[Ads-l] s-dropping specifically

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 16 13:12:39 EST 2017

A friend forwarded me a link to a "That Mitchell and Webb Look” sketch that’s titled on YouTube as “Grammar Nazi.”

The boss shoots a woman for pronouncing “specifically" without an initial “s” sound. Her pronunciation went right past me, whether because it sounded normal or because I just missed it, I don’t know.

Neither Wiktionary or the Oxford Living Dictionaries provide an advisory on this word.

At https://www.davidgagne.net/2002/03/18/how-to-pronounce-the-word-height/ <https://www.davidgagne.net/2002/03/18/how-to-pronounce-the-word-height/>, Azurede is concerned that his former supervisor has a degree in education and might be teaching people to pronounce “specifically” without the “s” sound.

I thought this might just be a UK thing, but an English Outside the Box entry (https://jenesl760.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/mispronounced-words/ <https://jenesl760.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/mispronounced-words/>) includes “specifically” as a word to watch for, and the speaker has an American accent. In the video, it’s covered starting about 2:50 in.

Seems like a mountain from a molehill to me.

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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