Speech-Language Pathologists Talking with Their Non-SLP Friends, Oh the Confusion!

Speech-Language Pathologists Talking with Their Non-SLP Friends, Oh the Confusion!

There are two types of people in this world. There are those who are speech-language pathologists and those who are not. We SLPs are a rare breed and sometimes our non-SLP friends don’t seem to “get” our language. In fact, there have been many times before where after I have made a comment or finished telling a story, I’m met with confused stares from my buddies.

“Oh, did I just use a speech term without even realizing it?!” I sheepishly ask.

Yes, it happens to the best of us!

And sometimes it can be a bit . . . well . . . awkward (HAHA!). So, I have taken the opportunity to write out 4 different scenarios that can help you, the SLP, who unconsciously uses speech terms out in public where speech terms probably shouldn’t be used. Hopefully, by studying these random stories, you’ll be better able to see your mistakes before they happen and catch yourself in the moment next time you feel like you’re about to use a speech term with a non-SLP friend. Read the following stories carefully and then answer the questions as best as you can.

Scenario # 1

Two friends sat together in a little cozy and quaint restaurant. Both craved a hot bowl of soup so they decided to order the soup of the day, Chicken Noodle (mmm mmm good!). Once the steaming bowls arrived at their table, they simultaneously grabbed their spoons and dove right in. “Ouch!” they screamed. They forgot to blow on their soups to cool them off. So, as you can imagine, their mouths were in a great deal of pain. Friend (A.) said, “Eeek! That soup just burnt my alveolar ridge!” Friend (B.) said, “I have no clue what that means but I just can’t stand it when hot food burns the roof of my mouth!”

Which friend do you think was the SLP? Friend (A.) or (B.)?

Scenario # 2

Two friends were at a wonderful birthday celebration. There were decorations, balloons, and a magical-looking cake! After the birthday singing has commenced and the forks have been handed out, friend (A.) whispered, “The thought of masticating that cake makes my taste buds dance!” Friend (B.) replied, “I have no idea what you are talking about, but that cake sure does look delicious!”

Which friend do you think was the SLP? Friend (A.) or (B.)?

Scenario # 3

Two friends were relaxing at their favorite Irish pub after a hard day’s work. They decided to order beers. Once the beers came, they toasted to life and happiness and each took a drink. Friend (B.) started coughing during the gulp and friend (A.) shouted,“Oh no, you are aspirating on your thin liquid.” After the coughing subsided, friend (B.) said, “What are you talking about?! I was choking on my Guinness!”

Which friend do you think was the SLP? Friend (A.) or (B.)?

Scenario # 4

Two friends are eager to get to the movie theater because they’ve been waiting for months to see this particular flick. They ran in, grabbed some popcorn, and dashed to their seats. While waiting for the trailers to begin, friend (B.) ate a huge handful of popcorn. She then started to cough. Friend (A.) asked, “Do you have a popcorn kernel stuck in your epiglottic vallecula?” Friend (B.) took a sip of water, cleared her throat, and stated, “What?! Popcorn stuck in my Dracula?! I had a piece of popcorn stuck in the back of my throat. I don’t know what Dracula or vampires have to do with me coughing!”

Which friend do you think was the SLP? Friend (A.) or (B.)?


How did you do? If you guessed that friend (A.) was the SLP for all 4 of those scenarios, DING DING DING, you’re right! That friend absolutely was the SLP! So, be honest, did any of those scenarios sound familiar to you? Don’t worry; like I said before, we’ve all been there one time or another. Thankfully, now you have this little blog post to refer back to if you ever need a refresher on what these types of scenarios might look and sound like. Now you can catch yourself before a moment of using a speech term in a situation where one is really not necessary. HAHA! 😉

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