California-Speak Makes Me Crazy

Captain’s Log   5,731

I was listening to a news report this morning, and the reporter had the very annoying habit of not saying her “t’s” distinctly.  She was talking about a baby cat.  Most of us call those little creatures kittens.  She called them ki’-ens.  Say it without enunciating the “t.”  Ki’-ens.  What the hell?  I suppose mittens are mi’-ens.  Is this a California thing?  I know California-speak is now recognized as a linguistic trend, but I consider it an aberration. 

“I go”…….means “I said.”  Sometimes means “I say,” but that is rare.

“He or she goes”……means” he or she said.”  The “say” rules apply as above.

“It happened on accident”………..means “it happened by accident.”

“I/she/he/it was like”……………..means “I/she/he/it was (no liking needed)”

“I/she/he was all”……..I have no idea what that is supposed to mean

“They were all”…………Hmmmm.  Stumped again.

The absolute worst is when they use all and like together.  For example…..  “Freddy was all like upset that he lost his mi’-tens at the mall.”  It can also read “Freddy was like all upset that he lost his mi’-tens at the mall.”  All and like are freely interchangeable.

It makes me crazy.  Insane!  I have a degree in English, fer crissakes!  I love words!  I love to hear them used beautifully and correctly!  I love to hear them blended well to create soul-moving experiences.  Hearing language used like this makes me wince.  Hey, I am like all for the like the evolution of like….. language.  I go yes to that.  But like hopefully, it makes like…..sense.

Language is supposed to convey meaning.  Clear meaning.  This sandwich packed by an angry wife is a good example of using words clearly to convey a message that will not be taken the wrong way.  I guarantee it.




Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

29 responses to “California-Speak Makes Me Crazy

  1. I also just realized I have two fragmiented sentences in my last comment. Please forgive me, lol.

  2. Neither of my daughters finished high school. One never even finished junior high school. But when people hear them speak, they could pass for college grads or better, simply because they speak clearly and with proper grammar. One daughter went to talk to an attorney about a child custody issue and he offered her a job on the spot based exclusively on the fact that she spoke more intelligently than any of his interns fresh out of college. And these were young people with hopes of making it as attorneys, where clear and precise speech is everything!!!

  3. scotvalkyrie

    Perhaps part of the problem is not learning proper elocution. I actually have a bit of a glottal stop that used to be further complicated by my studying German. I tend to swallow my “t”s.

    On the other hand, the thing that drives me crazy is “ax” for “ask”.

  4. Charlotte Bolinger

    Thank you. Now I don’t feel alone.

  5. Media announcers are all idiots. (Was it radio or tv? Never mind. They’re ALL idiots.) We’re only hired for our looks.

    Somewhat more seriously: here in New Yawk we sometimes actually do have discussions about regionalisms, colloquialisms, and other linguistic deviations from Standard American English. The trick for us – and it can be tricky when there’s a large heterogeneous population – is to use use enough hip lingo to keep from sounding pedantic or effete, but not so much that it seems an affectation.

    I say, give little Miss Cat Story a break. Because she’s probably hot 🙂

  6. Ter

    This isn’t unusual. It’s disgusting, especially when trying to grade essays. Sometimes, there’s vodka in my coffee.

  7. maryz

    Daughter Sue got several family members t-shirts that say “I’m silently correcting your grammar.” We’re all SO hard to get along with.

    My current pet peeve is the unnecessary “at” attached to the end of a sentence, i.e. “Where is it at?” AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!

  8. I hate the shortening of words…..such as “She’s cray (crazy). Let’s have champ (champagne). It LIKE just makes me all CRAY CRAY . yaknowwhadimean?

  9. Patty O'

    I’m with Alice: “Say what you mean and mean what you say!”

  10. joanie

    THIS DRIVES ME UP A WALL! Believe it or not, the other day I told a woman in line ahead of me at the grocery store that her little boy was adorable (which he was) and we had talked for a second when I asked what his name was. She replied, “Col’- en. I said “Colen?” And she replied, “No, Col’-en” Then I realized she meant Colten. Stupid bitch can’t even pronounce her own kid’s name correctly. I’m pretty sure the kid won’t be able to either when he learns to talk. I wanted to smack her into next week.

  11. Even my husband, who was no grammarian, would comment on some people’s like or the extraneous y’know. I don’t know think it’s just California, even the glottal stop instead of t’s.

    When Cyndi Lauper recorded “At Last,” a lovely song, all I could hear was “Alas.”

  12. Bex

    I know! About the loss of the “t” in words. It is driving me right up the wall, too. We have a news host on local TV in Boston who always, for some reason, has the word “important” in her news dialog. But she leaves off the first “t” all the time, and says “im-por-ant” – Now I notice this is quite common with British speakers, a lot of dialects in Britain leave off the “t” but over here in the U.S., it’s become more prevalent and I have no idea why. Whenever I head someone do it, I turn them right off…l can’t waste time on them.

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