15 votes

What are your linguistic idiosyncrasies?

In a previous topic, people discussed their pet peeves, but that's not what this post is about. The idea is not to list (or rant about...) the ways in which others use language incorrectly or annoyingly, but rather to talk about our own habits and preferences both in writing and in speech.

Things like:

  • How do you like to talk (complex, simple, formal, informal, brief, lengthy...), and what do you like or dislike listening to?
  • Do you have certain words or phrasing patterns that you either love or avoid at all costs?
  • Do you have a tendency to be overly formal? Conversely, are you often too informal, or use too much slang?
  • Do you have an inner dialogue?
    • If so, how does it sound?
  • Do you think exclusively in your mother tongue? If not, which situations bring up specific languages in your head?
  • How do you adapt your patterns to different contexts (formal, informal, social, professional, etc)?
    • Does that come easy for you?
  • Do you prefer to be addressed by specific pronouns which people often get wrong?
  • Do you clearly differentiate between serious and jokeful registers?
    • Do you use phrasing and tone of voice to differentiate between the two? Does it work?
  • Do you sometimes talk too much or too little?
  • Do you make a lot of faux pas?

So, what are your linguistic idiosyncrasies? In what ways is your use of language particular, odd, or peculiar? Let's begin!

21 comments

  1. [6]
    rosco
    Link
    Ha, I definitely have a few thoughts on this. I realized in the past few years that there are a very few people who pause, think silently, and then have very well thought out, intelligent...

    Ha, I definitely have a few thoughts on this.

    I realized in the past few years that there are a very few people who pause, think silently, and then have very well thought out, intelligent responses to whatever the subject at hand happens to be. I am always in awe of these people because I am so decidedly not one of them. I think while I speak. I make decisions and form opinions while speaking. When I was younger I was often encouraged to do this professionally because I was told "It comes across and enthusiastic and genuine. The way you speak gets people excited about things." Which I think was true. If someone hits on a topic I'm interested in I get excited, I get excited that others are excited and it has made for very good working partnerships and brainstorming. However recently I am in a very senior position in my organization and I can tell it's off putting in some instances. I don't come across as the level headed captain, luckily my business partner does. And while on calls or at events together I think we round each other out well, I feel like I don't meet expectations when flying solo. All that to say though, I do like being the eager, enthusiastic, excited one. It's more fun.

    As for faux pas, I do a lot of accents. My dad is english so accents from the isles come quite easily for me, as do many of the accents from mainland Europe. I really really enjoy them, sometimes to the point where I'm stuck in them for hours at a time. Doubly so if I've been drinking. My friends all have fun with them but I think sometimes they go on too long. The worst is normally when someone from one of those countries is at an event and someone will inevitably say "Oh, your Australian, Rosco does the best accent. Hey, Rosco do that accent." Most people are good sport, but sometimes it does turn into an awkward situation. Each accent also comes with changes to personality: the Australian is loud and wild, the German is anal and obtuse, the Scotsman impatient and boisterous... For some reason speaking in an accent truly changes my personality. I genuinely think I'm funnier as an Australian, bolder as a Scot, and more detail oriented as a German in real tangible ways. It's almost like my brain changes.

    10 votes
    1. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I, on the other hand, am in awe of people who are able to think while they speak, or "thinkspeak". Even in infornal settings I must somewhat plan what I say. The ideas come to me in advance, and...

      I, on the other hand, am in awe of people who are able to think while they speak, or "thinkspeak". Even in infornal settings I must somewhat plan what I say.

      The ideas come to me in advance, and there's a brief process of selection and refinement. "This phrase might be good in the next turn of the conversation, as soon as he stops talking... Oops, he changed the subject, but it's a good one, so I'll store it for a bit... There is now a silence in the room, and that phrase I stored might be of use, it seems very appropriate and I might even get some laughs. Let's try it... Take a deep breath, relax your chest, don't sound too eager. 1, 2..." and then I say it.

      Not to mention ideas, jokes, and curious observations that I come up with days in advance, sometimes in preparation to a specific scheduled social gathering!

