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Oregon Man Is One Fast Talker

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Obadiah Rutledge is the fastest-talking man in Oregon. If you find yourself skeptical about that assertion, just have a listen.


Obadiah Rutledge came to our attention this week.

(Soundbite of fast talking)

SIMON: Mr. Rutledge is the reading clerk for the Oregon House of Representatives who are under the law required to read aloud and three times the names and numbers of all bills being considered. The Oregonian newspaper reports that this practice dates back to the 19th century and it was meant to ensure that legislatures had heard what's before the House before they voted on it, even though they couldn't quite understand what they heard.

Professors at Portland State's department of linguistics measured Mr. Rutledge's reading rate of 44 clearly enunciated words in 10 seconds. That's considered twice as fast as the average for a human being, if not a talking chipmunk.

Mr. Rutledge told the Oregonian, If I have 15, 20, 30 measures, I try to go really fast, but if I have a couple of hundred measures I try to pace myself. It's a lot about keeping the air in and the lips wet.

Some weeks when I'm gone, Mr. Rutledge can host this show. He'll have enough time left over to go bowling.

(Soundbite of fast talking)

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