Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ðē; ðə

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.

8 comments:

freedomnan said...

"At the gates"? Fifth columnists inside!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Southerners say "thuh" and that's that!!!
Just because you have an accent does not mean we do! And we're not all stupid rednecks either!

Ha!!

Shan said...

So true!

Whenever I think I'm getting a bit too esoteric, I think of you and am reassured.

Shan said...

PS: If I just like to say "glottal stop" (which I do), you just like to use phonic characters in your posts. (See above re: esoteric.)

Anonymous said...

Don't ya know thuh correct word for yah mother is Mom not Mum....

Duh.......

You're not from thuh South are yah??

Shan said...

Who's this Anonymous character, and why is their spelling so bad?

Anonymous said...

ahhhh mystery!

ahhh friend uf yo brotha

Anonymous said...

I hate posts like this, I have been walking around for days now trying to say "the" normally to hear how I pronounce it. It is driving me batty...the apple, THE apple. I hope you can sleep at night! Talk to you soon.
Shannon-Qttawa