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Fran Crimi
06-04-2006, 08:56 AM
Lately, I've been noticing in film and on TV, actors and newscasters are mispronouncing those contractions. What surprises me is that their directors are allowing this to happen. Hey, we all make mistakes but I remember the teachers in school being very forceful about how to pronounce these contractions. In fact, I hardly hear these words spoken correctly by anyone under 30. Have we forgotten how to speak English and even worse, not bothering to correct them when it's mispronounced? (And yes, I think GW seriously needs to learn how to pronounce 'nuclear'. It's a disgrace. If he runs again, I'm not voting for him.)


grammer tips (http://www.crossculturecom.com/Grammar_Tips.htm)

PRONOUNCING CONTRACTIONS


International speakers of English sometimes shy away from contractions—the omission and joining of letters and words—because they find them confusing and difficult to pronounce. This can result in speech sounding stilted, clumsy and childish.

There are certain contractions that are particularly difficult to pronounce:

couldn’t
shouldn’t
wouldn’t
didn’t

International speakers often tend to pronounce these words as though they are two syllables, as in could-dent, should-dent, etc. These are among those juvenile-sounding contractions that should be avoided by educated and professional adults.

The trick is easier to demonstrate than to describe because the contracted sound is accomplished by the absence of something—the contracted ‘not’ being virtually swallowed. One more thing to keep in mind is, though you are ‘swallowing’ the n’t, you nevertheless need to make sure the final t is articulated clearly.

couldn’t
shouldn’t
wouldn’t
didn’t

wolfdancer
06-04-2006, 12:58 PM
Surely, you can't be serious ????
A New Yorker, commenting on mispronounciation???
A visitor to NYC needs a language translater book, to
be able to communicate with the locals.
Although to be fair..."yo" seems to cover many bases

Cueless Joey
06-04-2006, 01:46 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Surely, you can't be serious ????
A New Yorker, commenting on mispronounciation???
A visitor to NYC needs a language translater book, to
be able to communicate with the locals.
Although to be fair..."yo" seems to cover many bases <hr /></blockquote>
Mispronounciation is not a word. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
It's mispronunciation. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

wolfdancer
06-04-2006, 02:00 PM
sure it is...it's just misspelled
web page (http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/000291.html)

Fran Crimi
06-04-2006, 07:49 PM
Yo! I'm not kidding. Next time someone uses one of those contractions, listen to their pronunciation. It's not like they're using a slang version of the words. They really don't know how to pronounce them.

Fran

Cueless Joey
06-05-2006, 01:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Yo! I'm not kidding. Next time someone uses one of those contractions, listen to their pronunciation. It's not like they're using a slang version of the words. They really don't know how to pronounce them.

Fran <hr /></blockquote>
Kinda like Bostonians can't pronounce words ending on ER.
/ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Deeman3
06-05-2006, 05:31 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Yo! I'm not kidding. Next time someone uses one of those contractions, listen to their pronunciation. It's not like they're using a slang version of the words. They really don't know how to pronounce them.

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">Fran,

In Alabama, we are damn lucky if one out of ten knows what a contraction is. In addition, if they could get the first part of the word, I will forgive the latter. "cain't, ain't, woodent, shudent... </font color>


Deeman

Fran Crimi
06-05-2006, 05:39 AM
Hey, good one. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Actually, any word ending in 'r.' Car, bar, etc.

Fran

SnakebyteXX
06-05-2006, 05:42 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Hey, good one. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Actually, any word ending in 'r.' Car, bar, etc.

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

And some words that end in 'a'. I'll never forget President Kennedy referring over and over again to 'Cuber' when addressing the nation about the Cuban Missile Crisis.

hondo
06-05-2006, 05:51 AM
Years ago I met a guy from " da Bronx".
He told me he lived on " da cornah uv turdy
turd and turd street". I said" You live on the
corner of turdy-turd and turd street?"
He said, " Yeah. You ben dere?"



<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Surely, you can't be serious ????
A New Yorker, commenting on mispronounciation???
A visitor to NYC needs a language translater book, to
be able to communicate with the locals.
Although to be fair..."yo" seems to cover many bases <hr /></blockquote>

Fran Crimi
06-05-2006, 05:54 AM
Uh, we stopped talking like that in 1947. I think it was after the last 'Dead End Kids' film was made.

