Hearing Loss: Slow Down, You Talk Too Fast

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Don’t you sometimes wish the world would slow down a little bit. The racing from activity to activity, the constant barrage of emails and texts, even the hourly news cycle can be exhausting. No wonder people seem to be speaking at a faster and faster rate. Or maybe it just seems that way because of my hearing loss. Lately, I find that my brain needs a little extra processing time to help me hear my best. I have added “Please repeat that more slowly,” to my list of “What?” replacements.

It got me thinking about one of my favorite songs, Simon & Garfunkel’s hit The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy) and its opening line, “Slow down, you move too fast.” Here is my take on this classic with a hearing loss twist. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to suggest alternative lyrics in the comments.

The Communication Bridge Song (Please Talk Slowly)

Slow down, you talk too fast

You got to make the discourse last

Just enunciate every single word

Looking for clues to catch your meaning

Ba da da da da da da, catch your meaning.

 

Hello speaker, what cha saying?

I’d love to understand your phrasing

Ain’t cha got more time for me?

Doot-in’ doo-doo, please talk slowly

Ba da da da da da da, please talk slowly.

 

Got my hearing aids in

The volume turned up

I’m lipreading and concentrating and ready to hear

Let each of your words fall gently onto my ear

Please speak slower

So I can hear you.

Readers, do you wish people would speak more slowly?

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25 thoughts on “Hearing Loss: Slow Down, You Talk Too Fast”

  1. Shari,

    I love it! You nailed it, both the song and the topic. I can’t count how many times daily I have to ask people to slow it down a bit so I can grasp the context of what they are saying. When you are ready to rewrite Free Bird for the HOH, let me know and I will help you!

    Mike

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Next on my list — LOL! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Mike.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for your comment.

  2. Very good! A member of our ‘better hearing’ group came up with a phrase I’ve always liked and I pass along–“slow ears”. That’s what many of us now have!
    “Please repeat that, but more slowly” has ever since been on my short list of requests to those I have trouble comprehending!
    Thanks for this one!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      I like that phrase! Thanks for sharing it with everyone.

  3. Hi Shari –

    Another great topic/post. As the mother of a daughter with hearing loss, I STILL need to remember to slow down when I¹m talking from time to time. You make some good points, and thanks for the reminder 🙂

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      It can be hard to remember, but it makes a big difference. Thanks for your comment.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      That is an interesting idea for a hearing loss program! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Your post made me smile! It was also quite timely. I attended a play over the weekend and had great difficulty understanding one of the performers because she spoke so fast. Even my husband with crazy-good hearing had trouble. It was a simple plot and a play I’d seen before so I was able to follow it, but it would have been nice to be able understand all the dialogue!

    My hearing hasn’t changed in the last ten years, but I’ve noticed that I have more trouble than I used to. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m older and my brain can’t process things as quickly or if it’s because everything seems to be moving faster these days including the pace of speech.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      That is a good question. I wonder the same thing. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  5. I actually bought a DVD online with closed captions of the Simon and Garfunkel Central Park Concert in 1981 , which I was so lucky to have been able to attend in person , but I dont remember hearing any songs clearly as we were sitting on the lawn somewhere so far from main stage , I doubt even people with great hearing could hear them well . And back then , there weren’t too many props like big projection screens like they have now. So it was a real treat to find this DVD with captions as it brought back such great memories of being at that concert. I agree , the world has become too hectic , too much info, changing rapidly , and we just miss out on the simple things in life .

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      What a wonderful experience that must have been. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  6. Jerry Henderson – Pownal Maine – Thank you for coming to my space. This is where I post thoughts, opinions and commentary on a variety of subjects at irregular intervals. I try to do something weekly, but have not nailed down a rigid schedule, like every Wednesday, yet. If you would like email notifications of new posts, you can make that happen right on the site. Simply enter your email address to subscribe. Also, if you would like to comment I welcome that. Just do so in the space at the bottom of any selected post. Sharing thoughts, opinion and commentary is a peculiarly human characteristic. It must be exercised to be enjoyed. Jerry Henderson
    Jerry Henderson says:

    It’s time someone said this. Thanks. I’m a Southerner who was taught to enunciate and express each syllable. The prime directive in conversation is being understood. The burden is ON THE SPEAKER!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jerry.

    2. Thanks, Jerry, for reminding us that conversation is a two-way, shared, experience–and that the burden to be understood is on the SPEAKER! Don’t blame the listener if you are speaking from the next room, or your back is turned!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      So true! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      1. Our Hearing Group used to have a running joke about how we had “slow ears”! That was the theme of one of the monthly awareness posters we created, thanks to a creative member!! It’s a good thing to tell friends and contacts, “I have slow ears–can you hit the brakes?”

      2. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
        Shari Eberts says:

        I love it!

  7. I have a bilateral high frequency hearing loss and am aided. Here is what I tell my family, friends and colleagues – 1) It really helps to say my name before you start talking to me as it takes a beat or two to localize to a voice that is directed at me, 2) just as important as slowing down is voice volume – I never hear whispers – no matter what, 3) Please don’t talk to me while you are walking away or facing in another direction – again, I need to localize and I do lip read! That being said, I always say to my husband, “honey, you talk so fast that it is all mumbling to me!”

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Good tips! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Probably so. People with hearing loss usually need a little extra processing time, so fast talkers are hard to understand. Thanks for the question.

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