Let’s have slower radio
SIR: How I agree with Valerie Grove (November issue) concerning the poor quality of speech and the increased rapidity of delivery of many broadcasters on radio. Perhaps interviewers and interviewees could be made to listen to a couple of minutes of Kate Adie before they broadcast, to hear how it should be done.
Comedians have also caught the disease, with jokes increasing in speed and volume until the punchline is shrieked, becoming totally incomprehensible to my ears. Dave Allen, with his quiet confidential way of talking, would be a good model.
A regrettable addition to the spoken word is the recent use of so-called background music in trailers for future shows, The Food Programme and plays, supposedly to create atmosphere. Music makes very poor wallpaper for the simple reason that speech rhythms and music, however simple, clash in the human ear. By all means provide a suitable musical introduction but let it not be used as counterpoint to speech. Peter Kingswood, Aberystwyth