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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do we need to speak properly English?

Fink back to a time when fings were simple, when Noo Zuland was a place of woks and wabbits, where choodren drunk moolk everyday as skool and the noos weeders had posh accents that sounded like the Queen. 
So what has changed?  In the 50's and 60's it was fashionable for parents to send their children off to "Elocution" lessons with a teacher who was generally an elderly lady who took lessons for pin money in her front room.  As an emerging nation many saw it as important that we could correctly pronounce the Queens English and it was certainly one of the key factors that distinguished your children from the working class.
In the 40 or so years that has passed, we now have a very distinguishable 'kiwi' accent which is a delight.  It distinguishes us from the rest of the world, it blends us together.
But I draw the line on some things.....bad habits and substitutions in pronunciation and articulation are a major issue today. I am not sure where this has snuck in to our language but as a parent I do tend to think that many of us don't encourage our pre-schoolers to ditch the baby talk before they get to school and want to enjoy the cute factor for as long a possible.  So when young James is Prime Minister of NZ, the rest of us are not going to be saying "isn't is cute how he says wadicle"!
We are seeing more and more people who "fink" and don't "think" having completely dropped the "th" sound from their speech.  "Woks" and not "Rocks", "Choodren" and not "Children" are the key offenders and then there is the annoying sibilant "s" grating away. This particular blog was inspired tonight by a TVNZ correspondent with a very annoying sibilance issue.....come on TVNZ, you sorted out the weather lady, we know you can do it!
(It is important for you to note that I am not referring to speech language issues here but merely bad habits out of control).
I often hear intelligent, articulate people in important positions scrambling their way though our language and there is simply is no need for it.   With some advice, commitment and execution of simple exercises all issues can be simply tidied up.....it is no more challenging that starting an exercise regime.  So if you are a "finker" stop "finking" and do something about it.....

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