Is it ever correct to say “didja?” What is the official term for “didja,” “sorta,” and “d’ya?”

Didja ever think that there are ways of speaking that feel perfectly comfortable that would seem wrong if you wrote them down? Sorta like the way this sentence is written. Lemme tell you ‘bout this very phenomenon, relaxed pronunciation.

Pronunciation is defined as “the conventional patterns of treatment of the sound and stress patterns of a syllable or word.” Relaxed pronunciation, also called word slurring or condensed pronunciation, happens when those syllables are phonetically melded together to create a shortened form of a word or phrase.

Yes, this is similar to a contraction. The difference is, contractions such as “could’ve” and “should’ve” are considered part of informal written and spoken language; relaxed pronunciation such as “coulda” and “shoulda,” while part of informal speech, has no standard written form.

Common trends of relaxed pronunciation include replacing “you” with “ya” or  “ja” as in “d’ya” (did you) and “wouldja” (would you). Another common practice is to substitute “of,” “to”, and “have” with a schwa, a mid-central vowel sound that occurs from an unstressed syllable, as in “kinda,” “outta,” and “sorta.”

Speaking of contractions, find out what “goodbye” is short for, here.

The writer William Burroughs famously called language “a virus.” One way to understand his pronouncement is that, as people use a language, it evolves. Some uses of English that are considered correct today were once frowned upon. Who knows what usage will be acceptable in 100 years? Do you think relaxed pronunciation is ever an acceptable form of speech? Should “didja” and its informal ilk be welcome into mainstream use? Share your opinion below.


  1. Bette -  April 23, 2014 - 7:35 am

    Wow, this post is nice, my younger sister is analyzing these kinds of things, so I am going to let know her.

    • mdell888 -  December 6, 2016 - 10:57 am

      let know her??

  2. Fiona -  April 23, 2014 - 5:47 am

    What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious familiarity regarding unexpected emotions.

    • GRAMMAR AND SPELLING DEPARTMENT -  April 6, 2015 - 8:56 am

      The word “unambiguity” doesn’t need to be hyphenated. Also, “preserveness” isn’t a word, I think you mean “perverseness”.

      Nice try, though.

  3. Kiera -  April 22, 2014 - 12:07 pm

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  4. Laura -  February 1, 2014 - 8:56 am

    I’m interested in the phenomenon where the spelling of relaxed pronunciation makes its way into common usage – I was surprised that your article did not mention y’all, that relaxed pronunciation of you plural.

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  7. Sylvester -  August 30, 2013 - 6:43 am

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. There’s
    no doubt that that you need to write more about this topic, it may not be
    a taboo matter but typically people do not speak about such subjects.
    To the next! All the best!!

  8. Grammargirl -  January 10, 2013 - 1:20 pm

    I think that “d’ya” is the relaxed pronunciation of ” do you”, not “did you.”

  9. Ashley -  October 28, 2011 - 3:40 pm

    Where I’m from, we do not have any pronunciation of the last consonants of our words so when I say “I want to go for a walk” I would say “I wanna go for a walc.” (the c is a softer sound than k) or “Hey, do you want to sing with me?” I would say “Hey, yu wanta sin with me?” (there is a slight, slight pronunciation of the g at the end of sing.) We would even say the word “consonants”, “consinance.”

  10. Ugh -  October 15, 2011 - 10:47 am

    i am online as i am in person. if i say a way, i type it a way, as if i’m in conversation with my friends, not stilted speech i’d use in a formal setting, because, pal, Facebook, ain’t no formal setting.
    aw, hail, i even type with my aiccent at times.
    didja see whut i did there?
    watchoo gonna say ’bout that?
    it’s just fun
    i don’t think the latest textbooks are going to be written using that form, but i see no problem using with social networking site or other internet medias

  11. Luck in W -  October 11, 2011 - 8:27 pm

    I’ve always tried not to resort to ‘relaxed’ pronunciation, especially when I was teaching ESL (English as a second language.) However, I’ve definitely caught myself doing so when speaking with family and friends.

    Business or formal situations are also correct-pronunciation situations for me.

  12. Gabriel -  October 10, 2011 - 6:13 am

    All this discussion is completely pointless, who cares if people use relaxed pronunciation or what? As long as we can understand each other it really doesn`t matter. What I think that, in fact, is really bad is bad grammar. If you get the right grammar it doesn`t matter how you speak. I consider myself to be educated but I always use: gonna, wanna, gotta, shoulda, coulda, mighta, woulda, sorta, lota, kinda, ya, bout, round, ain`t and so on.
    I don`t get why people waste their time discussing bout such a pointless subject.

  13. Michael -  September 10, 2011 - 10:43 am

    whabout’ “y’all”?

  14. Jamie -  September 8, 2011 - 4:46 pm

    I think “relaxed pronunciation” is a lazy way of talking. Some people get so lazy in every aspect of their daily activities. I understand certain slang words but I don’t think relaxed pronunciation should be included in that. I believe that just to be lazy talking which doesn’t say much about a person if they are too lazy to pronunciate words correctly.

  15. Nats -  September 7, 2011 - 10:15 pm

    So spelling and dictionary is not necessary at all if this relaxed pronounciation would be used as mainstream..

  16. Lora -  August 31, 2011 - 4:10 pm

    I live on Cape Breton Island where people are well-known for their relaxed use of everyday phrases. Some examples are “Jeet jet? No twirly”, “I neverd did that” “Howshe goin’ bye?”, “Good dear, good.” But I was taught to believe such phrases are bad grammar and that anyone who uses them is an uneducated hillbilly. :-( And having an older brother who corrected me constantly for everyday informal words like “Gotta” or even “Yeah” instead of “yes” didn’t help. So when other Cape Bretoners say how our way with words is what makes us so lovable, I feel that I am not very lovable at all because I never say “cousint” and actually pronounce the “g” in “being”. :-(

  17. Iniara -  August 26, 2011 - 6:42 pm

    It kinda bothers me when auto-correct wants to fix my sorta mistyped words that aren’t mistyped but as this article mentions they are relaxed pronunciations. To me they’re real words, many words became a verb or noun at some point that were originally two separate words, casual pronunciation of verbs should be accepted. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, why not? I’ve started to see them in books.

