Friday, January 13, 2012

Listen up people - this is important

I don't know why it started or how long it's been going on. All I know is that I've been hearing it more and more often and it has started driving me crazy. This has got to stop.

It's everywhere on American TV these days although it seems to be most rampant on reality shows. What's causing my rant today is the seemingly contagious and almost epidemic corruption of the pronunciation of the word...important.

When did the first of the two T's in the word important become silent? Can somebody explain to me why everybody seems to think it's acceptable to say impor-int instead of important? WTF people!

Does some actor with a speech impediment say it like that and because you think they're cool, you think you'll be cool if you say it like that too? Is it a backwoods, barefoot, hillbilly thing that's gone viral? Is it a black thing? Is this how teachers teach children in the school system to say this word? Help me out here because the cause should be identified so that it can be corrected - and quickly because like a forest fire on a windy day, it's spreading out of control.

I tolerate a lot of mispronunciations on a regular basis. One of them that comes to mind is axe instead of ask. I don't know if people say axe instead of ask because they genuinely do not possess the linguistic ability to make the S and K sounds together in the same word or if it is simply laziness. I guess I would have to find someone who habitually says axe instead of ask and get them to read the following sentence out loud and see what comes out:
      The skinny skank wore a skimpy skirt
If they say "The skinny skank wore a skimpy skirt" I will attribute their axe to laziness, where as if they say "The x-inny x-ank wore a x-impy x-irt", well then they're off the hook I guess.

But people who say impor-int can obviously make a T sound - they're doing it at the end of the word. Why would anybody choose to say this word wrong? I just can't wrap my head around it. Seemingly normal, intelligent people massacring a word as important as...important?

If you tell me something is impor-int to you how on earth am I supposed to take you seriously?

Come on parents! Encourage your children to speak properly and start setting the example to follow. You've got the big end of the stick, and every time you hear one of your children saying impor-int you should correct them so that they learn to say the word the way it is meant to be pronounced. When you go to parent-teacher meetings you should manoeuvre the teacher into saying the word important during your conversation. If they say it wrong let them know that you would appreciate if they would make the effort to pronounce the word correctly because your children's futures depend on being able to present themselves professionally and intelligently, and having correct pronunciation is key to showing that you have a good education.

And for those of you reading this who have no idea what I'm talking about - the correct pronunciation of the word is im-por-tant! There are two Ts and neither of them is silent.

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