One of my pet peeves is the phenomenon that I call the “wet-talker”. The wet-talker is someone who makes a slight smacking noise when he or she talks. Really that’s not quite accurate but it’s the best way I can describe it. Every time the wet-talker opens his mouth to speak you hear a gross, moist sound as if they have way too much saliva in their mouth.

The worst place to hear a wet-talker is on the radio and the worst wet-talkers on the radio reside at NPR. Most of their hosts are wet-talkers. Most of their guests are wet-talkers. Heck, even the people that do their advertising spots are wet-talkers (I’m exaggerating – but not by much). Surely this can’t be a hiring criterion for NPR. There can’t be a place on NPR’s broadcaster application that says “Are you a wet-talker?” Can there? Maybe it’s the microphones they use; maybe they’re so sensitive that they turn everyone into a wet-talker. Maybe wet-talking is a common condition of the snooty northeasterner, which is what NPR’s broadcast team almost exclusively consists of. I don’t know. All I know is that on most other radio stations I rarely hear wet-talkers and when I do, they’re usually guests on a talk show, not the everyday host.

Anyway, please join my crusade to stamp out wet-talking on the airwaves by writing your congressman and the FCC and asking them to ban wet-talking on all frequencies.

Thank you for your support.


2 thoughts on “Wet-Talkers

  1. Haha. I completely agree with you on this matter. I’ve noticed wet talking even on TV. The News Hour is a great show, and the vast majority of their guests and hosts are not wet talkers. But Margaret Warner of the News Hour is most assuredly a wet talker. I had to stop an interview she was doing half way through to search for the term “wet talker.” You can hear the terrifyingly wet talking here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/religion/jan-june10/vatican2_04-05.html

  2. THANK you. I’ve been noticing this for a while now and it makes some shows almost impossible to listen to. Particulary when you start to pick out some of the things that go along with wet-talking: they tend to pronounce their “k” sounds too far back (think of an arabic q), and they give their ks and ps this nasty throaty off-glide … qwh, pwh …
    The worst of em seem to deliberately use a lip-smack as a spoken punctuation mark.


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