Word Abuse: ANNOYING QUESTIONING INTONATION


Annoying Questioning Intonation (known as AQuI) is the neutral way to describe the insufferable sentence structure of the young!

A lot of people to whom I have spoken asked me what I think as to this touchy topic.   It turned out, however, that they weren’t asking me; they were telling me!   Telling me VERIFIABLE FACTS in a questioning tone-of-voice!    Such non-questions as:
“I think it’s really bad.?   What do you think.?”
This is just appalling, it is just awful, it is as simple as that.

A grammatical argument is barely even needed to denounce this rising intonation, but the best case against it is the fact it’s on the rise!     If everybody does something new (or rather, Australians, Americans and students do it), then it is very easy to call it a “tide”, “invasion” or “steady insemination” of the old stringent rules of our language.

Descriptivists would ask why AQuI has developed in English, seeking to analyse it rather than throwing a boot at it.   They might say that AQuI is indicative of a wider lack of confidence, or, equally possible, a certain arrogance, among our younger generations, that its causes and effects ought to be professionally examined, and that there exist ways of speaking equally or more unclear, and yet less stigmatised, than AQuI. (Euphemistic jargon, for example.)    We, though, will not have any of this!    All of the above anxieties would be alleviated by simply banning AQuI.

Confusion
The sentence structure of English is such that a question can only begin with one of a relatively small number of words: the “Who/what/whys”, or verbs like “Do they”, “Have you”, “Will he...”, etc.   So it is very rare for an AQuI sentence to cause genuine confusion?    No, it is not!   Even if it were rare, this would still not excuse the use of AQuI.    Even Queen’s English Society chairman Rhea Williams was struck by a case of it (in our schools article in huge letters), which shows how insidious this social disease is.

Nobody talks this way from birth, and branding AQuI “Australian” or “American” is nothing more than a slur on those proud and exotic nations, whose reputations we need not call into question any more than we already have.    For you see, AQuI was actually invented in Britain by youngsters larking about, who wanted only to annoy us decent grammarians.
They shall not succeed, however, as we will fight back – with a List!   A list of Future Enemies of ours (who will be added to our dungeon once the paperwork is complete), whose intonation is infamous and should be ignored:

– the birdbrains from Britain’s Next Top Model?,
– scientific weird man Stephen Hawking (he may be in MENSA but we won’t allow him into the Proper English Foundation),
– punk singer Johnny Rotte-eh-ehuen?,
– the people of Northern Ireland, who developed a non-inquisitive questioning intonation entirely separate from the Australian version, thus complicating matters further, it’s too complicated,
and, finally,
–  the Chinese.

The f***ing Chinese. In their laughable joke of a language, the rules of intonation have developed, or rather degenerated, to such an extent that, depending on your tone,
Grass mud horse
can mean
F*** y*** m*****!
(link contains language)

Don’t take that tone with me, young Chinaman!   They go so far as to call it a tonal language: Mandarin, Cantonese, Viet Nâmese, Thai, Lao and most sub-Saharan African languages are all now lost to this tonal nightmare.
How confusing! Imagine having to grow up under such stringent rules. Obviously, no true Chinaman would speak like this, for it is impossible.

This is why it is imperative to stop any unusual intonation in English before it is too late and the language change. This Académie would put in place a moratorium on ALL intonation for three years, whereby everybody. would. need. to. speak. as. though. a. full. stop. be. placed. after. every. word.
This may seem an extreme reaction, but rest assured that it is not. If this keeps our language from being destroyed, we. Will. Do. It.
































 

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