EVERYONE knows that your language can hold you back in the workplace, but this usually just means you shouldn’t be swearing like a trooper or excessively using slang, yo.
But now it seems your upwards inflections could be going against you as well. The habit of ending a sentence as if it’s a question can make you seem unsure of yourself and affect your professional credibility, according to research by publisher Pearson Business. The habit, known as high-rising terminal or HRT (no, not that kind of HRT) and often associated with teenagers on Neighbours and Californian surfer-types, has begun to creep into British accents.
Stephen Fry once described it as the “language of the Sunny Delight generation” but there’s nothing sunny about missing out on a promotion.
Australians have been known to occasionally add an upwards inflection or two, and some have taken offence to the research.
“With so many CEOs of British companies born and raised in Australia or who have worked there, it raises questions (with an upward inflection or not) about this research,” said Mike Rann, the Australian High Commissioner to the UK.
“Our accents have not stopped us from winning in business or winning in cricket.”
Well, having an antipodean accent certainly hasn’t damaged New Zealander and RBS boss Ross McEwan’s career trajectory.