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About 1971, I attended classes at Brown Institute for Radio and Television Broadcasting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

My grades were quite good – mostly A’s – and I got my first job before I graduated.  My graduation paper followed me to my job.

Since I was raised in the Midwest, my speech pattern was quite acceptable to Brown.  It seems broadcasters were trained to use that “accent” since it was just about flat – no twangs or drawls.  A Midwest accent would help us get jobs anywhere in the United States.

StrengthA few years ago, it grated on my sensitive ears when I heard announcers drop the “g” out of the word “strength.”

It hurts me to even write the result – “strenth.”  (Spell check hates that as well!)

Lately, the English language is taking even more hits as “want to” becomes “wanna,” and “winter” becomes “winer.”

Where did the g and the t go?

Ugh!

In 1961, Webster’s Third New International Dictionary set the stage for these atrocities.  It included 100,000 new entries   As WIKI points out, “The changes were the most radical in the history of the Unabridged.  Although it was an unprecedented masterwork of scholarship, it was met with considerable criticism for its descriptive (rather than prescriptive) approach. It told how the language was used, not how it ought to be used. . . . The dictionary’s treatment of “ain’t” was subject to particular scorn, since it seemed to overrule the near-unanimous denunciation of that word by English teachers.”

If memory serves me right, that was the first time the “f-word” was seen in a dictionary.

We have been going down-hill ever since.

Groan.

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