Lazy Lips? Or What?

@Maggiepie (7821)
United States
September 27, 2010 6:21am CST
Am I the only one who's noticed how sloppy speech in the U.S. has become? People dropping whole syllables, & I'm talking about supposed "professional" speakers! It's actually becoming difficult to understand some folks! It's one thing to show non-pros mumbling in an interview, say, & the station having to use captioning so the audience can understand the mumbler's "English," but when ads, newscasters & chat show hosts, or radio announcers slur through their (often grammatically-mangled) sentences, it's appalling! Take two examples. The first is a woman who is a news commentator. She speaks so rapidly she is already hard to understand, but worse, she says things such as "proms," when the word has two syllables: problems. I think the one that gets to me the most, however, is this second example. It's not just one speaker, but a host of them--& especially egregious are they whose careers are IN Social Security...they don't say, "social," but "sosh." It rhymes with the first syllable of "kosher." So one constantly hears about "SOSHeCURity (one word!)." The speaker never takes the fraction of a second to pronounce the "ial," nor does he or she pause before saying "security." Maybe it's not a crime, but dang it makes my brain itch! So...have you noticed this? Whom do you blame? Bad teachers? Ignorant parents who say it the same way, or don't correct such errors? Or are the speakers merely lazy? Perhaps you can think of another reason? Does this bug you? Maggiepie "The difference between the almost-right word & the right word is really a large matter; it's the difference between the lightning-bug & the lightning." ~ Mark Twain
4 people like this
11 responses
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
27 Sep 10
Haven't heard Soshsecurity here. Have heard fab for fabulous a lot. Canadians drop all kinds of parts of speech in both French and English, so we're used to it. Our trained anchors on the news are much better than the untrained ones. The ones who practice the news bulletins before they read them are much better than the ones who read them off the cuff. I worked for a news station. The more people work at something, the better they get at it. The less they work at something, the worse they get at it, it's that way with any profession. Also, there is a push to make people speak faster to get more news in so they may end up either abbreviating or slurring their words. Plus all this texting stuff is messing a lot of things up. Kids can communicate wtih abbreviations so they don't want to speak or write full words. Take care.
• United States
27 Sep 10
Speed-speaking drives me nuts! Whenever my daughter reads scriptures aloud, I have to constantly tell her to slow down. I don't listen that fast! I have noticed this trend in the younger generation, however. It bothers me when I'm in a class at church, for example, and the person giving the prayer or commenting on the lesson is rattling off her words like a jackhammer! It makes me want to scream! Why the PTBs would encourage newscasters to speed-speak is beyond me. If they want to put more news out, they should just make the show longer.Yet another reason I don't watch or listen to news shows. COMMUNICATION, People! Communication! Speed-speaking does NOT in ANY WAY communicate!
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
27 Sep 10
Maggiepie, I know that some of opur news anchors sat in the extra office going over words and going over the news they were about to read over and over again. We don't have anyone that is difficult to understand. We don't have anyone with a speech impediment, my husband thinks we do, but he needs a hearing aid that he was wearing for a while, but isn't now. When's the last time you had your hearing checked?
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
1 Oct 10
ALASKANRAY: I hear you! LOL! I wonder every time I catch that reporter's show how she was hired. It can only be for the same reason I put up with her--she is really really good at ferreting out news! It doesn't help that she's also rather nasal, so she's really hard to take for more than a few minutes. I really only go to her show when I've heard she's going to cover a topic in which I'm interested. My little church is blessed with excellent speakers. I love the sermons. Not only do the priests speak splendid English, they happen to present many facts about Scripture & Church history which fascinate me. every sermon is a lesson on several levels! Maggiepie Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted. -Jules Renard, author (1864-1910)
• United States
27 Sep 10
I try not to let it bother me anymore. After all I have no cotrol over it. I was laughing when I first started reading this because one time I was livingin Miami and this grown woman said to her child. I am finna go to da store. I was shocked as it was my first time heaing such bad speech to a child from an adult. I asked how could she do that she said it is easier to speak when you do it that way. Well one day my daughter came to m in front of people nd said she finna something. And without thinking my hand landed on her mouth and I was telling her I bet not ever hear that out of he mouth again. I really think it has a lot to do with how others speak around you.
