybin mushrooms. Did I dream this? If not, what is it and where can I find it again?
posted by Knicke on Jun 26, 2013 - 2 answers

Karaoke-like software to speak Norwegian like a native

Is there any software out there which can give me feedback on rhythm, timing and flow for language learning? Karaoke for Norwegian speech patterns? [more inside]
posted by Eltulipan on Mar 18, 2013 - 3 answers

Gold teeth and a curse for this town were all in my mouth

What words have you made up that you use regularly? [more inside]
posted by holdkris99 on Jan 13, 2012 - 209 answers


What’s a sure-fire way of knowing the difference between “their” and there; I always end up getting confused between the two. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Nov 21, 2011 - 19 answers

Improve my elocution!

How can I work on a more "natural" delivery (emphasis, pitch, etc.) when reading books aloud? [more inside]
posted by yersinia on Nov 16, 2011 - 9 answers

Grammar error? "Working since I'm 12"

Why do some people say "since I'm 12" instead of "since I was 12"? [more inside]
posted by lovableiago on Jun 14, 2011 - 53 answers

How to deal with a preschooler during a speech-language evaluation?

I'm a new student in speech-language pathology doing my first full evaluation. My client is 3 years old. I happen to be the one who screened her and remember that she's extremely shy and unwilling to cooperate. Any thoughts as to what I could do to 1) get her to go through the necessary tests, 2) elicit a language sample, and 3) get her to open her mouth for an oral mech exam? Failing that last one, any ideas for looking at oral function that make it seem like a game? One person suggested having the child blow bubbles, anything else?
posted by RyG on Oct 18, 2010 - 11 answers

Linguistic Identity Crisis: A country girl divided by a common language.

I'm moving to the UK for the next three years and have some questions about my identity and language use. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on May 5, 2010 - 41 answers

Sacrifice, speech, writing and art

Sacrifice, speech, writing and art: I am interested in the different ways in which a sacrifice, a sacrament, a spoken word and a written word act as signifiers. The notion for instance that the sacrament, at the point of its acceptance, is understood as becoming the signified. What can you tell me / what has been written about the notions of sacrifice and their relationship to speech, art and the technologies of writing? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Feb 24, 2010 - 8 answers

Why am I having speech problems?

I seem to be having some speech/language problems. What could be causing them, and should I be concerned? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 5, 2010 - 22 answers

Help me stop sounding like a valley girl!

What are some tips in having better speech? [more inside]
posted by InterestedInKnowing on Dec 14, 2009 - 9 answers

How do I talk to doctors?

How do I talk to doctors in a professional manner? [more inside]
posted by bananaskin on Oct 7, 2009 - 11 answers

Indian English Speakers with Shifting Western Accent

Is it a widespread behavior for multilingual speakers of english to get a more anglicized accent when talking to a native speaker? [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur on Aug 22, 2009 - 19 answers

How did Lincoln talk?

I want to learn what everyday conversation (vocabulary, speech patterns, etc.) among American social and political elites was like around the time of the US Civil War. Where should I look for this sort of information? Online sources would be great. [more inside]
posted by thirteenkiller on Mar 9, 2009 - 5 answers

Why do so many people say FoxFire instead of Firefox?

Is there some linguistic or cultural explanation for mistakenly calling Firefox FoxFire? [more inside]
posted by odinsdream on Jan 7, 2009 - 31 answers

How do i get better at pronouncing r's and l's

My pronunciation of r's and l's is the same - for example, I pronounce lot and rot the same. English is my first (and only) language. When listening, i have no problems distinguishing between the two. No problems with writing either. Only with pronunciation. How do I become better at pronouncing those sounds? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 16, 2008 - 12 answers

Language-Related Equivalent of Empathy?

Is there a word or a phrase, other than the too-broad "understand," for when a listener understands what someone else is trying to convey even when the speaker doesn't express it clearly and/or correctly? [more inside]
posted by amyms on Apr 28, 2008 - 31 answers

A good recording device?

Can anyone help me select a high-quality recording device for fieldwork and speech analysis, please? [more inside]
posted by mateuslee on Dec 19, 2007 - 12 answers

I'd like some advice about preventing

I'd like some advice about preventing "regression" in the ability to speak a foreign language. If I am away from communicating in a foreign language for a few days, it feels like I might have lost it. That's because when I start speaking, I don't feel like I can get into it. [more inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Oct 11, 2007 - 10 answers

Won'tchew, don'tchew, can'tchew separate your words?

What is the origin of pronouncing "I've got you" like "I've gotchew?" Does this go back to ancient English speaking times, or is this merely a sloppy, learned Americanism? Is there a name for it? [more inside]
posted by iguanapolitico on Aug 30, 2007 - 32 answers

How to define this language mistake?

Is there a term for mangling two words to create a new word or term? [more inside]
posted by suki on Jul 17, 2007 - 28 answers

Is it possible to change your intonation?

Intonation (specifically English). Can I change it? Can I flip between them? [more inside]
posted by gadha on Jul 2, 2007 - 11 answers

Help me translate two phrases into Farsi

Help me speak and write two phrases in Farsi. [more inside]
posted by perissodactyl on Apr 29, 2007 - 2 answers

SLP CFY advice: Therapy company or not?

I am a master's student in speech-language pathology looking for a clinical fellow position starting this summer. I'm doing all the regular sending out resumes to hospitals and whatnot, but I'd like to know if anybody here has any experience with the big US based therapy agencies... [more inside]
posted by absquatulate on Feb 15, 2007 - 10 answers

Saying it wrong, every time

I know some people who just can’t seem to get the hang of correctly pronouncing uncommon words, no matter how many times they hear the correct way. These are intelligent, educated people, and at least one is an avid reader, but for some reason they constantly, repeatedly, stumble over certain words. Is there a name for this? [more inside]
posted by mauglir on Jan 29, 2007 - 72 answers

How do I speak like a normal person?

How do I keep myself from mumbling and speaking at mach 3? [more inside]
posted by misled on Nov 18, 2006 - 9 answers

In search of "authentic" Southern (American) accents...

Language/Dialect-filter: In search of "authentic" Southern (American) accents... [more inside]
posted by ibeji on Oct 11, 2006 - 48 answers

Need some linguistic help...

I friend of mine from London, England had this "way" of coming up with names for people. As an example; he would call me bubbles (wasn't thrilled about that) because you can associate it with "squeak" (the sound bubbles can make when cleaning something, or like squeaky clean), which rhymed with the word "greek" which is my nationality... does anyone know what this is called and what the origin is?
posted by Cohiba4009 on Apr 12, 2006 - 33 answers

Where did pirate speech come from?

Where did pirate speech come from? [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Jan 9, 2006 - 18 answers

problems with childhood language development

I'm concerned about my oldest nephew's language development. [more inside]
posted by scody on Oct 17, 2005 - 18 answers

What's up with "hamburger sandwich"?

Why do senior citizens refer to one-word objects with two words? [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 on Oct 15, 2005 - 27 answers

Memorizing a 5-minute speech for a contest--in Japanese.

Help! I have less than one week to memorize a 5-minute speech for a contest--in Japanese. Most of what I can find on Google tells me not to bother with memorization, but the contest rules say I have to have it memorized verbatim. I have about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes memorized so far, but they're not solid yet. Does anyone have some tips for memorization?
posted by Jeanne on Mar 7, 2004 - 17 answers

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