Pronunciation question (from L. Urdang)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed May 30 12:46:31 UTC 2007

The "intrusive of" is absolutely the rule nowadays. I've been noticing it for years, and I can testify that on television and among my students its use approaches - nay, essentially reaches - one hundred per cent.

I suspect there are editors who actually insert the "of" if one should be "missing."

The "double is" is also now the norm in speech. (Note to newbies: That's not an example.)

Good luck with the new book, Larry.


Laurence Urdang <urdang at SBCGLOBAL.NET> wrote: ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
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Subject:      Pronunciation question (from L. Urdang)

It is a great consolation to affirm, from the number, nature, breadth, and detail that I have not become tone deaf or (entirely) senile (yet).
  I merely wanted to raise the point because I wasn't sure whether it is a matter of dialect or linguistic change (or both), for I still cannot keep up with the Valley Talk that one assumes is fashionable these days.
  I am prompted to list other examples, like the omission of the  comparative (like goes or is/are concerned) from the cliche, As far as
  -------- goes/is/are concerned, . . ., and the "intrusive of" in forms like, He's too good of a skier to have such an accident,presumably borrowed from You can't have too much of a good thing  and others in which the dominant word is much.
  Depending on one's point of view, such items can be considered as delightful new adventures in linguistics that demonstrate changes in the language or as venal corruptions by the semiliterates who now seem to dominate the media (especially).  At the risk of sounding unscientific (but with my graduate degree in linguistics behind me), I have never had a problem separating a scientific attitude toward linguistic phenomena as just so many specimens for examination and comment compared with what I hope is the discrimination and taste of one sensitive to style and art in language, often never learned, forgotten, or ignored by linguists.
  Replies to this are likely to occupy the rest of my life were it not for a new book of mine (working title, "The Last Word") that I hope will be published this autumn.  It sets forth many of my artistic prejudices.  Wait for it!
  Laurence Urdang

RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
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In a message dated 5/29/07 10:23:17 AM, t-irons at MOREHEAD-ST.EDU writes:

> I have noticed the change in the pronunciation of the contracted n't
> at the end of aux verbs among especially younger speakers but had not
> been able to figure out exactly what the change is.=A0 I think he has it
> right.=A0 What is something like a syllabic /n/ for me has evolved into
> a full schwa.

No one has mentioned that "didn't" has often been pronunced with a glottal=20
stop allophone of the /d/. My sense is that I am hearing this less among the=
young, with an unvoiced /d/ instead. I wonder if this is what Larry is notic=

Also, I don't hear a schwa so much as a barred-I. So what I am hearing is=20

[dItInt] (unaspirated [t])

rather than=20


Of course, I am in the South (but the majority of my students) are not. By=20
the way, they don't say

[studIns} or [stju?ns] only [studns].

It is perhaps worth pointing out that "Oh no you didn't!" is a kind of buzz=20
phrase among the young, patterned (I think) after some television comedy ski=
pseudo-Puerto-Rican pronunciation.=20

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