Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Doctoral Thesis: Cartooney Voices Are Not Cool Unless...

I really have no plans of pursuing a doctoral degree, but for some reason I always think about what my thesis would be if I were. *NOTE TO UNIVERSITIES: Will Blog 4 School;) My most recent thesis idea poses the question "Why do English speaking people feel it's necessary to mask plain English with strange affectations?" For example: Last week I drove through an ATM that was voice activated. The dazzling BRITISH voice asked me all the right questions so that I could redeem my, ummm...withdraw my money. I want to meet the dude who chose that voice - I'm serious! I want to know why. We have plenty of very talented voice over artists in the US with lovely, lilting voices. Why did you pick the British voice?

A few weeks ago I was watching the movie Clash of the Titans, which came out in 1981. If you've never seen it before, it is a kitschy movie about Greek mythology. I'm like a moth to a flame with this movie - total train wreck, but have to watch it. About halfway through I realize that all of the characters were speaking as if they were at a Renaissance festival instead of galavanting around Greece. Why don't they have Greek accents?

Today my baby boy had a fever and what I thought was belabored breathing. He was so miserable and since I was down with pneumonia last week I was really nervous about him catching whatever bug I had. So I took him to the ER. (He is fine by the way)My Husband, who is an EMT happened to be stationed at the same hospital and met us there. The Dr we met apparently was not thrilled with my over-cautiousness. He started speaking in a weird cartooney voice that was completely unbecoming of a 40+ yr. old man. He also was NOT comforting to my son - he didn't even try to communicate with him. I think he was trying to show up my husband - so he started throwing out medical terms that I could not understand...It was like he was trying to speak the language of dolphins with a Porky Pig voice. It was very uncomfortable. Why did he use that voice? Did he think a cartooney voice would mask his condescendance?

I won't carry on with more examples, but let it marinate for a while. If you hear more examples as you're out and about, let me know. I may need them for my thesis someday - If a full scholarship with generous stipend were to drop in my lap.


  1. What a horrid experience- both disturbing and annoying at the same time- glad you could put a humorous twist on it all. I'lll keep my ears open for other examples :)