I Talk Funny–So What?!

Cat with a speech impedimentI 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!

Posted in: Being Yourself, Body & Health, Spotlight On, Your Body, Your Life
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  • Rachael Causer

    so my friends have all said i talk a little weird and that i have an accent but i don’t until my grandma finally put her finger on the problem- she said i have a slur. but i can’t tell, and i have always heard the words coming out of my mouth as being clear and well enunciated but even though in my own ears i sound fine, to others, my words run together and i slur severely (my grandma has also called it a “fat tongue” or “swollen tongue”and has said i sound like my tongue is too big for my mouth), and it is to the point where people say i have an accent, and some have asked me where i’m from, what country i am from, and what nationality am i (i’m american, i was born in washington, but have lived only in southern california since i was 4)…but why can’t i hear it? why do i sound different to myself than to others?

  • Victoria

    I’m hearing impaired & I wasnt born with it .
    I never realized I have speech problem until my junior year at high school, some people ask me ‘Why do I talk funny?’ Even LITTLE KIDS ask me. So of course I am super shy because of it. I feel like I talk clear? Like my family, & my friend can hear me but strangers ehhhh. Ugh its frustrating

  • Christian Rhoades

    I have a lisp ever since I could remember. But the problem is I never new I had one. Because I was partially deaf in my right ear when I was a little boy I never heard my self thus good. Now I’m 15 and I’m a lisper and I’m a bit of a stammer. I’m told Im a very funny person and that I should be a comedian . But I figured who wants to here somebody they won’t always understand. I get bullied a bit by a few people and they mock the saw I speak. Then my twon brother tells everybody how I had to go to the special classes because of my lisp. And I like meeting new people and talking . But lately I heard how I talk and now I’m loosing my confidence…. I saw the speech of king George the 6th and I was thinking to myself not only do I talk like him I talk 10 times worse than him. I’m always having to slow down talking because I talk say words wrong, and stammer I want to get the words out quickly but then that just makes it worse. The n people will ask you to repeat yourself and that pisses my off because its just so frustrating. But their is a silver lining a lot if girls think it’s cute and ask me to say things like starburst so they can here me and they tell me I sound so cute … And I love that.

  • Victoria

    I have hearing loss in both of my ears, & I did not know I talk funny until two years ago. it’s sucks ball too and really lowering my self esteem. Like, I just don’t want to talk to NO ONE.

    • Victoria

      Kinda funny we both have same name and same issues? Lol

    • lizz

      I have hearing loss too. I was born that way and been wearing hearing aids since I was 5. I didn’t know I had a lisp until people started pointing it out and I”ve become conscious about it. I hate it.

  • Markusy

    To those with a lisp; don’t talk in close proximity of someone’s face, food or beverage.

  • Genesis

    I have a lazy tongue too! Or rather a lisp. I found out when I was in 7th grade after a guy who sat in front of my math class told me. It then stiked me how in 4th grade I went to some lady at school to keep telling me to repeat the s and z sound. It never really bothered me, but my sister commented on it, in a bad way. But I was always smart and did my work and people didn’t really notice. But now they do and they think it’s cute. They say they like the way i talk and they wish they had a lisp of their own. At first I thought they were mocking me, but they were sincere. But my lisp is one thing that makes me original, and it’s somewhat minor. Though when people find out, it’s annoying how they make me same words with s. They might make “fun” of me for a bit but I show that it has no effect on me. I actually play along too after saying “JERK!” to their face then they quit it. But people actually like my lisp.

  • Emily

    Could you state the exercise. I’m 13 and about to go to highschool in fall. I have a lazy tongue, but in my head I can’t hear anything wrong. On camera I can. I’m an actor and I’m a bit scared I’m not going to get good parts because of It. They say that having a lazy tognue that you are shy and self conscious. But baby I was born this way and I talk non stop. Its not my case, but It sucks to have it.

    • Rachael Causer

      i have the same thing! (not the lisp but i can’t hear what’s wrong) i have a severe slur, i almost sound like my tongue is too big for my mouth and my words run together but i can’t tell?! i’ve gotten questions like where i’m from, what nationality i am, etc because they think it’s an accent… but i can’t hear it

  • courtney

    Apparently, I have a “lazy tounge” too. It makes me so angry!!! I have braces at the moment, so that’s kind of an excuse…but i get them off in three days and it’s still going to be here. I aksed my friend at school if it was bad, she said, “yeah, it is”. And then my family says it’s cute and has improved. Then my friend said it wasnt actually bad she was joking. I hope she wasnt just trying to be nice. I am so self contious about it. Many people have said they never noticed it untill i told them about it…i think i should stop telling them! AND NOW!…I dont know what to do…

  • Andi

    I was born with a hearing loss and I’ve been told I have a lisp, I talk funny, I have a German accent, and exotic accent, a sexy accent (lol); I’ve had people ask if I am Amish/German; I never noticed how I sounded because the voice we hear in our head is different than the voice the world hears. I recorded with a microcassette recorder years ago and wasn’t too happy. My aunt said my voice is not “too bad.” regardless, I’ve never had problems in the romance department (lol)- only sometimes people can’t understand me. I am 35 and people not understanding me has happened to me (that I know of) 3 times in my life. Speech Therapy as a child made a huge difference, as I imagine any kind of therapy as an adult would also. 😉

  • MmmBubble

    Check out George Watsky. Amazing spoken word performer/artist. He has a strong lisp. But he’s quite kick ass. 🙂 Lisps are sexy! 😀

  • elizabeth

    I think I talk sort of funny. I have a difficult time pronouncing certain words. Some words I say with a British accent such as cards, dinner, ridiculous and crazy. Others I say with an American accent such as sometimes, car, truck and bed. But I am Canadian so its really weird. I talk like a baby when I’m nervous and it’s difficult to control. The good thing is, is that when I’m am public speaking, saying something I have already written, all the problems go away!!

  • Missfiction

    Well, im still not sure if i have a speech disorder but i talk wayyyy to weird. I sound like a little kid but with a deep guy voice kind of way! ITS soooo stupid!!! im only fourteen and i know ill grow into my voice but it still bothers me. especially when i try to sound teenage-ish and cool. IT SOUNDS SO DUMB! i sound so much like a little kid that when i say something really brilliant….. it sounds so childish. And nobody takes me seriously! grrrr!

  • Ashley

    I have a lazy tongue too! I’m always really self conscious about it but the less I think about it the less noticeable it is!