I don’t have pet peeves; I have whole kennels of irritation.
~ Whoopi Goldberg (born:1955-11-13 age:61)
DefenceAs a poet, there is only one political duty and that is to defend one’s language from corruption.
~ Wystan Hugh Auden (born:1907-02-21 died:1973-09-29 at age:66)
This was my Mom’s biggie too, so I came by it honestly. Speech is for clear communication. The rules of pronunciation are arbitrary and there is no reason they should not change but changes should enhance intelligibility and they should not create exceptions to phonetic spelling without valid justification. As English becomes the world international language, it is especially important to work toward standard pronunciation with as close a match between written and verbal forms. When people pronounce sloppily, dropping or changing letters, they are attempting to evolve the language in the opposite direction into incompatible regional dialects, with ever more complex pronunciation rules. I think one should endeavour to enunciate clearly. In particular, errors in pronunciation that make English even less than phonetic that it already is grate. Shifting vowels slightly cause no problem, but dropping letters or collapsing two letters onto the same sound does. Perhaps when people are just learning to speak they mispronounce words and parents encourage them to err because they think it cute. Some of the common errors that set my teeth on edge include:
Online stores refuse to tell you that they will not ship to Canada, do not take PayPal, only sell to businesses… only after you have filled your shopping cart and filled out your billing and shipping data. They gain nothing by this. It is pure spite.
Some of the common errors that grate include:
It bugs me when caller after caller takes time out at the beginning of each call in a radio phone in show to request after the health of the host, and to volunteer they are fine, even if they sound at death’s door.
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