2 people like this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
27 Sep 10
Good for you, mom! Of course! It has everything to do with your associations with those around you, but that's what parents & teachers are for: to help strip away the errors, to teach us how to do better. If we were all as weird as that "finna" mother, how would we communicate? Isn't that the entire purpose of properly-spoken words--that we might communicate--& understand--one another? Otherwise, we could just make up our own personal language, & be understood only when we & our families commingle! It really is exasperating. I think this has to be the result, at least partly, of the "do your own thing" mentality of the 60s. Sigh. You're right, however, that we have no control over it. I'm forever being annoyed by things I can't fix. I blame it on my curmudgeon gene. All that's left to me is the occasional vent, like the one above. I guess I just put a little too much faith in the "hundredth monkey" theory, thinking that if enough people could just be aware of it, then they could make a difference. It's hell being an armchair linguist in a culture which doesn't share my respect for good grammar, punctuation, spelling & pronunciation. I almost wish my school teachers hadn't taught me the right way to do it all, because these days, no-one--apparently not even most teachers--think it matters any more! What am I going to do with all this knowledge now? Maybe I'm a bit jealous that today's speakers don't care about Latin or Greek influences, how to make proper plurals ("CurriculumS" instead of "curricuLA" hurt my brains, let alone "octopusses!")...oh, you know. I need suggestions for how to join the care-free society we now live in, where "anything goes," & how not to have nightmares of all my teachers spinning in their graves, knowing that the things for which they had such a passion are now meaningless. Before I leave, here are two more common samples of lazy lips: feb-u-wary, (Feb-RU-ary) & dubyuh (double-u). Sigh. Again. I'm finna go now. Maggiepie Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted. -Jules Renard, author (1864-1910)
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Sep 10
LOL...Maggie, I am still cringing whenever I hear the term "Diss"...even though I, myself have been known to give in and use it when communicating with the younger generation. I, too, have a hard time listening to anyone who speed-speaks and slurs their words. I remember in school reading in my English book the term "Slurvian" which refers to this tendency. It was bastardized back then. When did it become legitimized?
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
1 Oct 10
ALASKANRAY: I've not heard of "slurvian." Is it a legitimate word, or one coined in parody of those who "speed-speak" (LOVE that term!), & slur? Oh, last night I heard another person on TV--male this time--who said "proms" instead of problems. Do you think this might be a regional thing? As, yes, "diss." I, too, cringe at that, but then, I'm still cringing when I hear "party" used as a verb... Ditto for "my bad." {c r i n g e } It's an uphill battle, but I choose to fight it, because I love our language! Maggiepie Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted. -Jules Renard, author (1864-1910)
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
27 Sep 10
Really hadnt noticed I guess our brains do the correction as it has gone on so long . COuldbe this is they way they have heard it al thier life andjust natural for them to say it that way but then to they could just be lazy!
2 people like this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
27 Sep 10
If they've always heard it this way, what does that say for the quality of their teachers, who should've corrected them? I remember teachers doing that. One regional word which was under fire from teachers--teachers who'd came from that region, yet learned better than to allow it in students--was "complected." It was used thus: "Alice gets out in the sun a lot more than I do, so that's why I'm so pale, while she is more dark-complected." Obviously one correct way to say this is: "...she has a darker complexion than I do." Now, I guess teachers celebrate the incorrect, in order not to hurt the students' self esteem. But I wonder what happens when they try to get a job in a good company, & are held back, not merely by regionalisms (though some brand one as a "hick" in certain places), but lazy lips? I did sometimes have to suffer teachers who were terrible at their craft due to such faults, but most of them used to strive to get students to perfect their speech. I never thought quality would become "out of date." Maggiepie Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted. -Jules Renard, author (1864-1910)
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60884)
• United States
27 Sep 10
Yeah, these things bother you more than they bother me, but I do agree that it does become an issue when the person becomes hard to understand
2 people like this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
27 Sep 10
Mornin,' L'Elic! Why are we up, hey? Actually, I didn't get on all that long ago. Better make it a BIG coffee today! :o) Yes, I do care more than you about this, though it is a mystery why, as you're a writer, too, & words are our tools! One should always take good care of one's tools, yes? You know the woman of whom I write--Greta? Listen to her some time & see for yourself what I mean. See ya in 45 minutes or so, hun! And you had better have rested well over the weekend, as per Dr. Crouch's orders!! Love & cyberhugs, Magpie
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
27 Sep 10
Wanting to be "cool"?
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
1 Oct 10
It's probably just geezerhood galloping up on me, but I'm beginning to think "cool" may be over-rated... Maggiepie “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” ~ Sherlock Holmes (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
1 Oct 10
"beginning to think"?
