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.