Shtraighten up!

Over the course of this past weekend I’ve had a chance to chat with numerous people, listening to a few people speak. I’ve been to the dentist, church, visited with mom, went to the movies, talked with friends- different spots where I’ve come in contact with lots of different people. I’ve been noticing the way people speak, and the phrases they’re using, and frankly it’s ridiculous. So here’s a rant…

Straight, street, strike, strenuous. Say them out loud. Did you say shtraight, shtreet, shtrike, shtrenous? If you did, do you realize there is no SH in any of these words? Do people other than New Yorkers pronounce this way?

Bottle, butter, better. Say them out loud. Did you put ANY sound in the middle representing the double “t?” I can’t even spell how the person I ran into this weekend pronounced these words. They totally eliminated the double “t”, and produced a “back of the throat” kind of spasm of a sound. I know this pronunciation is not unique to this person because my parents pronounce it that way too. Even the typical NY way- “boddle” and “budda” is bedda than eliminating the middle sound completely. Must be a Queens thing?

Three, threat, thrash. Say them out loud. Did you forget that there is a TH sound in the beginning of these words? Makes it confusing when one says ” I saw him trashing around on the ground,” when one means “I saw him THRASHING around on the ground.” I KNOW this is a New Yawk way of speaking.

Truck, Train, Trade. Say them out loud. Did you say “Chruck, Chrain, Chrade?” It’s a slight mis-pronunciation, but one that might cause the listener to think you’re uneducated. And that’s not the case in the people I heard these from! They ARE educated people. Is it laziness?

What is coming up this Saturday? February 14th? What? How did you pronounce it? If you said “Valentime’s Day” you’re not getting a card from me. Hallmark spells it with an “N”. It’s not TIME for a VALENTINE! Get it right. You sound stoopid. Likewise LIBERRY. No such word.

“Not for nothing…” (or, more commonly, “Not f’nothin’…”) What exactly does this phrase mean? Supposedly, it means “for a good reason”, but the way I hear people use it- it’s almost like a an announcement that what is going to be said is very important. More important than anything I have to say. Chances are if you said this phrase nothing is that important.

“It is what it is…” If I hear one more person say this I’m going to scream. What a dismissive phrase! I find it’s said mostly when one wants to end the conversation. It’s funny- I can track the usage of this phrase around my office. One of the contractors started saying it, then the Project Manager who deals with him started saying it, then our receptionist started saying it, now one of the temps says it. I like Urban Dictionary’s 3rd definition of this phrase- “Used often in the business world, this incredibly versatile phrase can be literally translated as ‘F*ck it.'” What, don’t want to over think what we’re talking about? Don’t dismiss me, damn it! UD’s 5th definition sums up what I feel when I hear this phrase-” What incredibly vapid, stupid and unoriginal people say when they cannot construct a proper thought, retort or sentence.” Amen.

Lol! OMG! And other spoken text-speak nonsense… It’s funny the first few times you use it. When you start to use it to replace real English- not so funny.

I’m not saying that I speak perfect English. I’m well read, but often mispronounce words that I’ve only seen in print. Correct me, please. I don’t want to sound like an idiot.

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