Friday Open Thread

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”

–Andy Warhol


24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Senator Bennet [D-WallSt] has increased his polling in Iowa to 3x Williamson and has tied Delaney.

    I guess America is not looking for a "leave everything as it is, let Wall St continue to suck all the money out of the economy" kind of guy this time around.

    The good news for Bennet is Democratic primary voters will continue to vote against their economic self-interest and keep him as their Senator.

  2. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    OK…Enough is enough.

    I am sick, sick I tell you, of listening to young people (particularly young women) swallowing Ts when they utter words like "mountain" or "important".

    Moun'ain is not a word. It is imporTant that a plosive is used to pronounce words like "fountain". When and where did this awful habit begin? Is there some purpose behind it?

    My request to all lovers of language…If you hear someone swallow the T in word like mountain…SHAME THEM! Threaten them with scorn and censure. Call their Mom.

    Whatever it takes.

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      On the other hand, never pronounce the "t" in "often".  It's "off-unn" not "off-ton."

       we all need a cause, Duke.

    • This "awful habit" has been around for a while but has only recently been studied in the United States. It seems to be more prevalent in the moun'ainous West, and, as you observe, is more prevalent in young females. Interestingly, the one study I found ("T-Glottalization in American English", Eddington and Taylor, American Speech, Vol 84, No 3, Fall 2009) seemed to indicate that there is apparently not much social stigma to T-glottalization. Maybe you can start a trend?

      (although, after reading this, I discover that I do indeed say "moun'ain" quite frequently, and I am neither younger nor female, but I do have quite a few younger females in my immediate family)

    • Mike W. says:

      About 400 years ago in south England and Scotland. Didn't so much spread to the US as entered the lexicon out of convenience. No one actually needs to hear the 'T' in those words to get the meaning. Heard it from young and old, all across the Southwest. 

      • I agree. My wife also says “moun’ain”. We are both originally from the Southwest. It's highfalutin to prounounce the "T" in "highfalutin." Makes one sound like one of those mid-century Trans-Atlantic accent actors.

      • kwtreekwtree says:

        As English teachers, we try to help students to choose the appropriate “register” for communications: (informal, formal business, debate speak, poetic, lyrical, dramatic storytelling, etc). 
        So in general, dialect and pronunciation are less important than speaking for  the purpose and audience chosen.

        Most immigrant students pick up on this quickly, as their home languages also have different registers. But when I teach ESL to English learners, we focus on learning standard regionless pronunciation and spelling, before they learn all the different dialects and pronunciations. Dialects are tough for English learners. 

        We acknowledge that there are regional dialects. Colorado has one:  ( the dropped t in mountain, ending “ing” words with ‘in’, occasionally making one vowel at the end of a word sound like two,or pronouncing every diacritic vowel pair, and speaking slowly and carefully are features of our regional speech.) Accents and dialects make our language lovely and rich, and we should know and treasure them. 

        Not everyone needs to lose his/her accent and talk like a newscaster



    • dan axelrod says:

      cunnent, wunnet, dinnent. I've heard newscasters doing this. Drives me up the wall. 

    • Mr. L. Prosser says:

      Are these the same nits who end every sentence with a rising inflection? We hates them.

      • MADCO says:

        the same.

        Also the ones who use a question mark if they include the word wonder in a declarative sentence.
        I wonder if they ever studied English. Or I wonder if they ever read a book.

    • MADCO says:

      If you are saying what I think you are saying – you win.

      I was thinking a red flag-like law or make my day-like law. The former would make it necessary to lock them up. The latter… well we could kill them.

      Now, I probably wouldn't, but I would like to know I have the choice, ekspecially if they may be raising small children .

    • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

      While we're at it, the practice of dropping the infinitive form "to be" needs ended.

  3. Powerful Pear says:

    Thank you Mayor Alfred E Newman! I support the Mayor on decriminalization of all drugs, as long as we decriminalize all weapons. I’ve always wanted an M60 machine gun, BAR and of course an automatic M14. My ownership of any of these weapons will not cost one human life, the same can not be said about the Mayor’s drug policy.

  4. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    What a bunch of funny folks. 

    I do want to point out that I have never cared an iota how anyone speaks at their kitchen table. I often let out my southern accent for all to hear, but when you decide to step in front of a camera…that is different. I have a plea to all small market broadcast journalists…

    I learned from Walter Cronkite, Hugh Downs, and so many other TV reporters and announcers how to use and appreciate the English language. I know it is hard…but they are paying you.

    Leave your lazy language at the kitchen table…you are a professional, act like it. Learn to speak English as though it is important…it is.

    Quoting from the film, "the Last Emperor"…

    "In order to be a gentleman, you must mean what you say. In order to mean what you say, you must say what you mean."

    I still think it is important…not impor'ant.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Things all started going wrong when Americans quit using “thee” and “thou” and “thy” and “thine” . . .

      . . . and generally just stopped speaking proper English. Like Jesus did. In the real Bible.

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