Thursday, June 26, 2003

WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE pronounce the T in "often"? It seems odd that anyone would invest all that extra effort into such a minor word when all other linguistic phenomena seem to tend toward laziness. Have these people never heard moderately intelligent people speak? It's not as though reading and spelling are all the rage. You'd think stupid people would pronounce the word correctly but write "offen."

This seems to be largely a young-people thing, but Stanford-educated tennis player-turned-commentator Patrick McEnroe, who's almost as old as I am, does it, and he's not even stupid. I'm stumped.

Of course, I'm also one of those whippersnappers who pronounce the L in "palm" and who say "forehead" rather than "forrid." Ninety-year-olds everywhere are calling me stupid.

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