      The other day my friend invited me to the movies and didn't tell me there would be two people in the group that I didn't know... I almost had a nervous breakdown lol

      I used to write scripts for myself to follow during phone calls, I still do that sometimes. It's nerve wracking.

      The way words naturally come out of my mouth is not exactly human friendly. Without planning, I can utter what seems to be complete nonsense, barely intelligible, or very inappropriate. I love when people say as a general advice that you should always "just be yourself", because in my case they really don't know what they're asking!

      1 vote
    2. [4]
      HotPants
      Link Parent
      Can I offer some unsolicited advice on how to deal with those awkward situations where a colleague or friend asks you to do an accent and associated caricature in front of someone from that country?

      Can I offer some unsolicited advice on how to deal with those awkward situations where a colleague or friend asks you to do an accent and associated caricature in front of someone from that country?

      1. [3]
        rosco
        Link Parent
        Yeah, I'd love to hear it.

        Yeah, I'd love to hear it.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          HotPants
          Link Parent
          OK, I am just going to be up front here. Please take it in the spirit in which this is offered, one of friendly helpfulness. Accents are a little like the uncanny valley. They are incredibly hard...

          OK, I am just going to be up front here. Please take it in the spirit in which this is offered, one of friendly helpfulness.

          Accents are a little like the uncanny valley. They are incredibly hard to fake. Even the slightest inaccuracy stands out like a sore thumb. The Canadian accent is almost identical to a Californian accent, except when saying "out & about," and then oh boy!

          After ten years living in America, I couldn't hear it myself, but I knew I probably sounded oddly American to everyone back home. Many years later, I am sure of it, because I can very occasionally hear it myself. Trust me. You have no idea how bad your accent sounds. No one does.

          When I ask my American wife to do her English accent, she graciously performs her best English accent, which sounds disastrously like Dick Van Dyke in Marry Poppins.

          You might think, given how varied accents are even within a single country, that you would have a wide latitude for errors. But you do not.

          So the point is, no matter how good, your accent sounds bad to a native speaker. In fact, the closer it gets, the worse it sounds. Ask an Aussie what they think of the Kiwi accent. Not good.

          If you were an American friend of mine, and you tried an accent on me, I would love it, because it would give me a chance to ridicule you constantly and mercilessly until the rest of your days.

          But if I had just meet you in a social setting, I honestly don't know how I would react. I'm guessing your natural gregarious nature helps you carry it off well, even with the regional caricature, but I don't think many Americans could pull it off anywhere near as often as you do.

          I specifically call out Americans, because we all have stereotypical caricatures of other countries inhabitants in our heads, and the stereotype of the classic American dealing with foreigners is frankly not a positive one.

          This is nothing personal. I carry the same stereotypes you do about Germans, Aussies & Scotts. Even though 99.99% of the individuals I meet from those countries never seem to match up with those stereotypes.

          And no one likes the stereotypes of their own countries, because 99.99% of the time they aren't true. But you know what people think about you as an American, and you can use it to your advantage.

          So my suggestion is to subvert the stereotypical American caricature. Be disarmingly deprecative.

          Tell the Aussie that you've actually been imitating a Kiwi accent all this time, but being Americans, your friends could not tell the difference, and they all assumed it was an Aussie accent.

          Tell the Scott that you really didn't know much about the Scottish accent, so you started with an English accent, then removed the stick out of your ass.

          I don't think you need to tell Germans anything, they are normally more than gracious enough to accept almost any cultural misunderstanding. They have always gladly helped me with my pronunciation of my favorite word - ohrwurm.

          1 vote
          1. rosco
            Link Parent
            Hahaha, this made my morning! I can only imagine how much the recipient would enjoy it. I really appreciate the feedback and the fun solution you've come up with. To be completely honest, While I...

            Tell the Scott that you really didn't know much about the Scottish accent, so you started with an English accent, then removed the stick out of your ass.

            Hahaha, this made my morning! I can only imagine how much the recipient would enjoy it. I really appreciate the feedback and the fun solution you've come up with.

            To be completely honest, While I say they come quite easily for me, I don't think my accents are very good. I absolutely sound like a caricature of the nationality in every single one. (i.e. my Aussie is a Bogan)

            When I ask my American wife to do her English accent, she graciously performs her best English accent, which sounds disastrously like Dick Van Dyke in Marry Poppins.

