Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Funny how things evolve.
Like words.
I was watching Oprah yesterday. Denise Richards was on; Charlie Sheen’s ex.
She was talking about their intense marriage and something she said struck me.
She said, "Fur."
And she wasn't talking about animal hair.
She was saying the word “for.”
Except she pronounced it as “fur.”
And I’ve been hearing “for” mispronounced for years.
I used to think if was just a Midwest language thing.
I’m originally from New York.
When I trained to be a voiceover talent many years ago  . . .
I had to learn to drop my New York accent . . .
(actually, I thought it was Midwesterners who had the accent)
And learn to sound generic.
Specifically, I had to train to pronounce my “r’s.”
New Yorkers (and some other eastern states) drop the “r” from the end of words.
So instead of saying car . . .
We say “caw.”
People from Boston would say “cah.”
But in the Midwest, the “r” is accentuated.
So instead of saying car . . .
They say carrrr.
So, I’m very keen on hearing how words are pronounced.
And “for” is being  mispronounced all over the country.
Even by newscasters like Katie Couric.
And actors and actresses.
I even think I heard Meryl Streep mispronounce it.
And what I find it funny is that “four” and "fore" are never mispronounced.
We don’t go, one, two, three, fur.
We say, one, two, three, four.
Or if there’s a golf ball flying in the air aiming for your head  . . .
Golfers don’t shout, “FUR!”
No, their mouths go the distance and say “FORE!”
And we don’t say befur. We say before.
Or we don’t say “furtune.” We say “fortune.”
See what I mean?
When did this mispronunciation start evolving?
And why?
Lazy lips?
And why am I making a bid deal out of this?
Not sure.
Well, actually . . .
I believe I can blame my mother for this one.
She used to say this phrase to me a lot when I was a kid . . .
And she used to move her mouth and lips slowly while she said . . . 
“Enunciate c l e a r l y.”
(Actually, now that I think about it, she dropped her "r" and said, "Clee-ah-ly.) 
Anyway . . .
From this blog furward . . .
Look fur
How you and other people . . . 
Say the word “for.”
And fur now,

Always, Em-Musing

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