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Val-Addictorians' Speech Is Booed to Max

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The type of teenage lingo-ist recently parodied in a song about "Valley Girls" by Frank and Moon Unit Zappa could, like, carry inadequate communications skills into adulthood, says Lillian Glass, a speech pathologist and communications professor at the University of Southern California.

Ms. Glass says the problem with such speech is not so much the lingo itself ("fer sure" [absolutely], "grody to the max" [infinitely disgusting], etc.), but the speech patterns that accompany it.

"'Val-Speakers' are monotone, dull, nasal, and they don't open their mouths," Ms. Glass said.

Use of speech fillers such as "you know" and "like," an empty vocabulary full of all-purpose words such as "awesome," and excessively fast speech are other "Val-speak" symptoms, Ms. Glass said.

Ms. Glass lets the "Val-speaker" hear and see herself (or himself) in action with audio and video tape-recorders.

"Sometimes they don't believe it's them," she said.

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