• Pamplona, Spain
1 Oct 10
Hiya Maggie, Proms is that what she shortens it to instead of saying problems? Well not everyone is going to know what she is talking about. I would be one of those if I was listening to her and heard her say "Proms" I would think she was talking about the Proms in England where they used to have Shows on the Seaside Piers and all that. Tongue tied she must be indeed poor Woman maybe they give her too much to read at a time. It could also be that she holds down another Job somewhere else say doing the same thing and the stress is getting to her. We have that kind of problem too and not only in the way they say things in the way they explain things for example if they tell you the middle of the page they usually mean the bottom of the page. Okay this is a bit of Joke I´m telling you as I was asked to sign in the middle of a Form and then she literally screamed out I said at the bottom of the page and I said okay I am not deaf or daft. Things one has to put up with I suppose next time all she will get is a big smile from me ear to ear. I usually check where I have to sign but she made me rush so much I forgot myself and planted my signature in the middle of the Form (grin). Our Newsreaders are not perfect but they are not allowed to use shortened words thank goodness at least not yet. The Presenters do it a lot also but you know what they are talking about because you have already learned their way of speaking without wanting to.
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
4 Oct 10
My first thought was, "Why is she asking this senator about high school dances?" (We Colonists use "prom" to identify the graduation celebration. It's short for promenade.) I really am wondering if she has a speech impediment. Even so, it's strange that the most major cable news network would put her in front, if that is the prom. Er..probLEM... She doesn't only report, though; she's also a commentator & interviewer. I like that she never throws soft-ball questions, ala Barbara Walters. Not deaf or daft! Hee! I'll have to remember that one! Cute. The thing is, she may have a speech impediment, but I think the lion's share of reporters & speakers now-a-days are just guilty of sloppy diction, & grammar. One can bend the rules for the sake of certain prose (e.g., the marvelous split infinitive in the opening lines of Star Trek's episodes: "...to boldly go where no-one has gone before..." Putting that in correct grammatical form would leach all the wonder & poetry out of it!). Rule of thumb, for me, is: Before you break the rules...know the rules. Maggiepie "Life is hard. It's harder if you're stupid." ~ John Wayne
@quita88 (3716)
• United States
28 Sep 10
Exasperating isn't it ??? We are taught to speak correctly, enunciate properly and here we are in the 21st century hearing ignorant tho socially upright(supposedly)public speakers talking like they just feel out of nasty nickle barrel and are half whacko !! That is my opinion !
1 person likes this
@jerzgirl (8013)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
28 Sep 10
I can't stand it. It goes along with spelling things like you say them (are instead of our, for example). It's laziness, pure and simple, combined with a teaching style that says "as long as you get your point across, no correction is necessary". Ridiculous!!
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
1 Oct 10
Amen!
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
27 Sep 10
Hey Maggie, HAVEN'T SEEN U AROUND IN AWHILE. hOPE THINGS ARE GOOD FOR U. i HAVE NOTICED PEOPLE DOING THAT & IT IS AGGRAVATING AS U SAY. I have nothing againist texting even tho i don't do it but i think it has affected the way people talk & i know ithas affected the way people type. They are so use to cutting everything short i think it carries over to their conversation & their typing.
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
1 Oct 10
Hey Auntie! Nice to see you! I've been here, off & on. Just trying to catch up a bit on "real life," mostly. :o) I agree that texting isn't evil per se, but it has corrupted writing. I can understand how, since, even though I don't have a cell phone, for many years I've used the ampersand (&) in place of "and" to save time & space. I've had an editor mildly chastise me for it, but it's such a deeply-ingrained habit, I find I have to constantly check, recheck & re-REcheck before sending anything I mean to sell, or risk a more stern warning! I'm sure the English language, always mutating anyway, is going to start using texting as proper spelling someday. I hope I've passed on to Heaven by then, or I'll disqualify myself for residence there from using so many ugly curse words! Maggiepie “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” ~ Sherlock Holmes (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
@alaskanray (4642)
• United States
27 Sep 10
We are two peas in a pod on this topic, Maggie. I have often felt that more people need to learn the lesson of Pygmalion. Unfortunately, ignorance has become the rule of the day. The PTB want us ignorant; that way they can control us all that much easier. Linguistics has always been my strong suit, mainly due to my mother's blessed influence. It all begins at home, respect for the language. Your soshecurity sounds like ebonics to me, which will never be a legitimate dialect. It just makes the speaker sound stupid. It cannot be blamed on the teachers, though. It is the parents who are the main influence in their children's lives. No matter what the teachers try to teach, if the parents aren't backing them up and teaching the same things in the home, nothing those teachers say will ever sink in. I agree that the upheaval of the 60s had a lot to do with the disrespecting of proper language. While I have nothing against slang, it has its place and certain venues are simply not its place. Disrespect and irreverence have become par for the course and people these days see them as virtues rather than the vices they really are and this effects our language even more than texting, I fear. It's like we are suffering our own modern Tower of Babble. I believe that people really need to slow down their speed-speech and pay more attention to how they speak, especially in public. Your speech says volumes about you. If you don't respect your language, can you then respect yourself or others? I think not. Hugs, girlfriend.