            Haha, I feel for your wife. My dad is from Birmingham and my Brummie accent sounds like knock-off Ozzy Osborne.

            I specifically call out Americans, because we all have stereotypical caricatures of other countries inhabitants in our heads, and the stereotype of the classic American dealing with foreigners is frankly not a positive one.

            Absolutely! I couldn't agree more and when traveling the accents stay put unless with very, very good friends. I talk about this quite a bit with a few of my friends who have lived abroad. We all try to be 'ambassadors' for the US and break the stereotype. That said, I have been that American abroad enough times to understand why it exists.

            I don't think you need to tell Germans anything, they are normally more than gracious enough to accept almost any cultural misunderstanding.

            I find like anywhere it depends on the person. I did get the most amazing linguistic insight from a German though, a friend I lived with in college. I asked her how people pretend to speak American English, like if I was to say "hindi sunda bipi boobi" for Swedish or "Kraka goonda ela gopa" for German or "ching whua chu ba" for Chinese. Without missing a beat she turned to me and said "YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH!" I was on the floor laughing. It had never occurred to me how much we said it. I relayed it to another friend who unironically responded with "yeeeeeeah..."

            4 votes
  2. [4]
    TheRtRevKaiser
    Link
    This isn't in your list, but it's something that I've found amusing. My wife and I both grew up in the same little town in south Georgia, and both moved away to another state in the southeast...

    This isn't in your list, but it's something that I've found amusing. My wife and I both grew up in the same little town in south Georgia, and both moved away to another state in the southeast after graduating. One of the things we've noticed is that we both call the garbage can (the big rolling one outside the house) a "Hobo", as in, "Hey will you take the trash out to the Hobo?" This sometimes causes a bit of confusion when one of us forgets that other people don't call it that, and it's led to some funny moments. We asked our parents about it and they think that the town we grew up in used to have "Hobo" brand garbage cans, and so we grew up calling it that even though the brand isn't used there anymore. It's a really interesting bit of hyper-local dialect.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      nukeman
      Link Parent
      If I may ask, what town did y’all live in? I’m near Augusta (on the SC side of the river however).

      If I may ask, what town did y’all live in? I’m near Augusta (on the SC side of the river however).

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        TheRtRevKaiser
        Link Parent
        We're both from Americus, which is about 10 minutes from Plains (the birthplace of Jimmy Carter). I've seen you comment a few times about being in the Augusta area. I know a few folks from that...

        We're both from Americus, which is about 10 minutes from Plains (the birthplace of Jimmy Carter).

        I've seen you comment a few times about being in the Augusta area. I know a few folks from that neck of the woods, and my sister and her husband live on the Georgia side now.

        If you don't mind me asking, you're at the Vogtle plant, right? My brother-in-law works for Bechtel on the construction of the new reactors there.

        2 votes
        1. nukeman
          Link Parent
          Opposite side - Savannah River, the DOE site.

          Opposite side - Savannah River, the DOE site.

          2 votes
  3. [3]
    cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    Canadian raising AKA saying "Oot & Aboot" (but not really). I have been told repeatedly by my American friends that my Canadian accent is pretty thick, and gets especially strong when I'm drunk. I...

    Canadian raising AKA saying "Oot & Aboot" (but not really). I have been told repeatedly by my American friends that my Canadian accent is pretty thick, and gets especially strong when I'm drunk. I personally have never noticed myself saying things differently than them, but they clearly do, and also enjoy pointing it out whenever it happens... which is mildly annoying. :(

    6 votes
    1. AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      In a similar vein: Back when I traveled for work, a relatively frequent comment I received was that I don't sound Texan, which is attributed to the fact that I generally talk fast and, unlike the...

      In a similar vein: Back when I traveled for work, a relatively frequent comment I received was that I don't sound Texan, which is attributed to the fact that I generally talk fast and, unlike the characteristically Texan accent, I know how to enunciate.
      However, alcohol tends to slow speech patterns and a Texan drawl can appear when there's enough of it in my system. This has had interesting side effects/experiences/stories from when I was on the road in northern states.

