06 November 2010

"All you ever give me is baby talk" --Richard Thompson


Are you my shweetie pie? My pookie-ookums? My gweat big bwog weaduh?*

My father used to laugh about a married couple he knew and imitate the wife calling her husband "Shnookles" in a whiny voice.... "But, Shnooooklessss..."

I'm not a fan of the baby talk. Not with sweethearts. Not even with babies.

I can remember a coworker bringing his toddler in to the office one day and talking to her in a ridiculously loud, repetitive, and silly voice of the "WHO'S DADDY'S GWEAT BIG GIRL? YOU ARE! YESH YOU ARE, WOOGUMS! YESH, YOU ARE!!" variety. Yeech. It's the kind of thing where you wish the child would haul off and bitch slap the father.

I can't imagine that this kind of patterning helps with the child's speech development. And I find that loud parents beget loud children. And, nobody wants that. But I imagine when you have a small child you have to find something to do to entertain yourself.

A lot of people drop into baby talk with their animals and, 'though still goofy, I find this slightly more tolerable. With babies and with animals, at least one can make the case that the change in voice might be getting the baby's or animal's attention.

But, enlighten me: Why do adults do this with each other? Do you do this? Do you know sweethearts that do this in front of you? Are speech impediments way sexy?


* Well, are you?

14 comments:

Liebchen said...

I am very anti the baby talk in a relationship. I think it sounds ridiculous.

For babies...I'm less likely to affect a speech impediment, but I do sometimes use a different voice. I like to think it's more soothing, but who knows.

froggy said...

Just to the dogums. :-)

The Bug said...

Guilty! But, to be fair, we only have each other - no children or animals - so who else are we going to be babies with? I don't think we're all that sickening though - we have two nicknames - bob & sweetie (which are actually the same - back when we were first married we called each other sweetiemabob which we quickly shortened to bob).

magnolia said...

gaah, baby talk. just completely awful. it's TERRIBLE for babies' speech development, and as far as between lovers? i don't know where to begin.

that's what i love about my new man - he talks to me like i'm a grown woman. i love that.

spleeness said...

In a relationship, I find baby talk repulsive if used in a babyish voice or tone, but adorable if someone were just to use an affectionate monikor (like "hey, bunny rabbit") in an adult voice. With kids, it doesn't repulse me, but I think it's good for their development to just speak normally.

luv, your bwog weaduh :)

Lemon Gloria said...

I don't do that, but I definitely use a ton of absolutely ridiculous pet names for my loved ones.

And yeah, ok, I'll be your pookie-ookums if you really want me to.

Mac and Cheese said...

If we do any baby talk to each other, we're merely being ironic or purposely annoying.

Alice said...

i think ridiculous names can be hilarious / awesome in relationships AS LONG AS they're not also said in a baby voice. there is no excuse for baby voices used to adults. VAGUELY excusable for babies.

Barbara said...

I could never bring myself to use baby talk to person or beast. It's just not in my nature. Some might say that makes me a cold fish...

ellen said...

It's just gross, even to the dog. That said, I do tend to talk to the dogs in all kinds of other voices (I'd call them funny voices but that is surely a matter of taste) and sing songs to them in which all the lyrics are tailored to doggie activities. The dogs LOOOOVE this, but may an eavesdropper may not.

Dmbosstone said...

Did you see the HIMYM episode on baby talk? It was Legen- wait for it- dary.

lacochran's evil twin said...

Liebchen: Is your normal voice non-soothing?

froggy: Does he give you the look? (see above)

The Bug: Names aren't a bad thing. In fact, they can be downright entertaining.

magnolia: Sounds remarkably well-adjusted. :)

spleeness: Agreed.

Lemon Gloria: Names are different than delivery. And...I do! I do!

Mac and Cheese: "purposely annoying". I knew there was a reason I liked you.

Alice: Agreed.

Barbara: I don't think so. Just makes you reasonable in my book.

ellen: The dogs love this? Well, if you're sure...

Dmbosstone: I'm sure I have but it's not coming to me. Loved when the dweeby new wing man says "Legendary--wait for it--dary"! :)

Felisa said...

What constitutes baby talk? I talk silly with babies and animals... and adults on occasion too. But it's silly talking -- not baby talking! I don't mispronounce words on purpose to sound like I'm talking down to anyone. If I ever (not that I ever have) find myself baby talking, it's probably because I'm trying to be annoying on purpose.

Brutalism said...

The closest I get to a term of affection for my husband is a variation on his last name, which I use in place of his first name most of the time. So, no, I'm not big on the baby talk.