High speed communication

There was a guy in several of my college courses who was famous–infamous actually–for the deliberation with which he could deliver a sentence in class discussion. he was bright and many of our classes together revolved around modern (aka 18th and early 19th century) western philosophy. Boyd had good thoughts but the time it took for him to get from the beginning to the end of any one sentence was of such length that one too often lost the thread of his otherwise compelling argument.

I seem to have become the relative Boyd: I talk more slowly than I may ever have heretofore and certainly at a painful creep in contrast with Maritimers. Jerry Seinfeld must love visiting Newfoundland, just instance. There is a culture which actually has perfected a method of speaking more quickly than sound travels. It’s awesome.

It’s not clear to me why I’ve slowed my own speaking pace. Was it ever very fast? Even to my own ears, it now sounds Boydish. On the other hand, trying to keep up aurally with what Newfoundlanders–and some Nova Scotians–can get out orally is a challenge. There are no full stops, let alone commas; no pregnant pauses (but lots of wisecracks). I am in awe of the waitress who can tell me who complete life story from grade 3, as well as the day’s specials, without either drawing breath or taking the length of time I might use to enunciate “Hello.”


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