Monday, July 1, 2013

If Only People Came With Closed Captioning

By Linda Wood Rondeau

Why don’t people come with closed captioning?

I’ve suffered from hearing loss for many years. I tired of losing out on half of a conversation and blaring the television so loudly the neighbors complained.  I fought against hearing aids far too long then finally made the expensive plunge.

I marveled at the sounds I’d been missing like birds chirping and the rustling of paper. I felt reborn.  

Though I could hear the television and nature’s songs, I still had trouble understanding half of what a person said.

It dawned on me. With subsequent generations, we’re losing our ability to talk plainly.

I wonder if texting has damaged a young person’s ability to speak.  Or maybe we’re in so much of hurry all the time, even our words get jumbled.

I enjoy watching the old movies and don’t need closed captioning. Katherine Hepburn knew how to talk.

Note this Youtube video. Kudos to Juia Roberts who must have taken elocution classes in her training as an actress! I get so excited when I can actually understand younger actors today.

Years ago, elocution was a required subject. Kids were taught proper enunciation. 

A few years ago, I directed a high school play. These were great kids, many of them academic as well as athletically gifted. But they didn’t know how to talk. Not one of them thought it necessary to pronounce the end of their words. At first they resisted my exercises to help them slow their lines down and accentuate every letter. Until they realized how much better they talked. 

Maybe in the future, human beings will be made with a communication button that will project a white cloud above their heads to display their thoughts like comic book characters of old.

This would be helpful if only I understood text speech.

Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness/Harbourlight,  LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes stories of God’s mercies. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Linda’s best-selling Adirondack Romance, It Really IS a Wonderful Life, is published by Lighthouse of the Carolinas and is available wherever books are sold.
These books are also available in ebook format along with her other ebooks by Helping Hands Press: I Prayed for Patience/God Gave Me Children and Days of Vines and Roses. Songs in the Valley is scheduled for release this fall by Helping Hands Press.
Readers may visit her web site at or email her at  or find her on Facebook, Twitter, PInterest, and Goodreads.  


Linda Rondeau said...

Thanks Caroline.

I think my years in Community Theater made me more conscious of my diction.

Linda Lange said...

This is the second blog I've read on this subject this week! It's a real problem, and you state it well.

Linda Rondeau said...

J.B. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, hearing loss comes at us slowly sometimes,like a lobster being boiled, we don't even know its happening.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Linda - my friend with hearing loss will appreciate this fully. And you're right, elocution classes--of a bygone era, unfortunately.

Gail Kittleson

Linda Rondeau said...


I don't regret my hearing aids a all. They do need to be reconditioned soon. But even at half capacity, they have improved the quality of my life so much.