      3 votes
    2. Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      I have definitely picked up some Canadian-isms since living in Michigan. I notice it most when I go home and a random "eh" pops out at random.

      I have definitely picked up some Canadian-isms since living in Michigan. I notice it most when I go home and a random "eh" pops out at random.

      2 votes
  4. bilbodwyer
    Link
    I'll be interested to read the responses to this, because I think a lot of people (myself included) aren't actually aware of how they talk, and don't pay attention to their idiosyncrasies. For...

    I'll be interested to read the responses to this, because I think a lot of people (myself included) aren't actually aware of how they talk, and don't pay attention to their idiosyncrasies. For example, I'm currently taking voice lessons as a part of transing my gender, and my teacher was telling me that a lot of people don't understand how to lift the pitch of their voice without instruction, which is utterly wild to me. Being musically trained gives me an advantage on that to be fair.

    To more directly answer your questions!

    How do you like to talk (complex, simple, formal, informal, brief, lengthy...), and what do you like or dislike listening to?

    As has been mentioned already in the thread, I like to try and be precise with my words. I'm very aware that what people hear and what I say aren't always aligned. For example, my partner and I disagree that a good film is the same thing as an enjoyable one. So to combat this I try to predict problems with understanding by being more precise. I find this much easier to do with people that I know quite well, or at least have a good relationship with, than strangers. I'm not particularly verbose when I talk, but I like to think what I say is quite considered. When asked a question that requires a nuanced or lengthier answer, I like to pause to think about exactly what I'm going to say rather than starting to talk immediately. Love him or hate him, I saw Jordan Peterson do this in an interview once, and I respected that he took the time to give a considered answer.
    As for what I dislike listening to, I tend to really struggle with oversaturation of detail and context. I have a few friends who do this when telling stories, and it makes things really hard to follow. I overcompensate for this by being utterly shocking at storytelling, however.

    Do you have certain words or phrasing patterns that you either love or avoid at all costs?

    Off the top of my head, I'm not sure. I know I speak somewhat formally (I've been called posh many, many times), and I do like the way I speak. I'm also reasonable at code-switching into more colloquial registers when the occasion calls for it. I am trying to avoid curse words more and more, not because I find them particularly offensive (though others certainly do), but because I don't like to rely on them, and it reduces their impact when they're over-used. Not cursing allows you to be much more creative with your sentences.
    At the moment I really like the words histrionic, mellifluous, peculiar, and undoubtedly. One thing I am aware of myself doing (and I'm sure others do this too) is noticing a word or phrase in a conversation with someone, or from a piece of media, and wanting to incorporate that into my speech, so I make a conscious effort to use it more before allowing it to become automatised.

    Do you have a tendency to be overly formal? Conversely, are you often too informal, or use too much slang?

    I think I've answered this already, mostly. But I do have a habit of speaking quickly and contracting a lot, something I'm trying to address. I don't think that contractions are necessarily the same as slang, even if the two exist in a feedback loop. I've started saying "innit" (for the non-Brits, that's "isn't it?") quite a bit, as I actually find it a comfortable way of expressing agreement with people, similar to the ね particle in Japanese.

    Do you have an inner dialogue?

    Not even a little bit. This is something that really confuses a lot of people when I talk to about it, so I suppose it must be somewhat rare? I also don't have a mental image either. What I do have is fully constant music running through my head. Snippets of songs I know, half-remembered lyrics, and hooks that I think my brain is just generating on its own. 100% of the time, and rarely very contextual. At the moment I'm enjoying a few lines of Down Where the Drunkards Roll. One of the reasons I came off anti-depressants so quickly is that things were too quiet. I like having my own little soundtrack!

    Do you think exclusively in your mother tongue? If not, which situations bring up specific languages in your head?

    More or less, when I think in words at all. I do still dream in Japanese and French occasionally, but typically English is the dominant language. I suspect (and hope) that were I to return to Japan or France that this would change!

    How do you adapt your patterns to different contexts (formal, informal, social, professional, etc)?

