For the last year or so I've been observing a strange trend. It has to do with "the". When I was growing up, I learned to say "the" with two pronunciations. When the following noun begins with a consonant, it's pronounced with a short "e": ðə. But when the noun begins with a vowel, it's pronounced with a long "e": ðē.
But recently it seems like the second version (long "e", ðē) is dropping from usage. I hear people say things like "the island" with a short "e". "thuh island". "thuh oven". "thuh arch".
The whole world sounds like a bunch of mouth-breathing, illiterate louts.
But of course, since you can't really blend the "ə" ("uh") sound with a vowel, they insert a glottal stop between the words. That makes it sound a whole lot worse.
I mentioned this to Shan and Mum last time I was home. They both said "I KNOW!" and went on their own diatribes. Shan kept mentioning the glottal stop. I think she just likes to say "glottal stop".
Barbarians are at the gates, I'm telling you.