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The Way We Talk

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

I wanted to post a little explanation of the way I speak. When I lecture, talk to clients, and talk to other professionals I use a more-than-average amount of slang, and make no attempts to hide my unabashedly Southern California accent. Of course, when it makes ME more comfortable, I code switch to more a professional dialect. If it is my first time speaking with you I may not use as a super casual a dialect. However, I maintain the right to use the type of speech and communication that I see fit. This is because, as a speech-language therapist turned communication coach, my life is devoted to helping people speak the way they want to speak. Often, getting the exact speech or language that someone desires is not possible due to neurological factors (such as primary progressive aphasia [PPA] or a neuromuscular problem). In this case, my job becomes helping people use what they've got to communicate as their most authentic self. Thus, I believe it is important for me to communicate as my authentic self. Furthermore, the business of speech-language pathology, in my opinion, is far too invested in policing people's languaging practices (e.g., the BS "therapy" of "accent expansion" and the BS of forcing Black American children to "code switch" between their home dialect and so-called "Standard American English"). I once worked under a clinic director who was extremely out of touch with, well, everything. Bless his heart. He meant no harm, but intent does not equal impact. He did not police my language-- I think he knew better-- but he policed other peoples'. Since then I have always spoken as my authentic self, in the way that I saw fit, no matter the setting. Maybe its my convictions, maybe my punk-aligning roots, maybe because my father speaks accented English... whatever it is, I respectfully refuse for people to tell me the way I'm supposed to talk-- and the way my clients, my friends, my people should talk!

Love you all, keep your speech and language real.



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