Columnist Leaps To Defense of Jeopardy Laura, Says Voice Critics Are Misogynistic
So we all know about the brief rise and fall of Jeopardy Laura -- the game show contestant who traumatized the Western Hemisphere on Tuesday. She has a peculiar voice tic in which she draws out the final syllable in each sentence like a giant piece of taffy.
"Eighteenth Century authors for six hundraaaaaaad ..."
It was maddening. Her two appearances (the first two weeks ago) on Jeopardy sent social media into a violent frenzy, with some viewers announcing they would boycott the show.
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) November 25, 2015
Today, Huffington Post Crime & Weird Associate Editor (this is her true byline) Jenna Amatulli fired back. All who were annoyed by Laura's voice are nothing but bullies and woman-haters, she wrote. Excerpt:
What's the deal, interwebz? Haven't we gone over this before? It's not cool to police people (read: women) on how they talk.
The intonation is widely seen as purely feminine -- when women uptalk, they're perceived as unsure or unconfident. But uptalk actually happens organically on "Jeopardy" for both men and women, quite frequently.
After analyzing hours of episodes of "Jeopardy," the Smithsonian found that uptalk was used by female contestants in uncertain situations "a whopping 76% of the time" while male contestants "uptalk frequency more than doubled if they were correcting a woman’s answer."
But this isn't uptalk. It's more sidetalk -- the last syllable stretched impossibly long and thin to the point that it's transparent. Then at the end it suddenly snaps back, piercing your eardrums and startling the cat. When Laura picks a category, deer in Kenya raise their heads and scan the horizon.
It's THE MOST ANNOYING SOUND IN THE WORLD, and it transcends gender, or social standing, or intelligence, uncertainty or education. Laura (Ashby, a Marietta, Ga., law associate who attended Vanderbilt and Yale), needs an intervention. I know of no judge who would listen to that voice.
You're screeching up the wrong tree, Huffington Post. While I'm all in favor of women's rights, it's possible to be TOO politically correct. And if you've ever spent any time in high school, you'll know that girls criticize each other's tics and foibles about a thousand times worse than guys do. Now be quiet and let the nation recover, because this was some major league trauma.
UPDATE: Laura Ashby fires back as well:
All right Internet, you can go back to teasing cats with cucumbers now #JeopardyLaura
— Laura Ashby (@WhoIsLauraAshby) November 25, 2015
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