Duh...

Fran

wolfdancer
06-05-2006, 09:26 AM
Leo Gorcy and Hal Huntz....those names just popped up when I read your Dead End Kids remark...now I'll have to Google and double check.
Leo was the leader, and Hal the dumb one????
Isn't it amazing, the odd tidbits of info, that the brain stores during a lifetime?
All them movies, and never once did either get an Academy Awards nomination

wolfdancer
06-05-2006, 09:38 AM
Of all the idioms in the good old USA, I like the one from the Boston area the best. Lived there for four years,and tried to consciously acquire the dialect. Never could pass as a native though, I think it was the "r"s that gave me away.
I lived in Atlanta,Ga for about a year....they also have a neat accent, but with the nickname they gave me "Ohio", and my aversion to grits and fried bananas...I didn't even try

SnakebyteXX
06-05-2006, 10:56 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Of all the idioms in the good old USA, I like the one from the Boston area the best. Lived there for four years,and tried to consciously acquire the dialect. Never could pass as a native though, I think it was the "r"s that gave me away. <hr /></blockquote>

My wife and I travelled to Boston to visit our daughter while she was going to Law School there. On our first trip we went straight to a local restaurant from the air port. We ordered a couple of 'Garden Salads' off the menu, along with the lobster. When the waitress brought the food to the table she enquired : "Two lahbstahs and two gahd'n salads?" My Californian wife stared at her blankly having missed the silent 'r' and nearly silent 'g' and then asked:

What's a 'two gun' salad?

SnakebyteXX
06-05-2006, 11:01 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr>

<font color="blue">

In Alabama, we are damn lucky if one out of ten knows what a contraction is. In addition, if they could get the first part of the word, I will forgive the latter. "cain't, ain't, woodent, shudent... </font color>


Deeman <hr /></blockquote>

My long gone grandpa was from the Ozarks of Missour'a'. He used words like 'you-uns' and 'we-uns' fairly regularly. Having grown up around him I could understand most of his dialect but one day while working with him on his farm he turned to me and said: "Git da plars and cut da bob whar.' It took me a minute to realize that 'plars' were pliars and 'bob whar' was barbed wire, but after that everything went smoothly.

Snake

Fran Crimi
06-05-2006, 11:14 AM
Yup, Leo Gorcey and the other was Hunts Hall, I think. Without looking it up I think Leo was Mugs and Hunts was Satch.

wolfdancer
06-05-2006, 11:20 AM
Sounds like Boston.
One of my favorite restaurants there was Durgan Park
[ QUOTE ]
Durgin Park was opened over 100 years ago - a Boston restaurant famous for its chowders, Indian puddings, apple pan dowdy, johnny cake, and New England boiled dinners.

This historic Boston restaurant is notorious for its 'sharp tongued' waitstaff (designed for your humor and entertainment).
<hr /></blockquote>

You ate family style, on long tables...and I still remember an incident where the waiter brought over my order, and a Japanese tourist couple's eyes grew wide in amazement, and asked "is this for one person?"
Yeah, we were overeating in the 60's, as well
Some great schools in the Boston area...I worked in a small neighborhood bar p.t. during the day. One of the regulars didn't seem to be too bright...I thought his light had dimmed actually...then one day he came in all smiles, even splurged and bought me a beer (beer was $.15 a glass back then), and proudly announced that he had received his Doctorate in Math from M.I.T.
I used to pass by a 180 lb Ted Kennedy, on my way to my real job there.
Maybe Ted stopped in Durgan Park a few times too often

wolfdancer
06-05-2006, 11:34 AM
yer recall is much better then mine
[ QUOTE ]
The Dead End Kids were five young actors and one ex-plumber's assistant, from New York who appeared in Sidney Kingsley's play Dead End in 1935 on Broadway. They were then imported en masse to Hollywood by William Wyler in 1937 when he filmed the play, and proved to be so popular that they remained as a more or less viable entity until their final film (as the Bowery Boys) in 1958. (See Bowery for more information about this Manhattan street.)

