‘Whisper mode’ is generally pitched as a product benefit. When it relates to air conditioners, or vacuum cleaners, you can see how that can be a good thing. Since a surgical procedure to my vocal chords a week ago I, too, am in whisper mode. While some would view this as an improvement, I’m not buying into it as a long-term benefit.
Not being able to speak has its advantages, though. For starters, there’s no need for me to answer the phone. Do you have any idea how liberating it is completely ignore a ringing phone, without even the vaguest trace of guilt?
It’s also kind of funny sometimes, because people talk back to me in whispers. If you’re ever having a ‘down day’, go around talking in whispers. I know it’s silly, but sometimes it’s good not to be one’s totally serious self.
Mostly though, it’s frustrating and – occasionally – a little depressing. In a sense, it’s like erectile dysfunction. Imagine the scenario, you’ve got the all-clear, you really want to do this thing, but your body isn’t coming to the party. Actually it’s worse. It arrives, does something sphincter-crunchingly embarrassing, and then leaves.
Spare a thought for Andrea, my wife, who generally phones me about a dozen times a day. Can you imagine how frustrating it is for her to have all these one-sided conversations?
Whisper mode, of course, hasn’t affected my ability to whistle or clap, which are currently the loudest sounds I’m capable of producing. However, given that I whistle and clap for our dogs, I can’t see these going down well as methods of marital communication.
On balance, there are worse things that can happen to me. And, there are people for whom losing their voice would be disastrous; imagine if I was a singer or a DJ or a motivational speaker (however, there are some ‘voice professionals’ for whom whisper mode would be both a benefit and an improvement).
(I’m not expecting whisper mode to be permanent. Vocal chords are sensitive bits of equipment. Mine were already scarred from previous surgeries six-and-a-half years ago, and there could be substantial inflammation from last week’s procedure.)