Wednesday, March 31, 2004

A mediocre justification for my sub-standard existence

I was noticing the other day that Americans do not pronounce the letter "T" - at least, hardly ever. I think that this is something I've noticed before but have simply brushed off to the side. But the transgression is there, just the same!

Typically this omission occurs when the letter "T" appears at the end of the word. For example, say aloud "Cat" "Bat" "Hat" "That" "It" "Robot"... ok, I think I've proven my point. If you casually pronounced all these words just as I asked, you'll notice that you don't really pronounce the "T" sound at the end, do you? You simply ended the word rather abruptly with some sort of muffled-yet-still-distinct grunting sound. "UGH!"

Anyway, I happened to really pick up on this while I was in Staples last week and I heard a man commit this heinous indescretion when the "T" appeared in the central portion of the word. He walked through the sexy glass sliding doors of Staples and asked where he might find the "bulle-in boards". It was insanity. I walked out the front doors to my car and couldn't stop repeating it to myself. I thought, wow - Americans don't pronounce their "T"s.

1 comment:

Saerain said...

Wow, I apologise for commenting on such an old entry. I know some people find it obnoxious.

The sound you're referring to is a 'flapped T', and it happens in Britain, as well, in many parts of the country. It dominates North America, though, yes.

Somewhat similarly, a lot of Americans say that Britons do not pronounce their Rs, but the truth is that they pronounce Rs non-rhotically. Most of the world is non-rhotic, but North America, Ireland, Scotland, Southwest England, Barbados, and the Philippines are rhotic.