Friday, April 15, 2011

What Happened to the Letter 'T'?

I don't think I'm an old fuddy duddy, not yet anyway. I'm not obsessive about the English language, or anal whatever that means. Language is a living, evolving thing and we should cherish that. But certain things grate with me, others really do make me pissed off.

One thing that gets me is that really annoying upward inflection at the end of sentences. It makes every statement sound like a question and I'm not sure whether it's people just watching too much Aussie or American TV or a politically correct fear of sounding too assertive. That is linked to people who do that silly quote sign around words with their fingers. Why don't they do full stops, commas, exclamation marks and others too?

Then there's abuse of the word 'like'. "He was like, err, and I was like, errr?" I read a cracking letter some time ago in the Telegraph about that. A woman was on the train to Salisbury and a girl, as the train pulled in asked: "Is this like Salisbury?" to which the woman replied: "No dear, it's not like Salisbury, it is Salisbury".

But what has been really bugging me lately is the dropping of the letter 't'. Butter becomes 'bu'er'. Twitter becomes 'Twi'er'. I hope that makes it clear, you must be aware of it if you are not a hermit. The other day I heard a singer being interviewed who did it all the time, even saying 'a all' instead of 'at all' which sounded like it took real effort to mispronounce, much more effort than just pronouncing it properly.

But the worst for it is Ed Milibandroid. He pisses me off anyway without speaking. But when he opens his gob and I hear that 't-less' drone it makes me determined to work as hard as I can to ensure he never steps foot in 10 Downing Street. I think you should too.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Agreed. But...

The emphasis at end of sentence is officially referred to as "Australian Question Intonation" and has been around for a at least a decade.

I didn't notice dropped T's had become more common.

"Like" is incredibly annoying (especially when used to mean "said"), but what's worse is people who use the wrong past tense and say "I've gone" instead of "I went", you missed that off the list. That's a new phenomenon - perhaps it's more common in South East and hasn't made it's way up to you yet?

Gregg said...

Why the bloody apostrophe in your second sentence?!!!!

Good to hear from you Mark, hope all's well. By the way, I do want to follow you on Twitter but can you stop those messages asking me to join your Mafia family?


Peter Metcalfe said...

'OSSERs an WA's all!

Gregg said...

Pras oo! Youz worry's me some'imes Pe'er.

Mark Wadsworth said...

GB, yes, you asked me about those Mafia family things before but either a) it wasn't me or b) you invited me and it somehow pinged back to you. I have no idea how to turn it off again.