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The Slice: Do you hear what I hear? Apparently not, in some homes

Sat., Feb. 26, 2011, 12:30 a.m.


The Slice asked how often that question is uttered in readers’ homes.

“I’ll stack our use of ‘What?’ up against any other two-person household,” wrote Bill Mahaney. “My wife and I each have two hearing aids which we generally do not wear at home. She has the most difficulty with low tones, such as my voice; I have the most difficulty with high tones, such as her voice.”

Mahaney said they typically have a hard time understanding each other unless they are facing one another.

“ ‘What?’ is asked many, many times a day.”

Another reader, whose name I’ll keep to myself, said “What?” is uttered too many times to count each day in her home.

“I am the one in the family that is hard of hearing and my husband knows it,” she said. “So tell me why every time I say ‘What?’ he repeats his statement in the same tone of voice, oh, say, three or four times. If I couldn’t hear him the first time, why would I hear him this time or the next or the next?

“If I say ‘WHAT!?’ again or say ‘I can’t hear you!’ he says it again only he feels the need to bellow it out loud like he is mad, as if I am inconveniencing him.”

And Lowell Lehman estimated that someone in his house says “What?” about half a dozen times an hour.

“I’m admittedly hard of hearing,” he wrote. “But my wife is also, though she always says it’s because ‘the water is on,’ or the ‘vacuum cleaner was running,’ et cetera.

“I’d like to get hearing aids, but we go to Hawaii twice for what they cost.”

Warm-up questions: Has the increasing duration of daylight already prompted you to tweak your schedule? What percentage of South Hill residents believe that many unflattering South Hill stereotypes are absolutely based in reality? Where do actual Idahoans come down on the “North” vs. “northern” debate? When traveling, do those from the Mead area say they live in Spokane or “near Spokane.”

Today’s Slice question: Are there Inland Northwest residents who have never met the S-R’s Jeff Jordan?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail Set in the Northwest, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is on TCM tonight.

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