The original kids from the play were Billy Halop, Bobby Jordan, Huntz Hall, Charles Duncan, Bernard Punsly and Gabriel Dell. Sometime during the original run, Duncan was replaced in the role of Spit by his understudy, Leo B. Gorcey, who went on to achieve fame as the resident weasel and wise guy. Gorcey later became better known as Muggs in Monogram's East Side Kids series, and as Slip Mahoney when Monogram Studios (now known as Allied Artists) changed the group to the Bowery Boys. <hr /></blockquote>
And:
The 14th of 16 children born to a New York air-conditioner repairman and his wife, Henry Richard Hall was nicknamed "Huntz" because of his Teutonic-looking nose. At the ripe old age of one year, Huntz made his stage debut in Thunder on the Left. He went on to attend New York's Professional Children's School, perform in radio programs and at least one experimental TV broadcast, and sing with a youthful quintette; the last activity came to an end when he "ruined" his voice hawking peanuts at Madison Square Garden.

9 Ball Girl
06-05-2006, 11:48 AM
Oh so true. It's one thing when I hear kids pronounce it and even worse when I hear adults pronounce the words incorrectly:

wouldn't pronounced as wou-int
couldn't pronounced as cou-int
shouldn't pronounced as shou-int

It drives me nuts too. Same for words spoken in Spanish as well.

wolfdancer
06-05-2006, 12:10 PM
I just bought this DVD camcorder.
The DVD's wouldn't play on my other equipment, and I couldn't figure out what was wrong, and thought, shouldn't I pm 9-ball girl, cause she knows everthing? There is a 150 page instructional manual that I was having a hard time reading....and was going to ask you for help....but then I realised there was also another 150 pages in English....

sack316
06-05-2006, 12:12 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Surely, you can't be serious ????
<hr /></blockquote>

Of course we are... and don't call us Shirley /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Never pass up the chance at that one! But in addition to ALL the things mentioned already, including 9BG's comment on Spanish, I still get a chuckle when someone is said to "take something for granite".

I obviously can mostly relate to Deeman on this one though since I also live in Bama... a lot of us tend to forget there are consonants in words sometimes. But then again, this is the little secret as to why we are known for always smiling and nodding at even strangers... 99% of the time that's an acceptable response to anything you may have said that we didn't understand!

"I like the way you talk... mmmmmhhmmmm"

Sack

Cueless Joey
06-05-2006, 12:24 PM
I used to sell stereo equipment.
Everytime a Bostonian came in looking for a woofer, he spat at my face. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
"I'm looking for speakahs with large woofahs".

Fran Crimi
06-05-2006, 12:50 PM
[ QUOTE ]
wouldn't pronounced as wou-int
couldn't pronounced as cou-int
shouldn't pronounced as shou-int
<hr /></blockquote>

Ugh, geez...that's even worse. I forgot about that version. It's practically barbaric or cave-man like. I saw two movies over the weekend and just off the top of my head, Hillary Duff and Jennifer Lopez both can't say the contractions right. They both use the hard double-d --- and get away with it!

Fran

nAz
06-05-2006, 12:52 PM
Damn Fran! now i'm gonna feel funny talkin ta ya next time i see ya.

wolfdancer
06-05-2006, 01:12 PM
off the topic somewhat (although I did slip it in, in replying to 9 ball girl) I found out the problem with my DVD camcorder....I do have to finalise my DVD-RW disks, to play elsewhere, and since the camcorder writes some code, each time the disk is inserted, I'm limited to 100 insertions...
Thats similiar to a pre-nupt agreement I signed some years back. hmmmmmmm!!

wolfdancer
06-05-2006, 01:15 PM
Hard double d.....'s, and they both use 'em???
What 'zactly is we talking about here?

Gayle in MD
06-05-2006, 01:43 PM
Hi Wendy,
You must REALLY go nuts when you listen to the Bush's, they don't know there is an S, in doesn't, so it ends up, dud'n. but then, they're not very "sophishicated" /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

hondo
06-05-2006, 03:59 PM
This was 1969 and I may have exaggerated a tiny bit,
okay?


