NB: The following post is not intended to be taken seriously. I do not want to change the way anyone speaks. Please stop sending me ranty emails and comments lecturing me on my presumptiousness and lack of understanding of the diversities of the English language. Thank you. Note to self: never write about language differences again.
So I just listened to John Waters going off about people who pronounce “picture” “pitcher”. That one does not bother me. But I cannot stand the way USians say “shone”. Seriously, it makes my ears bleed.
I should confess that for years I thought it was just Scott. He’d pronounce it all wrong when he was giving a reading and I’d be deeply embarrassed for him. I figured it was one of those words he’d never heard said out loud so he just didn’t know better. When I was little I had the same issue with “epitome”. But he’s a wee bit older than twelve now—time to pronounce “shone” correctly. So finally, a couple of weeks ago, I pointed it out to Scott, and taught him how to say the word properly.
He looked at me like I’d lost my mind. “Justine, that’s how us Americans pronounce the word.”
“No way,” I said.
Scott is sometimes wrong about these things. He’s lived in Australia too long to be an authority about his own people. So I did some research. I asked everyone I know of the USian persuasion how they pronounce it. Tragically, Scott was right. Everyone in the entire country says “shone” incorrectly. I’m still stunned.
I’ve also been asking friends what hideous pronunications drive them spare. Top of the pops is “nuclear”. What pronunciations drive you insane?
Update: I’m dead pleased so many of you have entered into this in the spirit intended. However, some seem to be taking this WAY too seriously and to avoid flamewars—yes, there’s already been one ridiculously angry exchange—I’ve taken the liberty of deleting the cranky comments.
One of the many joys of English is that there is such a variety of accents and dialects and grammars. Everyone on this thread knows and loves that, including me. So please to hold your lectures. And, if someone does get cranky, please don’t respond in similar vein, okay? This is meant to be fun not a noo-kly-yar war.