    Now this is something I don't consciously think about, it just happens. But I code-switch very quickly and easily between social contexts and groups. With that said, it's tiring to do too many times in quick succession. Indeed, I think it's quite tiring to stay in one setting that doesn't feel like "default" for a long stretch of time, which is why I struggled so much with being in a call-centre type job, and why strongly masculine social situations don't work so well for me.

    Do you prefer to be addressed by specific pronouns which people often get wrong?

    I'm at the beginning of my gender transition, so I'm still boymoding a whole lot of the time. So while I would like to be referred to as she/her (or at least they/them), at present it's not what's readily apparent from my appearance and my voice, so I still get he/him. I'm hoping that the further along the journey I get the easier it will be to be correctly gendered. So people don't necessarily get it wrong, but they're not really getting it right either. That's a whole other post though.

    Do you clearly differentiate between serious and jokeful registers?

    I think I have a fairly apparent fake-serious register, but that's also wrapped up in quite an intense facial expression. I realised that I've basically stolen it wholesale from a friend, but I think it gets the point across. Maybe. I don't consider myself to be a particularly funny individual, and I sometimes feel very anxious about trying to be amusing because I don't think it's coming off correctly. Sarcasm is an easy enough register to slip into at the very least, but I find myself using it less and less as I get older. When you're younger, being sarcastic feels like you're being so witty and cutting, possibly because it's one of the easiest forms of "adult" humour to master. But the older I get the more it comes across as really petty and childish. Ironic.

    Do you sometimes talk too much or too little?

    Definitely too little. But part of this is being in the right mental space for conversation. For example, if my partner and I are watching a movie, and she asks me a question, it takes a surprising mental effort to switch from "watching the movie" mode to "having a conversation" mode. Like, pausing the movie and making at least 10 minutes of concerted effort to talk, with her needing to do a lot of the legwork initially. I find I get locked into these patterns, and I don't like being this inflexible. But I do find it stressful and difficult to be talkative when my brain is telling me "we're supposed to be paying attention to the colourful screen right now, deal with the distraction quickly and we'll return to the task at hand."
    Conversely, even when I am in a talkative mode, sometimes I find it really difficult to think of things to say to further the conversation. I don't want to make people feel like they're not being heard, so I mostly listen. I stress about making others feel like I'm trying to outdo their stories, so I struggle to always offer up relatable anecdotes in response to others'.

    Do you make a lot of faux pas?

    Probably, but I'm too socially awkward to notice them :)

    5 votes
  5. rogue_cricket
    Link
    I am bilingual French and English, and most of the time I speak either one or the other, but I also code-switch to a hyper-regional dialect known as Chiac when I'm with family on my father's side....

    I am bilingual French and English, and most of the time I speak either one or the other, but I also code-switch to a hyper-regional dialect known as Chiac when I'm with family on my father's side. It's a mix of mostly French and English and is extremely informal.

    I would say is characterized by a few things, but the big thing is that it slips in and out of English and French, usually more of a "French" structure with a few English things hanging off of it. The example that gets used/made fun of the most is "j'vais parker mon car dans le driveway", which is so Englishy I don't have to translate it and is absolutely a real thing someone would say. Here is a video I saw yesterday from a Chiac musician, I think the bit at the end is pretty good.

    So... this is to say that when I am speaking English, I sometimes find myself adding a little French in there too. Usually just tiny exclamations or asides, like "c'est bon", "oui/non", stuff most people would get. It's funny to me that French has this reputation as a "fancy" language when around here it's... well, this kind of intensely informal thing, so I wonder sometimes if I come off as being high falutin' in text to some Anglophones when locally, my adding French in comes off as the exact opposite of high class. Haha.

    5 votes
  6. wervenyt
    (edited )
    Link
    I have a tendency to bounce between dialects, jargon, code, and even languages. It helps to live in a bilingual culture there. Different domains' different concepts are diversely useful, I guess....

    I have a tendency to bounce between dialects, jargon, code, and even languages. It helps to live in a bilingual culture there. Different domains' different concepts are diversely useful, I guess. I will often form incredibly convoluted sentences on the fly, which maybe could have been said in 1/10 as many words, and, while aware of the alienating effect that has, I do it completely unconsciously, and usually deliver some further nuance through it, or at least humour. Often it can relate as formality or pretension until I say something too bizarre or crass to be misinterpreted that way.

