I just edited Wikipedia

“HRT” can stand for “Hormone Replacement Therapy”, but if you are into language it stands for “High Rising Terminal”, or what Christopher Hitchens called “Uptalk”.

That upwards inflection that so many pocket linguists like to claim as unique to their own nation. Wikipedia is fairly thorough but reserves judgement on its origins, mentioning that it may have started as far back as WWII, and speculating on whether it is a Californian thing, or perhaps driven by Australian soap operas.

But they missed this reference in a 1963 article by Terry Southern “… that oddly rising inflection peculiar to girls of the South, making parts of a reply sound like a question.”

If you want to hear a lot of this, just tune into any RRR interview where some performance artist or curator seems to beg for approval with every utterance.

copyright © Chris Poole Translation