Thursday, February 28, 2013

Men and Women, Like Totally, Talk Differently?

About a year ago, while preparing to go on the post-doc job talk circuit, I was practicing in front of my research group at Berkeley.  A post-doc pulled me aside after my talk and pointed out to me that I have a particular vocal tic.  A tic, she said, that tends to be more prevelant in young women called "uptalk."

Uptalk (or high rising terminal) is the use of a rising, questioning intonation even when making a statement. The primary sociological controversy surrounding uptalk concerns the fact that women use uptalk more often than men do, which some interpret as a signal of uncertainty and subordination (Lakoff 1975).

Read more here at Women in Astronomy.