Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Morning Preacher: Cheesy Preacher Voice

Oh dear oh dear. A decent sermon dreadfully undermined by Cheesy Preacher Voice.

I hope that does not sound cruel.

Let me start by confessing to you that I used to write poetry. A lot of poetry. I was an English major with a Creative Writing emphasis, and the Creative Writing emphasized poetry. Mostly very bad poetry, I can say with a great deal of confidence and a measure of chagrin. But as an English major with a Creative Writing emphasis, emphasizing poetry, I did a Senior Reading to which friends and family were invited. Before my Senior Reading, a friend of mine said, with an anxious tone, "You're not going to use a Cheesy Poet Voice, are you?" Well, I did my best.

And so I am highly attuned to the Cheesy Preacher Voice: a voice with - pregnant - pauses and...dramatically hushed tones. It's a voice that says, to me, anyway, "I am trying to sound like a preacher now." Much like the Cheesy Poet Voice is a voice of a person who is trying to sound like a poet.

Cheesy Preacher Voice, I believe, is spread virally. One preacher uses the Cheesy Preacher Voice where it is heard by an aspiring preacher who catches it and passes it on. And on. And on. Because that's what everyone now believes a preacher is supposed to sound like.

I wish I could figure out a way to stop the contagion from spreading. I wish there were a pill to prevent the unwanted pregnant pause. I wish people would stop trying to use a certain speaking style to sound preacherly and instead simply believe that if you're preaching, you're a preacher. You've really got nothing to prove. Just preach.

No comments: