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Telephone Voices

One curiosity has plagued me my entire life:  I have no telephone voice.  

My wife, like my Mom, and other females I know, have mastered the telephone voice.  They can be angry and raging about something but pick up the telephone and they change their voice and personality, projecting a whole new persona.  Sometimes it sweet, sometimes sexy, but invariably lighter than light. 

It astonished me as a child, watching my Mom.  One moment she'd be telling me and my sisters, "You kids are driving me to the insane asylum.  One more word -- " Then the phone rings and she snaps her fingers at us, giving us a warning eye, and she picks up the handset, and this sweet, polite person is speaking and laughing.  My sisters and I all wondered, who was this other woman?  But, they, too, matured and suddenly had The Talent.

Astonishing.  My phone voice resembles my normal, real voice.  It's just me, grumpy and growling (the eight dwarf, who went mysteriously missing, along with drinky).  

I've tried telephone voices. I can modulate, articulate, converse and be professional.  But I can't draw out that other voice, that other person.  Is it a man and woman thing, where females can summon their inner sweetness, where men don't have inner sweetness?  I confess, I've never seen a man make the switch.  I have noticed that women of other races are able to switch, just like my wife and Mom, both white women.  

Someday I'll need to look for more data.  Until then, it's just another mystery of life.

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Michael, So your writing

Michael, So your writing voice doesn’t translate through the phone wires, huh? That’s interesting. I’ve heard men’s telephone voices change in different contexts. It always amazed me, sort-of like how you and your sister reacted. I’ve also had very few occasions where I’ve picked the phone up at work near tears—that was a difficult one. And also in roaring laughter. I had to pinch myself on that one : )

Fun post!

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You gave me pause to think, Rebb ~

No, my writing voice, telephone voice and interpersonal voices are all different.  I'm shy and withdrawn around strangers, but fairly gregarious around friends and family.  I think my writing stays snarky and more somber.  I also rage more in my writing, as I'm fairly mellow in person, other than beating up my computer when it freezes, and rolling my eyes in weariness and praying when hearing some announcements on conference calls. 

Thanks for reading and commenting.  Cheers!