about sayonaratosilence [continued from post]

February 17, 2007

I grew up in a small town in the hills about 20 miles from the coast.  It was in this town I learned to speak through intensive speech therapy for a little over 15 years.  People often tell me they are amazed at how well I can speak. 

One common statement I get is “It is easy for me to forget you are deaf because you talk so well.”  Another common statement in the same vein, “I wouldn’t have guessed you were deaf if you hadn’t told me.”

It is because of those two common statements I often wondered how to explain it the most simplest terms why anyone should not misunderstand that being deaf is not related to being able to talk.  To sum it up, the voice box is only a machine

Any machine can be programmed to perform certain functions, so a voice box can be programmed through repetition to perform certain phonetic sounds.  I do speak a little funny but not in the sense of speaking with an accent. 

See, I was taught to say the words the way they are spelled.

A classic example is a Spanish word, Jose, which would be Jose with a J as I was taught but later I learned the J in Spanish is really a h sound so if I were to learn to speak Jose correctly, I would have spelled it Ho-say.

A common example in the English language is the -ed ending, such as walked.  I have an annoying habit of saying walked, not walkt.

Needless to say, a voice box is still a machine. 

One interesting tidbit I noticed about my voice box is that I do not consciously lower or raise my voice.  If my hearing aid is on high volume, my mind believes I am talking loudly enough when people tell me that I am talking too low.  Likewise when I am talking too loud while on low volume, people tell me to “dial it down”…

To be continued…

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