Nobody Listens to the Words Anyway

I heard about these language removal people on NPR earlier this week. The Language Removal Service has produced audio tapes of speech by leading candidates in the California gubernatorial election…with all the words removed. All that's left is breathing noises, “um's”, “ah's” and the like. They played some of their tapes on the radio, and you can hear them at their website. I found it deeply weird, especially given the utterly dead-pan way in which the guy describing it kept calling it a 'service to the public' as if the results were revelatory of something essential about the speaker's character. He was very good—it was hard to tell if he was a prankster, a Dadaist, or a new species of loon.

I deeply pray that no one ever does one of those to my lectures.

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