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Uh, we stopped talking like that in 1947. I think it was after the last 'Dead End Kids' film was made.

Duh...

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

hondo
06-05-2006, 04:06 PM
I remember Huntz Hall, Gorcey, &amp; Jordan. Hall was a
strange one. When I took my physical for the military
the dr. looked just like Hall &amp; acted a little like him.
Scared the bejesus out of me.

Fran Crimi
06-05-2006, 05:06 PM
Well, I made up the 1947 date and yes, we New Yorkers are a bit sensitive about the toity toid and toid bit. It gets kind of old after a few decades.

Fran

9 Ball Girl
06-05-2006, 06:33 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr>shouldn't I pm 9-ball girl, cause she knows everthing?<hr /></blockquote>Yes. Yes I do. In addition, from now on, you and only you shall address me as God. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

hondo
06-06-2006, 04:44 AM
Sorry, Fran. I'm from West Virginia and I forget
sometimes that other folks don't have the same
thick skin as us mountaineers.
You know why Jesus couldn't have been born in
West Virginia? They couldn't find 3 wise men &amp;
a virgin. We don't marry virgins here because if
they ain't good enough for their daddy they ain't
good enough for us. The FBI can't find a criminal
from West Virginia cause we all got the same DNA.
ETC. ETC.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> Well, I made up the 1947 date and yes, we New Yorkers are a bit sensitive about the toity toid and toid bit. It gets kind of old after a few decades.

Fran <hr /></blockquote>

9 Ball Girl
06-06-2006, 05:58 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote hondo:</font><hr>cause we all got the same DNA.
ETC. ETC.<hr /></blockquote>Nuthin' beats lovin' like marryin' your cousin!

Fran Crimi
06-06-2006, 06:07 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I'm from West Virginia and I forget
sometimes that other folks don't have the same
thick skin as us mountaineers.
<hr /></blockquote>


Sure, no prob. We're just a bunch of lil' ol' wimps here trying to survive in the Big Apple. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

But the REAL question is, do you know how to parallel park? Oh, and here's a better one...can you parallel park on the DRIVER's side? Now THAT's what separates the weak from the strong around here, buddy.

Fran ~~ expert parallel parker

hondo
06-06-2006, 06:52 AM
Yep. I'm pretty good at parallel parking.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
I'm from West Virginia and I forget
sometimes that other folks don't have the same
thick skin as us mountaineers.
<hr /></blockquote>


Sure, no prob. We're just a bunch of lil' ol' wimps here trying to survive in the Big Apple. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

But the REAL question is, do you know how to parallel park? Oh, and here's a better one...can you parallel park on the DRIVER's side? Now THAT's what separates the weak from the strong around here, buddy.

Fran ~~ expert parallel parker <hr /></blockquote>

SPetty
06-06-2006, 07:56 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Fran Crimi:</font><hr>But the REAL question is, do you know how to parallel park? Oh, and here's a better one...can you parallel park on the DRIVER's side? Now THAT's what separates the weak from the strong around here, buddy.

Fran ~~ expert parallel parker <hr /></blockquote>OMG - I'll vouch for that!!! I've never seen anyone parallel park as well as Fran. Never Ever. She put her car in a space on the driver's side with literally inches to spare on each end, without touching either car. I've never seen anything like it - even though I experienced it I still don't believe it! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

eg8r
06-06-2006, 09:11 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Sorry, Fran. I'm from West Virginia and I forget
sometimes that other folks don't have the same
thick skin as us mountaineers. <hr /></blockquote> You also forget how "thin-skinned" you were when a certain stereotype of West Virginia was used in a discussion on this board. OK for you not OK for other.

eg8r

hondo
06-06-2006, 09:14 AM
Nope. Don't remember that, egg.


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
Sorry, Fran. I'm from West Virginia and I forget
sometimes that other folks don't have the same
thick skin as us mountaineers. <hr /></blockquote> You also forget how "thin-skinned" you were when a certain stereotype of West Virginia was used in a discussion on this board. OK for you not OK for other.

