I'm talking about the kind where a guy in a cowboy hat uses that weird, fast speech to sell pigs and tractors.
One style seems normal and orderly, while the other one sounds like a guy having a stroke, or perhaps a wizard trying to cast spells on full auto. At what point did American auctioneers decide incomprehensible garbled nonsense was the best way to handle the delicate nature of large sums of money exchanging hands for coveted items? And what exactly are they saying, if there actually are real words in there?
First, the innocent part of the explanation is that they have lots of items to get through and not much time, so talking fast is just about efficiency. But as for why they speed it up to the point where you can barely tell what they're goddamned saying, it's at least partly to shut down your brain's ability to think too hard. The executive director of the Ohio Auction School (one of a couple dozen schools that train auctioneers) thinks it has something to do with mindless compliance, rushing the decision and filling any possible moments of silent contemplation. That sounds more like an admission of guilt that an origin story, but I see that Slate got the same answer talking to a member of the National Auctioneers Association. Talking fast lends a (sometimes false) sense of urgency to paying $2,000 for prized horse c*m.