One of the ones that makes my skin crawl is when people use "of" instead of the contraction of "have." For example, "My plants died. I should of watered them before visiting my family for a week."


What are some of yours?

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lol and "you don't know who I is" OMG It's really sad when I hear things like that.

Perhaps that's being said in a purposeful subversion of power or to indicate group membership...I know people who turn to improper speech in defiance of authority.  My family does that when outsiders bring up a particularly infuriating stereotype about Appalachians, and I've heard other Kentuckians and West Virginians do it as a point of pride.

I lived in Trinidad for a while. I've found that 'aks' instead of 'ask' is practically the norm, as well as many other words where the 's' and 'k' sounds cohabit. It also seems to be the way in Jamaican culture and many Caribbean islands. It seems to me this particular quirk of enunciation is more of a cultural item than abuse within given cultures. Of course, many Caribbean immigrants to the USA have brought this tongue twist to the continent. It must be understood that linguistically, the form of English spoken in the Caribbean has different influences than that spoken in the USA. Trinidad's population has long been 1/3 Indian, and Jamaica has also had a lot of Indian as well as Chinese influence. In North America and the UK, English was the native language of most all residents, whereas in the Caribbean, English was the imposed language, in a system of slave labour.

Another example of a cultural mispronunciation is the reversal of the letters 'l' and 'r' by a great many Asians.

I think it's important that when we criticise grammar we stick to criticism of speakers who really should know better, rather than tend to issues which have cultural associations/causes.

I looked up 'aks' in some online dictionaries. It appears to have been an acceptable variant until the 1600's which explains why it's still so widespread.

The incorrect x sound shows up in so many other English words though. I hear 'excape', 'asterix', 'expecially' 'expresso' and 'ex cetera' all the time by people who would probably know better if these words weren't (it would seem) mispronounced almost more often than not. In fact, I think I pronounced asterisk with an x until I was 25 and finally saw it written. Some of these mispronunciations will probably become acceptable variants at some point, as the language continues to evolve and cultures continue to mesh.

I don't like how Americans mispronounce words from foreign languages. Tijuana is a three syllable word! Americans like to call it Ti-A-Jaun-A when it should be pronounced Ti-Jaun-A. If the word is English ok say it in English but if it is a foreign word than at least try to pronounce it the way its suppose to sound.

if it is a foreign word than at least try to pronounce it the way its suppose to sound.


That would be great if I knew how most words from foreign languages were supposed to sound and if I were capable of making all the sounds foreign languages contain.

If you're a non-native speaker, then you are forgiven. Even many Americans seem incapable of knowing when to use "then" vs, "than." They also frequently leave the "d" off the end of "supposed," as you did.

Wow! Being from the East Coast, I've only ever heard of Tijuana but I've never been there nor do I ever recall seeing it written. Today I learned, it's NOT actually spelled Tia Juana. (listen to the audio pronunciation on both that and the Tijuana page - heh!)


If you think that one is bad, you should hear the pronunciation of Martinez, Georgia. The locals pronounce it MARTnez with no i, emphasis on the first syllable, and that thick southern drawl. It wouldn't have bothered me quite as much if everyone there hadn't corrected me for 8 years every time I pronounced it properly!

Heh, heh.  You should try talking to my grandparents about Hurricane, West Virginia.  They call it HURR-ə-kin.  My grandparents mash the last two syllables together so quickly that, in the wake of such a mind-blowingly heavy 'URR,' you're can't really be sure if there really were any other vowels involved.  For their sake, you certainly hope not. 


I say ˈhər-ə-kān.  I am corrected.

I hear ya. I'm originally from Baltimore, Maryland. The locals pronounce it Balmer, Merlin.

Although I didn't agree with the way this discussion started and which then went on to attack the English for the way they use their own language,I'd like to stand up for the native English people who don't like the way Americans mispronounce words from the English language itself let alone foreign  oh and god save the Queen = )

You're not alone. I read that somewhere, too. I think it was on a linguist's blog, but I don't remember exactly.


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