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>

wolfdancer
06-06-2006, 10:12 AM
C,mon....I'm pretty gullible, and believe most anything that people say.....but a woman that's good at parallel parking????
I'm going to go over to that "urban legends" site, and check that story out.

Deeman3
06-06-2006, 10:29 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> C,mon....I'm pretty gullible, and believe most anything that people say.....but a woman that's good at parallel parking????
I'm going to go over to that "urban legends" site, and check that story out. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Maybe a little off topic but I think that's the only reason they are still funneling some Homeland Security Funds to NYC, Fran's parallel parking ability. I am certainly shocked to see NYC demand a bigger portion of the pork in this program as there are much more deserving places, such as Luverne, Alabama who need the funds more. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif No, our women can't parallel park, but we sure have enough places to park without aquiring those skills. We are seeing more Islamics in convienence stores and even a few who are infiltrating the hotels. We can't take proper action without billions and billions in greenbacks. As a liberal hotbed (aside from Fran and a very few others), NYC certainly no longer has any threat, any more than say, Canada. It is also important to remember that between you and Mexico, is Luverne, Alabama! It's NYC's first line of defense in a way.

As well, unlike the gun shy north, we have the means and capability to defend ourselves. Note the lack of any successful terrorist activity so far in Luverne.

I ask for all your support in the transfer of funds to our first line of defense, Luverne, Alabama.</font color>

Deeman
brought to you by the Luverne, Alabama Chamber of Commerce /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

wolfdancer
06-06-2006, 11:06 AM
LOL !!! Didn't I read somewhere
"As Luverne goes, so goes the nation"?

eg8r
06-06-2006, 11:22 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Nope. Don't remember that, egg.
<hr /></blockquote> Never thought you would admit to it anyways. I did a quick search and while this is not the exact instance I was looking for, this will do. Below is a copy of the discussion (hopefully you will see how quickly you jumped in with a defense of stereotyping)... <blockquote><font class="small">Quote hondo:</font><hr> EGG, you are absolutely right. I haven't
been this gloomy &amp; doomy since LBJ &amp; Nixon
were in office. I keep telling myself that
they both are bad but everytime I see bush
smirking &amp; strutting &amp; I think about that
nutty war I get really, really depressed.
I hear you guys spouting all this right
wing bs on here but it just doesn't ring
true to this ole West Virginia boy...( <font color="blue"> you carried on some more but it is irrelevant to this discussion. </font color> )
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> I hear you guys spouting all this right
wing bs on here but it just doesn't ring
true to this ole West Virginia boy. ( <font color="blue">All I did in this response was quote your text verbatim but highlight WV boy </font color> )
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote hondo:</font><hr> [And your point??? Oh, wait, I get it. West Virginia,
i.e dumb hick. Typical response from elitist
right wingers. Are you checking this out, Landshark?
<hr /></blockquote> <hr /></blockquote> <hr /></blockquote>
So there you have it, it is OK to add stereotypical remarks, just as long as they are not pointed at a thin-skinned West Virginia boy who later in life refers to himself a "thick-skinned mountaineer".

No harm, just calling it out as I see it, keeping everyone honest. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r

9 Ball Girl
06-06-2006, 11:40 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr>.....but a woman that's good at parallel parking????<hr /></blockquote>Oh Wolfie, you've gotta come to NY more often!

wolfdancer
06-06-2006, 12:26 PM
Dear God (that's you, as commanded) I've been there about 12 times, and managed to escape with my life, each time, but why tempt fate.
There was the time we were in a movie theatre, and the local gang thought we were from a rival gang, and ready to do us in...but we showed them our Military ID's
and the time we were stranded in Harlem, late at night, without $$
and the worst of all was when I was hitchhiking to NYC, and there was a big convention, and I was picked up by people going to the gathering...Jehovah's Witnesses....who decided it was their duty to convert me. I wasn't sure then if human sacrifice was part of the initiation, I feared for my life, and agreed to join...lol
Throwing up on the Staten Island Ferry was another high lite....at least they didn't throw me overboard.
Another time we were pressed to make airplane connections, and our limo driver trying to be a tour guide, had us going thru a tunnel one way during rush hour, when we was supposed to be going thru the other tunnel the opposite way.
Had to stay overnite at some dumpy motel at $90+ without locks on the door.
but the next day while in the line for food at the airport Cafeteria....JFK Jr was just two places in front of me....so i was able to tell all my friends that I had lunch with John John...
well its' a great city, except for the weather, the traffic, the rents, the housing,the parking, the.....

hondo
06-06-2006, 04:31 PM
weak, egg, very weak.


