“We will be descending shortly into Denver,”says the flight attendant, sounding very weird. People who have torepeat announcements by rote—including radio station-breakannouncers and others—often try to avoid sounding like monotonousrobots by raising and lowering the pitch of their voices at random andstressing words not normally stressed: mostly prepositions and auxiliaryverbs. One has to sympathize; imagine having to repeatedly lecture aplane full of people on seat-belt use when you know for a fact the onlyadults on board likely not to know already how to fasten a buckle aretoo demented to understand what you’re saying. But the absurdsing-song into which many of these folks fall is both distracting andirritating, making them sound like malfunctioning robots. Thosewho speak in natural voices, stressing main nouns, verbs, and adjectiveswhere it makes sense, are much easier to listen to.