In My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle sings the great line “words, words, words, I’m so sick of words, I get words all day through, first from him now from you.” A close friend, home now for five months with very verbal children, went for an MRI yesterday. When the technician asked her what music she wanted she replied, “None.” The aide was confused, “Do you mean spa music?” “No,” she responded, “I want thirty minutes of total silence!” It has come to this for some people, an MRI chamber is preferable to another conversation!

Even the virtual conversations can be exhausting. I finally read that is because we are having to get all our cues about the other person just from their face. Usually we can watch body language and understand intent more clearly. Then there is the challenge of words exchanged in person behind those ever present surgical masks. The barrier requires a level of enunciation foreign to most of us. Combine that with any degree of hearing loss(true for a majority of people our age)and conversations are having to be constantly repeated. “What did you say?”

Add in each person’s way of understanding Zoom and cell phones in the house. It appears that each medium suggests that a voice needs to be raised in direct proportion to how far away in actual miles the listener is from the speaker. Clearly someone Zooming from across the ocean must need me to speak louder than usual for her to hear me! Or so it seems around here.

Silence is more than golden many times. In fact it may soon, like those fancy credit cards, be worth platinum.

29 thoughts on ““Words,Words,Words”

  1. I have never done Zoom or Face Time, but masks are starting to become a challenge in the supermarket. Reluctant to raise my voice, in case I appear surly, I have to repeat myself constantly at the checkout.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. although we have a new or it is renewed lockdown in Auckland region (NZ) there are lesser noises other than “apparently it’s essential that can be builders or in this case demolition crews” – and the guy in the front house, finally learnt in our first L/4 lockdown where the “stop shouting at the zoom window was” – I finally realised he was teaching the guitar – it’s a lot of UPs and Downs phrases. So this time it’s far quieter over there. Collapsing a house to the bare ground isn’t quiet…


  3. Ah, words of wisdom! I am loving the blessed silence after every Zoom, and after desperately trying to understand all the subtle words that are being said through a mask. I am becoming exhausted at reading eyes instead of lips. I’m resorting to nodding and smiling instead of trying to have a conversation. Thank you for a terrific post, Elizabeth.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All I can say, Elizabeth, is “yes, I hear you.” My house feels like a railway station and I feel I never get a minutes peace. Work colleagues are always wanting something and then there is family, who are all looking for entertainment in this weird time. All I want is enough time to finish my editing.

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  5. Even for those of us who love words, the amounts of reading and “talking heads” coming at us nearly constantly….it can be a bit much! My “Geometric Patterns” coloring book and deluxe packet of colored markers is an enjoyable reprieve from it all! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had to laugh at the part about talking louder. I’m always doing that, especially when there’s any kind of bad connection, and realizing midway into my conversations with people that I’m shouting at them. It’s like my brain is telling me that if I have trouble hearing people, talking louder will help. Oops.

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