January 7, 2008

Would You Rather

Would you rather:

  • Only be able to communicate in “baby talk” (as you sometimes hear people talking to babies)
  • Only be able to communicate in a low, sing-song, voice as if you are pretending to sing in an opera.
Posted by James at January 7, 2008 9:38 AM
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Hey, c'mon, baby talk is fun.
Doodie wadda gummy hoo-foo? Izza habba-babba!

Besides, I can't, can't, can't, can't sing. Trust me; you don't want to hear me try.

Posted by: Barry Leiba at January 7, 2008 9:58 AM

I actually just read something interesting -- I believe in Scientific American Mind (I'm having so much fun with that!) -- I can't remember what they called "baby talk," they had another name for it -- but the article said that people could understand the gist of baby talk in another language. They were postulating that baby talk helps babies learn language. So you should definitely choose baby talk if you want to be understood, not only in your own language, but in others!

But I freakin' hate baby talk, and I tried not to use it when my girls were babies (which is why they're so inarticulate now ;-), so I think I'll go with the Opera Woman thing. I can't sing either, but you asked for it. :-) Plus, I didn't speak baby talk to my children, but I did frequently make up songs to make them laugh. Just this morning I picked up M's new purple guitar and sang her a song about why she should get out of bed, randomly mixing up the five or six chords I still remember. It was not at all lovely, but it got her out of bed!

Posted by: Maggie at January 7, 2008 10:04 AM

I would have to choose B. If I had to speak in "baby talk," I'd take a vow of silence.

Additionally, if someone was able to speak to me only in "baby talk," I would insist on written communication only or sever the relationship.

Posted by: Patti M. at January 7, 2008 10:13 AM

I'll take B. Baby talk makes me want to hit things. Not good when there are actual babies in the room. Probably worse if it's an adult. I would forsee many broken bones.

If the music communication mean't everyone was somewhat skilled at singing it would actually be pretty cool.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at January 7, 2008 10:17 AM

what in god's name made me put an apostrophe in meant. Good lord, some day I'll learn to read these things before I hit post.

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at January 7, 2008 10:19 AM

I don't like "real" musicals a lot, but musical parodies (like they've done with The Simpsons, South Park, etc.) crack me up. Fake opera especially makes me laugh.

On the other hand, baby talk makes my skin crawl. Someone I dated thought I was joking about hating baby talk, so he increased it. (It all started with the "schmoopy" episode of Seinfeld.) That's not the main reason I broke up with him, but it's definitely what got the ball rolling.

If he had tried fake opera, things might have turned out differently. We still would have split up eventually due to irreconcilable differences, and that would have been much harder, so I guess it's for the best that he fast-tracked it with the baby talk. :-)

Posted by: Julie at January 7, 2008 11:36 AM

BOB - I like the apostrophe in meant. It's like a contraction of meaned. At least it's an error that makes some sense to me.

I'd go for the opera voice. I think it would be hilarious, and then really annoying. And then hilarious again. Baby talk would just be increasingly annoying, and not as funny.

Posted by: James at January 7, 2008 11:49 AM

No brainer. Opera voice. I randomly sing now as it is. At least with this, I'd have an excuse. And it would be easy for other people to pick up on your mood. Just listen for the background music. (Hey. If I have to sing, I'm bringing an orchestra with me.)

Posted by: briwei at January 7, 2008 2:04 PM

Hmmmm...this is a tough one.

Sarah and I routinely mimicked our infants' and toddlers' sounds back to them when it was obvious they were trying to communicate, and we still do with our youngest.

And our oldest daughter almost always narrates her life in a musical, almost operatic manner, which is incredibly entertaining...most of the time.

So we'll take B.

Posted by: Bull at January 7, 2008 2:18 PM

...on the other hand, that singsongy thing that Oprah does is just plain annoying.

But I still think baby talk would be worse.

Posted by: Julie at January 8, 2008 4:50 PM

Singsongy makes me think of Swedish.

Posted by: Patti M. at January 9, 2008 4:09 PM

Singsongy Swedish makes me think of the Swedish chef. :-)

Posted by: Maggie at January 9, 2008 8:04 PM

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