The other night on the set, Jamie Edmonds and I were watching her story, waiting for an on-air talkback (question and answer) after it was over, when she laughed.
Me: What's so funny.
Jamie: You. You said that funny.
Me: Said what funny?
Me: And by funny, you mean correctly?
Just before getting to her story we did a set up piece that included a kick to the website for more info.
"You can go to wilx.com for a longer version of this story." Double-you-ILX. I asked Jamie how she said it. "Dubba-you." Wrong. She agreed but thought saying it correctly sounded too weird. Andy chimed in with, "dubya." Saying 'W' correctly is a weird pet peeve of mine. It's annoying to no end when I hear "dubya dubya dubya dot dubya I-L-X dot com."
It's "double-you." Just because it sounds funny doesn't mean we shouldn't do it right. That's right up there with people who say the year or numbers wrong. "January 15th, two-thousand AND nine." No, just two-thousand nine. I didn't graduate in nineteen-ninety AND two-- it was nineteen-ninety two. "Four-hundred AND six people were hurt..." "It cost taxpayers five hundred AND thirty dollars a year..." NO. Just four hundred six and five hundred thirty dollars. Read the number-- 406-- no 'and' in there.
The word I struggle with is 'for.' Everybody says it as 'fur.' Try it. It's pretty tough to get it right, and believe me, I've been trying 'fur'ever. Saying it correctly sounds weird a lot of the time-- but as I say-- that's no excuse.
My anal retentiveness in this area probably stems from a college speech class where the professor wrote a bunch of gibberish on the board and told us that's how we talked to each other. We looked at him like he was crazy as he pointed to one such written exchange:
Did you eat, yet?
No, did you?
Let's go eat.
He went through about five more like that until we got the point-- our diction was lacking in the annunciation department. We went through the class saying difficult words and one kid could not say the word 'ask.' In his defense, it is tricky if you've been saying 'ass' or 'ax' you're entirely life. I do some voice work from time to time and one of the words I have to focus on is 'guests.'
This is only the tip of the iceberg for me, but for the life of me I can't remember all of the nuances of the English language that we as a slang nation, butcher with regularity.
What are yours? Drop me a line in the comments below.