Pronounciations that grate: Is it because I'm old?

Lately I’ve been noticing people in the media talking in ways that make my teeth itch. Now, I know this is hypocritical coming from a person whose Bronx accent is so thick even her children make fun of her, but I can’t help it. And it seems to be getting worse the older I get.

This started when I noticed the guy who narrates How It’s Made pronounces the word “robots” as “robits”. I even asked here where the guy was from. Then William Shatner tried to ruin my enjoyment of a nature show by pronouncing “lava” like “lather” only with a ‘v’ instead of a 'th"-- and then stretching the word out, making it sound even worse. He kept talking about “the laaaava tubes” and making me cringe. Then I saw this youtube of Shatner asking Spock to “sabataaage” the ship. Did he always talk that way and I never noticed?

Right in the middle of the Shatner narrated doc was a commercial for a veteran’s organization in which the spokesman kept pronouncing the word ‘vechrins’. He’d somehow lost a syllable and gained a ‘ch’. WTF?

And finally I realized that it must be me getting old and cantankerous because yesterday Destiny’s Child’s Irreplaceable played on the radio and all I heard the whole time was Beyonce and her inability to say the word correctly. She pronounced it 'irreplaceaboo" throughout the entire song and it drove me crazy.

So I ask: what’s with the weird pronouncations all of a sudden?

By “all of a sudden”, do you mean “since the dawn of language”?

If odd pronunciations bother you, I suggest you stay away from the works of Charles Dickens, for instance.

What? You can hear pronounciations when you read? Wow! You’re good!

Have you considered that you might be the one who’s wrong? You see, instead of complaining, I looked up the words in a dictionary, and “lava” is indeed pronounced the way you describe. The pronunciation of “veteran” is a standard regional variation (much like “murdrer” for “murderer”).

And there really isn’t any difference in the pronunciation of “irreplaceable” as you describe.

Well, it’s not like Shatner is some hot new star who just emerged on the scene. The man remembers where he was the day Mckinley got shot.

So I am being a cantankerous? This is a possibility. However, I don’t care what you’ve read or heard, “irreplaceable” is never correctly pronounced “irreplaceaboo”.

While I haven’t heard adults speak like that, I have heard chirren pronounce a terminal “-ble” sound somewhat like “boo.” Two that I can remember from two different nephews reared in different households were “tickoo” and “jungoo.”

Only if you drop the “r” in lather and pronounce it “lathuh”.

Really? No difference between ear-uh-place-uh-buhl and ear-uh-place-uh-boo?

Ah, but Beyonce is a grown woman. And to think, it used to be to me that the worst part of that song was how she rhymed “in a minute” with “in a minute”.

Dickens spells out his characters non-standard pronunciations for you. It’s werry vearing, after a while.

My dad says “sabotage” the same way Shatner does. I’m guessing it’s a regional/cultural thing.

Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE)

I’ve bolded the most relevant phrases.

It’s not new. It’s not getting worse. It’s not wrong. People with thick Bronx accents should be barred from the public airways, but that’s because of what they say, not how they say it.

I know all about regional accents. This is why I don’t narrate nature docs-- because of my accent and because no one has asked. But if someone asked me to narrate a nature documentary, I would try very hard not to say, “Dingos are dawgs who don’t drink cawfee” because I know that is not broadcast American.

And “laaavar tubes” was jarring to me, especially since everyone else pronounced it the way one expects to hear it.

But, as I said, I am getting more ornery as time passes.

Merriam Webster on-line has the OP pronunciation of lava first, followed by the Shatnerish pronunciation second. I vote for the first pronunciation too.

Shatner is Canadian. Blame it on Canada.

I’ll note both Shatner and the How It’s Made guy are from Canada. Did you have an unfortunate incident with a Mountie as a child perhaps? So soory.

As it was noted in the thread about the How It’s Made guy. The American version does not use a Canadian narrator. Our narrator is from Pennsylvania.
P.S., ‘soory’ is strange too.

Indeed I can! In fact, it was not so very long ago that I read an internet message board post where “veterans” sounded like “'vechrins” and “irreplaceable” sounded like “irreplaceaboo”.

The “robits” thing is a well recognized phenomenon.

Huh, interesting…I missed that thread. The narration is so bland so as to not distract from the Making visuals I always assumed we were getting the native Canadian narration. :wink: