I Just Love a Good Glottal Stop

I was just listening to a friend who hails from Essex, England. What was he talking about? I have no idea. Oh, I could understand him. It’s just that I was so mesmerized by the sound of his voice that I really wasn’t focusing on the content of his commentary. He could read the phone book and I would sit happily entranced at his feet. You see, I love a good glottal stop.

A glottal stop is that sort of hiccup people use in the middle of a word, like when you say uh-oh. For example, my friend doesn’t say “butter”. He says “BU-er”. Delicious.

I think glottal stops make a savory stew out of a language that would otherwise be a bland broth. It just adds a certain something that draws you in. And dozens of languages use them.

I also love that click consonant that several African languages use. Sadly they are starting to disappear. That breaks my heart because they’re delightful.

Oh, who am I kidding? I love accents and dialects of every stripe. I can spot a Dutch accent from 50 paces, and it always brings me back to the wonderful summer I spent in Holland. Indian accents make me think of the delectable smells and tastes and rich colors of that country. If you whisper in my ear with a Spanish accent, you have me at hola.

The tonal languages of Asia fascinate me as well, although I’d be afraid to attempt one. I don’t have the ear for such things. I can’t even tune a guitar.

I can’t imagine living a life that is isolated from all the scrumptious differences that this world has to offer. I want to dive into your voice and just bathe there for a while. Would you mind?

Xenophobes don’t know what they’re missing.


Hawaiians have the glottal stop down to a science.

9 thoughts on “I Just Love a Good Glottal Stop

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