So folks, the good news is that I have learned to talk through my wired jaw.
For a while there I was communicating exclusively on a series of reporters notebooks that I kept in my back pocket, wrote comments on and handed to people. (Note: there were some memorable “read aloud moments” that came out of this)… but these days I can sort of mumble through my teeth.
Its pretty effective, but has definitely given my voice and mannerisms some strange new cadences.
Its funny, your voice is maybe one of the the few things that you remain almost completely unaware of. There’s always that moment of hearing yourself on someone’s answering machine and wondering if you can possibly sound like that. With my teeth stuck together, even the way I hear my own voice is completely unfamiliar, and kind of irritating.
Therefore I’m going on what people have told me. I must be relatively intelligible since people seem to understand me (or are humoring me).
I have gotten a range of comments from “stop mumbling… oh right… haha” to “you just sound angry all the time”… which, judging from what I can hear in my own head, seems more accurate. My classmates can also do a pretty good impression of me… this involves a closed-lipped sardonic grimace, a squint, and a pathetic expulsion of breath. I have also been told that I giggle like a Japanese anime character…
Then, today in class, one of my professors told me I had “this katherine hepburn thing going on”….! Which prompted me to look up the Philadelphia Story
Not sure that thats totally accurate… but she has her non-mouth-moving moments. Go red!