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
1 Oct 10
ALASKANRAY: Ah, yes. "The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain," especially lately in Texas's plains--and the hills!! How's the weather where you live (I'm assuming it's Alaska...:)? You know, you are more correct than you know. There definitely is a movement to dumb-down the U.S. populace, & it's working. It began early in the 20th century. The dumbing down produces a voting pool of ignoramuses, & the big parties have been taking advantage of it ever since. I feel heartened at such things as the growth of home- schooling, since that produces smart kids! The public "schools," however, are putting kids so far behind the rest of the industrialized world that we're losing our place in that arena. Children today sometimes study in other countries, or in good charter schools, or even in private ones, when parents rearrange their lives to afford it. Some parents work out a deal to help the school in order to pay for their children's superior education. I really hate it that parents (& I!) are forced to pay taxes to support the lousy government-run schools. This forces parents to pay twice to have their children properly taught! And what does the government do? Refuse to give parents school vouchers, even though evidence proves they are very effective, all the while putting their own offspring in expensive private schools the rest can't afford! Also, they want to make home schooling illegal! They also spread myths about how bad it is, claiming the children "aren't socialized enough," for example. The truth is, since home-schooled kids aren't locked in a box all day with only other kids their age, & the home-schooled kid has the world for his or her classroom, & gets to meet folks of all ages, lifestyles & so on, whom do you suppose has more socialization? No, I don't blame all teachers, but there are too many now who have swallowed whole the teaching of the elites: let students bumble their way through classes, making great grades when they should have been held back, but shove them into the next grade anyway because "their widdle self esteem might be damaged! Bleah. What pap. I once had a "teacher" who gave me (& anyone else who showed up for class) all A's, phoned in his job, basically, then at semester's end, split for parts unknown with his ill-gotten paycheck. Would you like a picture of my "self esteem" when the next teacher I had informed me I should have received D's at best? Oh, I love slang. I use it frequently--when I'm among an informal crowd who understands it. I really hate exclusive slang ("shizzle," anyone?), though. Slang can be great fun! But over-using it is akin to putting too much spice in a recipe. NOT enjoyable. Especially if all you taste is spice, but you don't recognize what it is... Your last paragraph totally nails it. My thoughts perzackly! "Tower of Babble" indeed! Love the pun! I, too, have my Mom to thank for my love of proper speech & books. She home schooled me in what would have been my kindergarten years (no school in La. offered such in the 50;s, to my knowledge), & on up through several grades. She spent her last dime buying the classics, which I plowed through with great relish! She read to me from good books before I could read, which was before the town's school. God bless Mom! Sorry for all the words; you pushed one of my biggest buttons! LOL! Maggiepie “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” ~ Sherlock Holmes (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
@jb78000 (15173)
27 Sep 10
it happens all the time - language changes and spoken language changes faster than written. sounds change, syllables get dropped, new forms of words emerge. it doesn't mean the language is getting better or worse since it gains things as well as loses but it is inevitable. i can guarantee you in fifty years time some of the young people 'mangling' the language now will be talking about how the next lot of young people are not speaking/writing properly. it is interesting if you study linguistics because there are lots of examples you can see, for example in how we spell things. the 'gh' in 'night' never used to be silent. it still isn't in some scottish accents. you can also tell when sounds change by comparing languages. in french 'ch' used to be pronounced like the 'ch' in chair. not 'sh'. you can tell by comparing the names charles and charlotte in english. both came from french, but one long before the other. ok i am getting boring now but i find this quite interesting.
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
8 Oct 10
Language has been evolving for thousands of years, jb, but I don't need to tell you that since you have a masters degree in english language and literature. My degrees aren't in those areas but I had to take enough required courses to know this. I guess some just don't.