Friday, January 13, 2006

Moronic interrogatives

Something that bugs me a lot is the increasingly common speech impediment that causes speakers to turn simple statements into questions.

"So I was with my friend? And we were like in Starbucks? And the barista had these velvet pants?"

According to some British websites it's known as a ...
Moronic interrogative: coined by British comedian Rory McGrath to describe the use of intonation at the end of a sentence that is not a question.
I hear this daily on one of Toronto's "all-news" radio stations. 680News, unhappily, feels it necessary to interview people on the street regarding subjects about which they are woefully uninformed.

680: I'm here at Union Station and I asked Brittany why she looks so wide awake this morning.

B: Really, I'm not? I'm just on my way to work?


It suggests that a lot of people are tremendously insecure and need constant reassurance that they aren't mistaken about ... well, most everything. "I've just said something, but I could be wrong, so please nod or smile and blink or something -- ok good, you nodded -- where was I? Oh yeah: velvet pants ..."

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