Questions? In the middle of statements?


You know people who do this. We all do.

When and how did people start using an upward inflection in the middle, and end, of every sentence? If you’re not asking a question, why do the words that are coming out of your mouth sound like you ARE asking a question?  It’s just not right.

See how I wrote:

It’s just not right.


It’s just not right?

I’m sure this all started during the era of the “valley girl” when certain female characters in the media were protrayed, in my humble opinion, as airheads.  Yes, I was a teenager during this time.  Thankfully, I had parents, educators and mentors around me to help keep this awful habit in check.  But I know, there are many people out there – guys and gals- who didn’t have such strong guidance. Hence, the proliferation and prevalance of that silly upward inflection. I haven’t even mentioned all the reality TV shows where women (and men too, let’s not kid ourselves) perpetuate this silly way of speaking.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, though I’m sure you do, watch this:


(Yes, I’m referencing Family Guy… go with it)

Who is the biggest culprit of speaking this way? Young professionals.

Why you should reconsider speaking like this:

  • You sound dumb
  • You come across as being uncertain and underconfident in what you’re saying
  • It’s a knock to your credibility
  • It has the potential to limit your future opportunities

It’s a shame because you likely:

  • Aren’t dumb. You have great ideas and are a valued contributor to any discussion.
  • Are certain, sure and confident of what you want to say; it’s just how you say it that is the problem.
  • Bring a high level of credibility and integrity to any situation.
  • Have high career aspirations for yourself.

Here’s my advice: stop doing this immediately!

Here’s some quick tips on how to kick this silly habit to the curb:

  • Write this down as something you want to work on.  You need to actually articulate this as something you need to, and want to, change.  Purpose, desire and intention are key steps in making any change.
  • Truly listen to yourself when you speak.  When are you making a statement and when are you asking a question? You need to hear the difference for yourself. This takes a high level of self awareness to realize when you are and aren’t using that upward inflection.  If you can’t hear it, ask someone you trust and respect to help you out.
  • Emphasize actual questions when you speak by using that upward inflection.
  • Correct yourself.  You don’t have to make a big show of this and embarrass yourself when speaking to others.  Tha’s not going to do you any favours.  Just correct it for yourself and move on.
  • Recognize that you will slip up.  With all the information we are bombarded with in the media and within your own peer group, it’s hard to not emulate this behaviour.  Remember purpose and intention are key!
  • Practice!

Good luck.


Good luck?