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Southern California's "Valley Girl" Speech Persists

Valley Girl speech persists in conversation -- as this clip shows - but is best not used in formal presentations, public speaking, or job interviews. The "valley" refers to the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County. From Wikipedia entry: Valspeak is a common name for a now partially universal American sociolect, originally of Southern Californian's, in particular valley girls. This stereotype originated in the 1970s, but was at its peak in the 1980s and lost popularity in the late 1990s and 2000s. Though for a brief period a national fad, many phrases and elements of Valspeak, along with surfer slang and skateboarding slang, are stable elements of the California English dialect lexicon, and in some cases wider American English (such as the widespread use of "like" as conversational filler). Elements of valspeak can now be found virtually everywhere English is spoken, particularly among young native English speakers. The term "Valley Girl" and the Valley manner of speech was given a wider circulation with the release of a hit single by Frank Zappa entitled "Valley Girl," on which Moon Zappa, Frank's fourteen-year-old daughter, delivered a monologue of meaningless phrases in "valspeak" behind the music. This song, Frank Zappa's only Top 40 hit in the United States, popularized phrases such as "grody to the max". Some of the terms used by Moon were not actually Valley phrases, but were surfer terms instead (such as "tubular" and "gnarly"). But due to the song's popularity, some of the surfer phrases actually entered the speech of real Valley teens after this point. The Los Angeles surfing subculture, on the other hand, did not generally begin using the Valley terms. Valspeak is used heavily in the 1995 film Clueless and quite a lot in Wayne's World. Intonation: Excessive use of high rising terminal. Statements have rising intonation, causing normal declarative language to appear to the listener as interrogative. Also known as "uptalking" or the "moronic interrogative." --------------------- See also Taylor Mali on uptalk, which -- as noted above - seems to have aspects of earlier Valley Girl speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv0aDhqxiHg
Length: 01:52

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