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Observation about the word "to"

 
 
chai2
 
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2016 05:38 pm
Maybe it's just me, but are people pronouncing the word "to" more like "ta" lately?

Might have been going on for years, but I first noticied it with President Obama. At first I thought he was just trying to be more homey and casual, but he pronounces it like that even when speaking formally.

I do think many people under 25ish are now speaking more in incredibly fast little machine gun bursts, like they can't wait to stop talking, because they might express a vocal emotion. Speaking so quickly makes it more likely to say "ta"

Got something ta say about this?

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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 1,504 • Replies: 7
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2016 05:54 pm
@chai2,
I think you are right, but I don't see it as a problem if they spell it right.
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TomTomBinks
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2016 10:55 pm
@chai2,
I've never thought about it until your post, but I've been saying it like that my whole life. Only when I'm speaking quickly though.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Jun, 2016 11:13 pm
@TomTomBinks,
I gotta agree.
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MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2016 12:47 am
It's more like "tuh", it's called a schwa, and it's pretty much endemic to all English speakers. Unstressed vowels, whatever they are and wherever they occur, tend to turn into schwas. That carries over as Americans speak other languages--that's kind of a characteristic of Americans speaking Spanish too, apparently--drives Spanish speakers crazy. It's like the final sound in "sofs", phonetically it's represented by an upside down "e".
Tes yeux noirs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2016 01:44 am
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
That carries over as Americans speak other languages--that's kind of a characteristic of Americans speaking Spanish too, apparently--drives Spanish speakers crazy.

Brits do that too. I have especially noticed it with Italian.

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MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2016 01:59 am
@MontereyJack,
uh, make that "sofa" not "sofs". Sorry.
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Tes yeux noirs
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2016 02:08 am
On BBC radio they have book readings. The other week I heard an American woman reading "Only in Naples" by Katherine Wilson, who fell in love with that city and settled there. Plenty of Italian phrases and conversation. What struck me was how she switched so easily between perfect Italian, every vowel as it should be, and American accented English full of shwas etc. A very professional job.
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