This conversation can build your child’s awareness of speech patterns and how they can differ across groups. Upspeak is the habit of ending every sentence as if it is a question. It seems to indicate uncertainty with every statement – as if looking for agreement or approval. Bringing awareness of this ubiquitous habit may help your child limit its use.

First – Awareness. Can they notice it in others? When watching TV together – a point goes to the first person to notice/name it when they see it.

Second – Understanding. Why would the tentative tone of Upspeak be a benefit or a disadvantage? Does it say something about the speaker? Why might this pattern be more frequently used by girls than boys?

Finally – do we use it?

Parents: Use care and patience if you have an upspeaker. Probably not a good idea to even name it. This pattern is often intricately linked to the groups to which they belong. It is so easy for any comment to feel like criticism – and it can get you marginalized.

Like – like – long ago I thought I would be clever to address my daughter’s overuse (in my opinion) of the word ‘like.’ She would like use it like ever other word. I learned my lesson.