Advance Aushtralia Fair
- Published: Monday, 13 July 2015 16:50
Complaints about language sometimes seem a bit like mind contagions. Debora Mendelson’s grumpy letter to the newspaper about Justine Schofield's pronunciation is one of many recent protests about the process that turns picture into “pikcha” and assume into “ashoom”:
It's an annoyance that Justine Schofield has not improved her appalling diction as she has gained more confidence as a TV chef. "Paischtry" and "mischture" is her norm instead of the crispness of pastry and mixture along with the lone description of "beautiful " to describe all ingredients. (Letter to the Green Guide; June 25 2015)
What she’s describing here is one of the most common processes of sound change — the tendency for vowels and consonants to become like others nearby. Sloppy speech, careless speech, you might be thinking? Perhaps. But it’s exactly this assimilation process that has given rise to pronunciations such as mission as “mishon”, measure as “mezha” and righteous as “righchous”.