<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
Nope. Don't remember that, egg.
<hr /></blockquote> Never thought you would admit to it anyways. I did a quick search and while this is not the exact instance I was looking for, this will do. Below is a copy of the discussion (hopefully you will see how quickly you jumped in with a defense of stereotyping)... <blockquote><font class="small">Quote hondo:</font><hr> EGG, you are absolutely right. I haven't
been this gloomy &amp; doomy since LBJ &amp; Nixon
were in office. I keep telling myself that
they both are bad but everytime I see bush
smirking &amp; strutting &amp; I think about that
nutty war I get really, really depressed.
I hear you guys spouting all this right
wing bs on here but it just doesn't ring
true to this ole West Virginia boy...( <font color="blue"> you carried on some more but it is irrelevant to this discussion. </font color> )
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> I hear you guys spouting all this right
wing bs on here but it just doesn't ring
true to this ole West Virginia boy. ( <font color="blue">All I did in this response was quote your text verbatim but highlight WV boy </font color> )
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote hondo:</font><hr> [And your point??? Oh, wait, I get it. West Virginia,
i.e dumb hick. Typical response from elitist
right wingers. Are you checking this out, Landshark?
<hr /></blockquote> <hr /></blockquote> <hr /></blockquote>
So there you have it, it is OK to add stereotypical remarks, just as long as they are not pointed at a thin-skinned West Virginia boy who later in life refers to himself a "thick-skinned mountaineer".

No harm, just calling it out as I see it, keeping everyone honest. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>

eg8r
06-07-2006, 10:07 AM
Just calling an ace and ace. You were not so thick-skinned back then, maybe the mountaineer in your grew up and took over. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

It is real easy to say, "Nope don't remember that", it takes only a couple seconds with the search tool jog that "memory" of yours.

eg8r

wolfdancer
06-09-2006, 09:57 AM
English &amp;
How It Got That Way
Bill Bryson

We pronounce many words --- perhaps most --- in ways that are considerably at variance with the ways they are spelled and often even more so with the ways we think we are saying them. We may believe we say "later" but in fact we say "lader. " We may think we say "ladies," but it's more probably "laties" or even, in the middle of a busy sentence, "lays." Handbag comes out as "hambag. " We think we say "butter," but it's really "budder" or "buddah" or even "bu'r. " We see wash, but say "worsh. " We think we say "granted," but really say "grannid." No one says "looked." It's "lookt." "I'll just get her" becomes "aldges gedder. " We constantly allow sounds to creep into words where they have no real business. We introduce a "p" between "m" and "t" or "m" and "s" sounds, so that we really say "warmpth" and "somepthing." We can't help ourselves. We similarly put a "t" between "n" and "s" sounds, which is why it is nearly impossible for us to distinguish between mints and mince or between prints and prince....

We tend to slur those things most familiar to us, particularly place-names. Australians will tell you they come from "Stralia," while Torontoans will tell you they come from "Tronna." In Iowa it's "Iwa" and in Ohio it's "Hia." People from Milwaukee say they're from "Mwawkee." In Louisville it's "Loovul," in Newark it's "Nerk," and in Indianapolis it's "Naplus." People in Philadelphia don't come from there; they come from "Fuhluffia." The amount of slurring depends on the degree of familiarity and frequency with which the word is spoken. The process is well illustrated by the street in London called Marylebone Road. Visitors from abroad often misread it as "Marleybone." Provincial Britons tend to give it its full phonetic value: "Mary-luh-bone." Londoners are inclined to slur it to "Mairbun" or something similar while those who live or work along it slur it even further to something not far off "Mbn."

