“We women, as some one says, love with our ears…”~Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray, paraphrasing Woodrow Wyatt’s original quote.
As a performer & a very nearsighted woman, I am especially susceptible to how sounds affect my concentration, interest & response.
We all agree, language must evolve. But, methinks we’ve gone too far in the wrong direction! Here is just a brief list of examples to avoid. I have actually heard national newscasters, & seen nationally known journalists use all of these on an everyday basis. If your name is on it, no matter what the format, or to whom it’s going, take a moment to review & not to make these errors. It might not win you a million dollar contract, but it will inspire a level of professionalism & trust that will help.
~Athlete: Not: Ath~a~lete. There’s no extra A in the middle.
~There’re a lot of people: Not: There’s a lot of people. Take away the contraction & you’ll realize it’s incorrect.
~Tournament: Not Turnament. Almost without exception, mispronounced by every sportscaster I’ve heard.
~Conversing: Not Conversating/ ~Supposedly : Not Supposably/ Regardless: Not Irregardless. I am hearing these more & more, & it’s awful on the ear.
~A Whole Other/ Another: Not: A Whole Nother. It is so commonly used, but oh so wrong.
~Clothes: It is more & more common to hear the th pronounced, but unless you have a great British accent, hearing the th pronounced, regardless of acceptance, makes you sound unsure, & is cumbersome in conversation. I’d opt out & use the originally accepted American pronunciation: Cloz.
~ These are a few words that people keep inserting the sound of the letter H into when speaking: Strength: Not Shtrength/ Stress: Not Shtress/ Strong: Not Shtrong. It seems to occur most often with words that have the STR combination, but here’s one with a GR, & the same problem: Grocery: Not Grochery.
~Recognize: Not Reconize. Watch TV tonite & you’ll hear commentators using this all the time. Pronouncing the G is correct & makes the speaker sound more authoritative.
~Home & Hone: You can home in on something. Like the pigeon seeking his destination. But you cannot hone in. Hone is to sharpen or perfect, so you can hone your skills.
~TakeAway Bit~ You can find sources who would say that many of the examples on this list are acceptable. And as per everyday usage, they’d be right. Take it up a notch as an elegant professional. I do make typos, which are the bane of my existence, but for checking errors, I look it up. A great source: Susan Rook’s Grammar Goddess. In fact, I am hoping that my singing will distract her from whatever mistakes I have made here!
Best, Concierge Jo-Anna
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