    I've spent a long time considering the politics of my language, and as such have come to a couple conclusions. One (1), nobody should take me seriously by default, two (2), I'm done with gendered language. If people prefer to be addressed as he/her, or if I'm speaking a language with stronger gender rules, I'll defer to convention/preference, but in English, I default to they whenever possible. Regarding the seriouslessness, I do attempt to be egregious in my specific sarcasm, but generally the first few conversations with me are an orientation wherein I learn to communicate precisely with my interlocutor, and they learn how to get precisely anything out of my speech.

    I'm sure that developed as a defense mechanism against making faux pas, but I'm actually quite good at dodging those nowadays, so it's just how I do now. My thoughts and feelings don't do much in the way of self organization, mostly forming pastiches and collages of impressions, so tolerating disordered speech is a nicety.

    EDIT: Can't believe I forgot this one! I live in the southwest USA, New Mexico, where we have a wonderful linguistic fluke: we say "no, yeah" and "yeah, no" very often. Whether you mean affirmative or negatory is contextual and implied, but it's surprisingly intuitive to use and understand.

    5 votes
  7. hydrachia
    Link
    I haven't thought much about this before and haven't intentionally listened to the way that I speak that much, so some of these are guesses. I tend to write more formally than I speak (I think),...

    I haven't thought much about this before and haven't intentionally listened to the way that I speak that much, so some of these are guesses.

    Manner of speaking

    I tend to write more formally than I speak (I think), but both are generally formal. Sometimes I think my writing can be too formal; even in informal text-based conversations, I prefer writing in a grammatically correct manner (proper capitalization, adding apostrophes in contractions) even if it takes longer. Like a few other people in this thread, I aim for precision in my speech and writing, for similar reasons of avoiding debates over semantics and intended meaning, though I don't always succeed in preventing those debates.

    Words/phrases that you love/hate

    I'm uncomfortable using "y'all", for reasons that I haven't fully figured out, but I still use it sometimes because it's the best way of addressing a group of people. I think the reason I avoiding using "y'all" was because it has a strong association with Texan identity that I don't identify with, even though I grew up in Texas.

    What other phrases do people use in this situation? The phrases that I've seen are "Y'all," which is very informal; "You all", which is somewhat awkward; "You guys," which has semi-gendered connotations; and "people," which only works in some situations.

    I avoid swearing in most situations, especially when around my family, but I still sometimes swear. I'm not familiar with the usage or connotations of most emojis, so I generally avoid using them. (If someone knows of an emoji dictionary, I'd be interested)

    One thing that bugs me and that I avoid doing is the pronouns people use in technical conversations. I've met a few (typically older) people who refer to parts of technical systems as "he" rather than "it," which makes me somewhat uncomfortable in those conversations.

    Inner dialogue

    I have an inner dialogue and it sounds like how my own voice sounds to me; I'm not fluent enough in languages other than English to think in them.

    How do you adapt your patterns to different contexts?

    I think I probably do, but I haven't thought about it much before.

    I've semi-unintentionally split my social life into three separate groups: school, family, and an online friend group that I play games with. There is very little crossover between those groups, and I have somewhat different manners of speaking in each one. For example, I'll almost never swear when speaking with my family or friends from school, but I will sometimes swear when talking with my online friends.

    Differentiating between serious and jokeful registers

    I think I do a reasonable job of distinguishing jokingness while speaking, but not as much in text. In speech I use tone of voice to convey it, and in both speech and writing I use phrasing to convey it. I'm not sure how well it works, but I try to avoid making statements that could be ambiguous unless I'm talking to people that I know well.

    Do you sometimes talk too much or too little?

    I probably talk too little, but I'm trying to improve on that a bit.

    Do you make a lot of faux pas?

    I don't think that I do, but I'm not sure that I'm socially aware enough to notice.

    Do you prefer to be addressed by specific pronouns which people often get wrong?

    Not currently, but I'm still figuring that one out.

