I’ve been thinking about uptalk a bit lately–someone suggested to me that it’s not a beneficial speech habit for women, as it might play in to negative stereotypes–and just came across this discussion of an interesting study on gender differences in the use of uptalk. The take-away:
As Linneman explains, “One of the most interesting findings coming out of the project is that success has an opposite effect on men and women on the show.” Linneman measured success in two ways: He compared challengers to returning champions, and he tracked how far ahead or behind contestants were when they responded. Linneman found that, “The more successful a man is on the show, the less he uses uptalk. The opposite is true for women… the more successful a woman is on the show, the more she uses uptalk.” Linneman suspects that this is “because women continue to feel they must apologize for their success.”
There’s another interesting discussion at Slate, In Defense of Upspeak.
Readers: What do you think?