Yesterday, a friend and I went out for a cup of coffee. Because of the rain, most of the tables were taken. Oddly enough, the comfy chairs were available. The problem was that they were just a bit too far apart. Conversation would be difficult, I knew, with this particular individual.
This friend insists that I mumble and am difficult to comprehend. I find this a little baffling. Since nobody else ever demands that I repeat myself to the point of frustration, they all must either not be listening anyway, or be too polite to mention it.
I admit that I have a habit of trying to talk faster than I should. I think this is because I’m afraid that someone will come along and interrupt me before I have a chance to finish my thought. I’m afraid that whoever it is will drone on and on for minutes that seem like hours. So I sometimes feel as though I have to fire off as many words as I can before that happens.
I’m sure we all know what happens when we try to speak too quickly. We end up tongue-twisted and stammering, uttering spoonerised malapropisms and unintended portmanteaus. Of course, the cure for this is simply to try and relax and slow down.
As for the supposed mumbling, I suspect that the root of this is not enunciation, but pronunciation, and my sloppy California accent. If I had to change it for another, I think I’d go for that particular British accent used by the Imperial officers in Star Wars.