    Other idiosyncrasies

    I sometimes use commas in places where they aren't strictly necessary to reduce syntactic ambiguity, which most online grammar checkers that I've used complain about. I try to make my sentences as unambiguous as possible with my comma positioning, but I some places that I add commas seem natural to me but not to others.


    Some random questions for others:

    What common phrases do you use?

    • How do you greet someone? "Hello"/"Hi"/"Hey"/etc
    • How do you say farewell? "Goodbye"/"Bye"/"See ya"/etc
    • "Yes"/"Sure"/"Yeah"/"Yup"? "No"/"Nah"/etc?

    I typically fall into "Hello"/"Bye"/"Yes"/"No", but it depends on context.

    How do you start a conversation or bring up a new topic in a conversation?
    I often find myself saying "one thing" or "something that I found interesting" a lot, but I find that I don't know of good alternative ways to bring a topic up in conversation.

    4 votes
  8. lou
    (edited )
    Link
    I use curse words sparingly, if ever. That is a personal aesthetical preference which must not be viewed as implicit censorship or moral judgement towards those that commonly use those...

    I use curse words sparingly, if ever. That is a personal aesthetical preference which must not be viewed as implicit censorship or moral judgement towards those that commonly use those expressions.

    My dislike for those words does not come from some kind of ideology, such as religion or conservatism, but rather from a neurodivese sensibility. Probably from the same place that makes me incapable of watching horror movies, tolerating expressions of intense rage, or similar kinds of emotional imbalance. They cause my brain to react in unsettling ways which I'd rather avoid.

    4 votes
  9. knocklessmonster
    Link
    I used to think it was funny to act angry and say really silly things, like a mock tirade about who why the salt shaker in the fridge, but I started doing it less because it doesn't land well when...

    I used to think it was funny to act angry and say really silly things, like a mock tirade about who why the salt shaker in the fridge, but I started doing it less because it doesn't land well when you're dealing with my family, who have all been shouted at by their previous generation and have issues with tone, myself included. Let's call that my faux pas, but I'm getting better at doing tHe SaRcAsTiC vOiCe.

    Do you have certain words or phrasing patterns that you either love or avoid at all costs?

    As many contractions as I can get away with? "I ain't gonna go do dat, Imma head dis way." It's more of a "th" on the Ds, like rolling your R but for one pop, but if I find myself leaning into that way of speaking it sort of just flows quickly. It tends to be a more jokey tone, but isn't intended to be a stereotype or making fun of anybody/anything. I'd describe it as sort of a Jersey or Chicago accent on the way the consonants land, but with an accent somewhere between Ohio/Kentucky and California.

    Which leads me to my accent: I don't think I sound Californian. I don't mean the stereotypes that I've actually encountered, but the less distinctive generic sort of accent that could place me from any major city. It has a little bit of Ohio that rubbed off of my dad, I think. For non-Americans I'm not saying much here that would make much sense, I think. It's ever so slightly rural American, I guess.

    How do you adapt your patterns to different contexts (formal, informal, social, professional, etc)? Does that come easy for you?

    I code-switch, fully. I'm one way with my family and peers, a different way in a meeting with a manager or a customer at work. I swear like a sailor in person, less online, and almost never professionally even if others are because it doesn't make sense to, and I've been conditioned by my previous employer. I actually tend to talk in "business mode" like I write on Tildes (unless it's a more light-hearted topic here).

    Do you have a tendency to be overly formal? Conversely, are you often too informal, or use too much slang?

    I think I talk a few years younger than I am, but I've always been a bit immature for better or worse (not an excuse for any behavior, of course).

    Do you have an inner dialogue?

    Like me talking. It grew up as I did, and normalized to my ever-changing manner of speech. When I started relaxing into my lower register more, it started sitting down there more (that's a fairly recent thing for some reason, within the last couple years).

    I tend to over-explain myself, but that's not a speech thing. I also tend to sort of man-splain a lot, but not strictly to women, and mostly because I want to help, but don't know what the other persons' experiences are and change tack the moment that's cleared up.

    Not covered in the questionnaire is I tend to strive for precision in language. I say one thing and mean just the one thing which means I may have to change the word for it so it's more clear later. This also leads to me talking more than perhaps I should occasionally, but I generally don't have a lot to say, unless I find myself in a conversation of course.

