I guess I had never really listened intently to me speaking before. I recorded my voice and listened to the playback and holy crud, I was lisping away. It was a very slight lisp, but a lisp nonetheless.
I became obsessed with my new label: lisper. I had a speech disorder. The more I focused on it, the more I lisped! I kid you not. A couple of my friends said, “I never noticed you lisped before.” The power of suggestion had me in its grip and was making my lisp worse. If I didn’t talk funny before, I was definitely starting to more and more.
I called a speech coach who helped stars like Julia Roberts ditch their hometown accents. I explained that I had no desire to be an anchorwoman, so I didn’t need clipped faux speech. I wanted to talk like me–but without the lisp.
The guru diagnosed my “funny talk” as having a “lazy tongue” rather than a full-on lisp. He taught me to do tongue twisters with a pencil in my mouth to sharpen my “s” sounds. He also gave me cheat tricks like using the easier “z” sound for certain words. The speech master told me a little something that boosted my confidence, too: even TV Talk Queen Barbara Walters has speech issues!
After only a few sessions I was a lean mean speaking machine.
“Your lisp will never be cured, but now you now how to manage it,” he told me.
“You said that I have a lazy tongue not a lisp!” I said.
He smiled. “It’s the same thing but you were so stuck in the idea of having a ‘disorder’ I figured lazy tongue would be easier for you to deal with.”
Viva la individuality!
Do you think you talk funny? Do you have trouble saying certain words or do you know someone who does? Is it frustrating to you? Tell us about it in the comments!