For the record, when bits are nicked off the front end of words it's called aphesis, when off the back it's called apocope, and when from the middle it's syncope. A somewhat extreme example of the process is the naval shortening of forecastle to fo'c'sle, but the tendency to compress is as old as language itself. Daisy was once day's eye, good-bye was God-be-with-you, hello was (possibly) whole-be-thou, shepherd was sheep herd, lord was loafward, every was everich, fortnight (a word curiously neglected in America) was fourteen-night.

The British, who are noted for their clipped diction, are particularly good at lopping syllables off words as if with a sword, turning immediately into "meejutly," necessary into "nessree," library into "libree." The process was brought to a kind of glorious consummation with a word that is now all but dead --- halfpennyworth. With the disappearance in the 1980s of the halfpenny (itself neatly hacked down in spoken British to hapenee), the English are now denied the rich satisfaction of compressing halfpennyworth into haypth. They must instead content themselves with giving their place-names a squeeze --- turning Barnoldswick into "Barlick," Wymondham into "Windum," Cholmondeston into "Chumson."

We Americans like to think our diction more precise. To be sure, we do give full value to each syllable in words like necessary, immediate, dignatory, lavatory, and (very nearly) laboratory. On the other hand, we more freely admit a dead schwa into -ile words such as fragile, hostile, and mobile (though not, perversely, into infantile and mercantile) where the British are, by contrast, scrupulously phonetic. And both of us, I would submit, are equally prone to slur phrases --- though not necessarily the same ones. Where the British will say howjado for "how do you do," an American will say jeetjet for "have you taken sustenance recently?" and lesskweet for "in that case, let us retire to a convivial place for a spot of refreshment."

This tendency to compress and mangle words was first formally noted in a 1949 New Yorker article by one John Davenport who gave it the happy name of Slurvian. In American English, Slurvian perhaps reaches its pinnacle in Baltimore, a city whose citizens have long had a particular gift for chewing up the most important vowels, consonants, and even syllables of most words and converting them into a kind of verbal compost, to put it in the most charitable terms possible. In Baltimore (pronounced Balamer), an eagle is an "iggle," a tiger is a "tagger," water is "wooder," a power mower is a "paramour," a store is a "stewer," clothes are clays, orange juice is "amjoos," a bureau is a "beero," and the Orals are of course the local baseball team. Whole glossaries have been composed to help outsiders interpret these and the many hundreds of other terms that in Baltimore pass for English. Baltimoreans may be masters at this particular art, but it is one practiced to a greater or lesser degree by people everywhere.

All of this is by way of coming around to the somewhat paradoxical observation that we speak with remarkable laxness and imprecision and yet manage to express ourselves with wondrous subtlety --- and simply breathtaking speed. In normal conversation we speak at a rate of about 300 syllables a minute. To do this we force air up through the larynx --- or supralaryngeal vocal tract, to be technical about it --- and, by variously pursing our lips and flapping our tongue around in our mouth rather in the manner of a freshly landed fish, we shape each passing puff of air into a series of loosely differentiated plosives, fricatives, gutturals, and other minor atmospheric disturbances. These emerge as a more or less continuous blur of sound. People don't talk like this, theytalklikethis. Syllables, words, sentences run together like a watercolor left in the rain. To understand what anyone is saying to us we must separate these noises into words and the words into sentences so that we might in our turn issue a stream of mixed sounds in response. If what we say is suitably apt and amusing, the listener will show his delight by emitting a series of uncontrolled high-pitched noises, accompanied by sharp intakes of breath of the sort normally associated with a seizure or heart failure. And by these means we converse. Talking, when you think about it, is a very strange business indeed.

And yet we achieve the process effortlessly. We absorb and interpret spoken sounds more or less instantaneously. If I say to "Which do you like better, peas or carrots?" it will take you on average less than a fifth of a second --- the length of an eye blink --- to interpret the question, consider the relative merits of the two vegetables, and formulate a reply. We repeat this process hundreds of times a day, generally with such speed that often we have our answer ready before the person has even finished the question. As listeners we can distinguish between the most subtle gradations of emphasis. Most people, if they are reasonably attentive, can clearly detect the difference between that's tough and that stuff, between I love you and isle of view, and between gray day and Grade A even though the phonics could hardly be more similar.

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