UPTALK AND PERSUASION (COMMENT). Two comments on my posts about uptalk have reinforced my realization that I had incorrectly classified uptalk as only an unfortunate verbal tic that was overused by American teenagers. My brother Elmer pointed out that Canadians make appeals for agreement (or sometimes disagreement) by adding “eh” at the end of a sentence. I had heard the usage all my life but never identified it as uptalk. Carl Davidson pointed out that uptalk has been said to be in use in Washington D.C., and I now recognize that this may be related to the fact that the most important industry in Washington is persuasion. Carl also pointed out that our friend Bill Weitzel, who was a persuasive and effective lawyer and executive, grew up in Washington D.C. and used uptalk frequently. I can hear Bill now, but I had never before made the connection with other usages of uptalk.

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  1. I believe women are now encouraged to AVOID uptalk, if they want to be
    taken seriously, because when when women end a sentence with an upward
    intonation, it is taken as uncertainty, a request for ratification, rather than
    any sign of dominance.

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