    3 votes
  10. Omnicrola
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    Probably the idiosyncrasy I'm most keenly aware of is my strong tendency to mimic people. If I'm talking to someone with a particular accent, I will almost immediately and instinctively start...

    Probably the idiosyncrasy I'm most keenly aware of is my strong tendency to mimic people. If I'm talking to someone with a particular accent, I will almost immediately and instinctively start trying to match their accent to some degree or another. I try not too, because I don't want people to think I'm mocking them, but it often happens anyway.

    3 votes
  11. Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    I find that what I can talk about with the limited number of people I talk to in a regular basis mean I'll either be talking usually about some mildly remarkable thing that just happened to my...

    How do you like to talk (complex, simple, formal, informal, brief, lengthy...), and what do you like or dislike listening to?

    I find that what I can talk about with the limited number of people I talk to in a regular basis mean I'll either be talking usually about some mildly remarkable thing that just happened to my classmate acquaintances or I'll be talking about the stuff I was studying about (or that is related to it) with the teachers or I'll be talking about how my day went to my mom, and how I talk in these situations depends a lot more on these contexts than 'me'. When it comes to the first, I am generally talking casually and briefly because there isn't much to say about this type of event. Sometimes a conversation will turn to a subject that we have more to say about and we'll talk for longer. When it comes to talking with the teachers, I'll talk about the few subjects/questions I have in mind that are related to the curriculum and when I've gone through them all. When it comes to talking to my mom about my day I try to do this but I struggle to recall everything without being too vague and keeping that in order so it can be a mess. The common thread is that I prefer talking about specific subjects I already have in mind and that I don't see any appeal in open ended questions like "how's your day going?", which annoyong because this is apparently the kind of question people ask when they want to be social and determine if these other people also want to talk to you currently.

    Do you have certain words or phrasing patterns that you either love or avoid at all costs?

    I, like some others in this thread use the word peculiar a lot more than most people. In Portuguese, I often use the words "por quê será?", which translates to something more like "why is that?" Instead of just "why". I also like describing things as comical in English and Portuguese.

    Do you have an inner dialogue?
    If so, how does it sound?

    Yes and it sounds like me.

    Do you think exclusively in your mother tongue? If not, which situations bring up specific languages in your head?

    I actually only think in my native language of Portuguese about 10% of the time because of a lifetime of talking to people or watching English content since toddlerhood (which is how I got my practically fluent English) as opposed to having only a handful of acquaintances that I only talk to sparingly. Ironically, this can be a pretty self-reinforcing cycle sometimes because I find it takes more effort to think in my home language, especially with my psychologists. I think more in my home tongue about stuff like chores where I didn't learn about this stuff via reading what people talk about online. (Not how to do chores.)

    How do you adapt your patterns to different contexts (formal, informal, social, professional, etc)? Does that come easy for you?

    The only 3 contexts I really live in are online, school and therapy, where in therapy I can talk all about my life and problems and online I'm in English and real life is Portuguese. None of these contexts feel too demanding of me honestly.

    Do you clearly differentiate between serious and jokeful registers?
    Do you use phrasing and tone of voice to differentiate between the two? Does it work?

    Yes, though usually not particularly strongly/well for all these questions. If I'm not serious I'll just talk less 'seriously' IRL or follow it with a 'lol' online.

    Do you sometimes talk too much or too little?

    I struggle more to find my turn to talk, where I'm basically looking for a 0.1 second opening in a conversation where I can begin talking without interrupting people.

    Do you make a lot of faux pas?

    Yeah, with all the mental translation back to PT-BR and being who I am, saying things ranging from silly to dumb is pretty common in relation to how much I talk. A sillier example is when I translated the saying "you are what you eat" literally into "você é o que você come", but "comer" is also a sexual euphemism for fuck, so people heard the intended meaning but they also heard "you are what you fuck" and laughed a little after I said that. That's inoffensive but oh well, I don't fuck. I also often lack the analogies or vocabulary to properly express a concept when talking in Portuguese.

    3 votes