Us­ing a phone voice to im­press

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

IF YOU’VE found your­self us­ing a spe­cial “phone voice”, then you are not the only one. Two out of five peo­ple ad­mit­ted they switched to a dif­fer­ent voice be­cause they thought it makes them sound smarter, a study found.

Two-thirds of them even used an af­fected voice when they were speak­ing to their spouses or fam­ily.

Women were more likely to ad­just their voices in or­der to im­press, with al­most half of women do­ing so dur­ing phone calls, com­pared with just over a third of men.

How­ever, a quar­ter of phone voice users said they did not re­alise when they were do­ing it, and more than a third failed to keep it up for a whole con­ver­sa­tion, with the mask tend­ing to slip af­ter 90 sec­onds of talk­ing.

The dic­tionary de­fines a phone voice as one “in­tended to be par­tic­u­larly clear, en­gag­ing or busi­nesslike, or one which is re­garded as af­fect­edly cul­ti­vated or pre­ten­tious”.

Usu­ally de­signed to dis­guise the speaker’s class back­ground, phone voices were used by work­ers on clients, sup­pli­ers and their boss, the re­port by in­surance com­pany Priv­i­lege said. They were of­ten adopted by peo­ple dis­cussing loans and over­drafts with their bank, and nearly a third of phone voice users said they also used a dif­fer­ent tone to try to im­press restau­rant staff when they called to re­serve a ta­ble.

The sur­vey also in­di­cated that a high num­ber of peo­ple who used a phone voice wanted to hide their ac­cent. – Daily Mail

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