Issue 201, page 3

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Curmudgeon Malcolm Tent gets it to a T

If you read the TOWFI blog (I only read it occasionally; everyone seems to have a blog and I simply don't have the time or inclination to read every one of them every day!) then you may have come across the discussion of what I call the intrusive t.  It's like the intrusive r of non-rhotic speakers.

You know what the intrusive r is, I'm sure.  It's the addition of an r between a word that ends with a vowel and another that begins with a vowel, as in "America-R is a great place to go on holiday."  An extreme example would be Mike Myers' English child character Simon saying "drawRing".  Anyhow, adding a t to the end of words, which seems to be on the rise, is like the intrusive r, but apparently has a different cause.  The intrusive r is added to ease the flow of speaking and avoid a glottal stop between, in the above examples, the final a in America and the initial i of is, or between the vowel sound of -aw- and the i in drawing.  But that t added to the end of across or wish is beyond me.  What are these people thinking?  Surely they can spell wish and across and see that there is no t in those words. I simply can't see how that t aids in speaking and avoids glottal stops or the like.  What Melanie and Mike have dubbed hypertauism seems to me like hyper weirdness.  Stop it, people!  Drop those t's!

Have you heard or read similar or equally distressing usages?

Do tell us. 

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Last Updated 01/31/06 06:54 PM