A couple of linguistic annoyances

I don’t say “aboot” when I mean “about”. No Cana­di­an that I’ve ever known has, in my pres­ence, ever said “aboot”. I don’t know where that per­cep­tion comes from.

Yes­ter­day on TV, I heard two com­mon mis­pro­nun­ci­a­tions that have always annoyed me. First I heard some­one pro­nounce “height” as though it has an “H” at the end of it, pre­sum­ably to come up with some kind of lin­guis­tic sym­me­try with the word “width”. But hon­est­ly, if it were sup­posed to be pro­nounced that way, it would be spelled “heighth” or even “heighþ”, right?

Then, less than ten min­utes lat­er, I heard some­one (okay, it was Oprah) pro­nounce the word “roof” like it was a dog’s bark: “ruf”. I don’t know what it is about that one, but it’s always just set my teeth on edge. Artic­u­late, intel­li­gent peo­ple, who speak Eng­lish with­out the trace of an accent, can still replace one of the most beau­ti­ful sounds in the Eng­lish lan­guage (the “oo” sound) with an abbre­vi­at­ed, clipped “uh” sound.

So from here on out, I don’t want to hear any jokes about “aboot”. Got it, eh?

Com­ing up next: Pat takes a coach­ing course.