Find Their Wavelength

My father has had hearing loss as long as I’ve known him. It especially affects high frequencies. At dinner over Christmas in a crowded restaurant my brother, Charles, was having good success in talking to Dad.

Charles said that in his first job an old engineer had given him good advice: Find the wavelength of the person to whom you are speaking. It was meant as metaphor, but as a good engineer, Charles applied it literally. He observes what pitch people can best hear and uses that register. In Dad’s case he pitched his voice low, and Dad heard him.

This makes me rethink much. In a sense baby talk makes sense. The miniscule ear canal resonates to a much higher pitch. I had always thought it silly. The thing that makes me feel most foolish is that I never notices Charles doing this.

That’s why it is good to spend time with my brothers. I learn new ideas and humility.

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One comment on “Find Their Wavelength

  1. Dan Granot says:

    When you wrote this, the first thing that came to mind is, “Gee, that makes sense.” And then I remembered how much I hate baby talk… :-) My 10 month old daughter doesn’t seem to mind, though.

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