How Do They Do That?

Lately I’ve had my attention caught by something I’d never given much thought. As I listened to the weather forecaster on the radio, I realized he/she was talking very fast. Then I noticed the sportscasters doing the play-by-play of hockey or baseball games were just ripping through their sentences. Next it was the traffic reporters. Names of highways, accidents, traffic back-ups and the causes for them didn’t just trip off the tongue, they flew off.

So how do people in these positions talk so fast? Are they trained to speak that way? Do they place special emphasis on being clear so that we can hear every word even when it is sailing past our ear at supersonic speed?

Perhaps the sportscasters are trying to give us a sense of the speed of the game.  The traffic reporter and the weather forecaster are probably given only so much time to make their reports.  If they have a lot of content to get in, they must speak quickly.

I don’t think I could speak that fast. I’d get my tang all tougled up for sure.

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This entry was posted in Ponderings, Uncategorized, weather and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How Do They Do That?

  1. Susie says:

    The absolute worst, in my mind, is the commercial that is sped up so fast you can’t follow the “small print.” It is the vocal equivalent of small print in gray at the bottom of an ad. I agree with you that these speed-talking news people can be annoying and hard to follow also.

  2. fillyjonk says:

    In some cases, like commercials, they might use some kind of digital system to “compress” the speaking so the person recorded it at a normal speed but it’s played back faster. But yes, a person can train to speak faster. For a few years, my dad had a side business as an auctioneer (mostly did estate sales). He trained to be able to do the “patter” and call off the prices and stuff faster than normal speaking. He never got to the point of being crazy-fast like some auctioneers (he said he never wanted to be accused of trying to “buffalo” the bidders), but he did do the auctioneer chant faster than normal speech.

    Also, people who perform in things like Gilbert and Sullivan operettas where there are “patter songs” with fast tempos and wordy lyrics have to train to be able to do that.

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