Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oh the nerves, the nerves; the mysteries of this machine called man! Oh the little that unhinges it, poor creatures that we are! ~ Charles Dickens

I have a serious pet peeve. It centers around how American English is spoken. I know I've written about this before but to my sensitive ears it seems to be picking up at an alarming rate. Maybe it's just me. Since I don't spend a lot of time around people every day I don't know if this occurs in day-to-day speech so much, but I do notice a fast-growing trend happening amongst newscasters and reporters around this country.  Alarming to me anyway, because one of these days I'm not going to be able to understand a word they're saying. Or I'm going to strangle every last one of them because I'm not going to be able to take it anymore. I plead my case:

When did it suddenly become ok to pronounce "str" words as "shtr".  Words like "street" are now "shtreet".  "Shtrength".  "Shtratosphere".  "Inshtruction" and "shtir"'s even creeping into the middle of words. "Shtrawberry".  "Shtrudle".  "Shtrip". "Shtrucshure" - now that's a good one. I first became aware of this strange phenomenon when we lived in Portland and a weather forecaster -- who I believe now reports weather for CNN or some big news channel  --  started talking about "the shtrength of the winds". Say what?! Now I hear it everywhere. This morning as I watched The Weather Channel a reporter on there was driving me so crazy with "shtrength" and "shtreet", etc., etc. I finally turned her off.  It was like every other word out of her mouth was distorted this way.

Another word that drives me nuts:  "tour" pronounced as "tore" now.  Why? And "often" as "off-ten" instead of off-en. Why did that happen?  When I was in elementary school in the early 60s we were taught very precise pronunciation as we learned our alphabet and how each letter and combo of letters was pronounced.  We even did little exercises with our mouths on some of the harder ones.  But "shtupid"? I even heard that one the other day. We were taught the "t" in often was silent, and even tho the vast majority seems to say "off-ten" now I just can't spit that "t" out there.  It seems me. Last nite a young lady was being interviewed about Hurricane Sandy's aftermath and she said she was appalled at the "deshtruction", how "impordunt" it was to get out before it hit. Impordunt?  Hmmmmmm.

Ah well.

It's like, you know, like, getting harder for me to, like, sit around and, like, listen to this, like, you know, any longer.  It's, you know, like, just driving me, like, you know, crazy.

And with that I bid you adieu. I think I'll go read some Shakespeare.  Even he's easier for me to decipher now.  Like, you know what I'm talkin' about?


Renie Burghardt said...

Hmm, I hadn't noticed that. But i did enjoy your blog.

Judy said...

I still can't get over "a whole nother". I've heard it from news anchors, from the pulpit, and from school teachers. Ugh.
Although, I have to admit that I love to "schnuggle" with the grand kids!

MissKris said...

And I like a 'schnackie' with Don while we're watching TV, ha! It was mostly all tongue-in-cheek, but it DOES drive me crazy, lol! I guess not only is education lacking in punctuation and grammar, it's lacking in teaching people that language is a beautiful thing.

CWMartin said...

Did you catch the one who was trying to speak of the "high population center" that Sandy was hitting, but called it a "very popularious area"? Must be a funny town.

Melodee said...

Oh, that's funny! I've never noticed the "sh" for "s" phenomenon, but I bet I will now.

What annoys me is the use of "tuh" instead of "to." I hear our President say it that way ALL THE TIME and it is distracting and irritating, at least to me! Or should I say, "tuh me"!

Anita said...

My daughter hates it when my husband says "ma-tour" instead of "ma-chour." (mature)

I have a few pet peeves, too. Off-ten is one of mine, as it is with you.

I've got to listen to the 'str' words. I'm sure I'm going to laugh when I notice what you're saying.