  18. bob -  August 26, 2011 - 9:37 am

    i agree with some of the other posts… it is okay for txting your friends and what not but if these words became part of the mainstream language then you might as well just screw the english language to hell and start all over

  19. bob -  August 26, 2011 - 9:34 am

    yeah y not.. if youre gonna destroy the english language y not replace it with some crap that doesnt even make sense?!?!?!?! y not destroy the english language even further y dont ya?!?!?!?!?!

  20. Archon -  August 24, 2011 - 2:36 pm

    @ Drakkletannon

    Thank you for finding and returning my missing “s”. I wondered where it had got to. Believe me, it’s almost as important to me as it seems to be to you. You could have just donated it to Carlitos’ ego fund. It would have made him feel so good about himself to be able to stick it to me personally. As a reward, I’m sending you a bushel of nits.

  21. bilglas -  August 24, 2011 - 2:29 pm

    I like combining acceptable contractions with relaxed pronunciation. For example: can’tcha, won’tcha, don’tcha.

  22. Tayagirl -  August 24, 2011 - 2:14 pm

    i think didja will become a real word soon

  23. Archon -  August 24, 2011 - 1:52 pm

    @ Cassandra

    Carlitos continues to be upset because I correct him on issues of fact, rather than usage or spelling. When I issued that invitation, it was intended to be for him only. I had found three mistakes in my previous posts, one of fact, one of usage and one of spelling. If you wish to take up the gauntlet, feel free. It will show him that I’m not the only self-righteous pr#%k.

    In keeping with the tenet of communicating to the level of the audience, if I did so on this thread, I’d be acting like SJ’s Italians, all grunts and sign language. Still, when I punctuated that sentence, I used the comma intentionally. Despite the previous article about them, many of the posters here still regard semi-colons as they would space aliens. I didn’t wish to confuse or alarm them. The construction was not for you, it was for the 98% below you.

    If you go back to the previous article, or even better, check a reference book, I think you’ll find that, like several others, the RULE about semi-colons is more of a strong suggestion. It’s better if you do, but it’s not incorrect if you don’t. By the way, in your example above, you spelled “ussage” incorrectly. Don’t it feel great?

  24. B.M.D. -  August 24, 2011 - 1:01 pm

    I think that it is like making a new language being made pretty much. Its like your trying to say I either can’t speak right or don’t want to do it correctly. I actually care that I speak with proper grammer and write with proper grammer. I don’t care if you speak that way if your not talking to me,but if you are, i am going to correct your spelling and grammer and your speech like crazy, if its incorrect. I think its informal to use slurring and most people do it accidently, my sister has a phone and texts with nearly EVERY word being abbreviated into something that doesn’t really make sense unless she tells you what it is but even then it doesn’t really make sense. In order to understand what people say, and or write, they should just stick to the already made and easy to understand english dialect.

  25. Samantha -  August 24, 2011 - 12:46 pm

    Slang should only be used during free time, not in school. It can be disruptive for learning new words, they should know. I always use them but not when i am trying to learn something. Use proper english while in school and kids won’t be confused. :)

  26. person witha 'pinion -  August 24, 2011 - 12:32 pm

    No. Do not be lazy with standardized written speech. We will be speaking gibberish and find it difficult to understand one another. There’s cool and pop, then there is standard.

  27. Apposite -  August 24, 2011 - 12:02 pm

    Language and the way we use it is one the many ways we separate ourselves from each other culturally, socially, and geographically. If one is wanting employment or something that highlights your common vernacular I would want to err on the side of the fussy English teacher. I personally appreciate hearing an articulate person speak and write. I suppose though that exceptions can be allowed for the sake of art.

  28. Martini -  August 24, 2011 - 11:13 am

    Oops! Make that “spouse.” HAHAHAHAHAHA.

  29. Martini -  August 24, 2011 - 11:12 am

    Sandi! I agree! Survivor of 12 years of English by the good Catholic nuns, I cringe at the use of incorrect grammar. Yet I correct only my children and spose, and they – who have not had the benefit of the excellent education I was so fortunate to have – appreciate me for doing so.

    I am heartened that the readers find this topic so appealing.

    I am also very comfortable hearing relaxed english as long as it is grammatically correct. For those who are writing for theatre, novels etc., it is of course proper to use the colloquialisms of the people about whom they write.
    Do we really have to endure:
    “a MUTE point”?
    “Up that number!”?

    I’d better stop now.

    In formal writing, I believe the use of proper grammar and punctuation is absolutely necessary. Yet I make many mistakes. I still consult (probably not often enough) the dictionary, thesaurus and Strunk and White.

    I am often impressed by the lovely grammar and vocabulary of those who speak English as a second language, especially those from the African continent!.

    It is also impressive that people in non-English speaking countries love to show off their ability to speak English. Once, when I was standing in line at MacDonalds in China, a young Chinese lady who kept smiling at me finally said in perfect English “I believe it might actually rain today!” Since it had been raining daily since my arrival, I recognized it might have been the only sentence she could remember on the spur of the moment. Yet she was so proud to be able to speak to me in English, and she did so perfectly.

    I am frequently embarrassed by my own shortcomings with vocabulary when talking with someone who learned English as a second language who, effortlessly, far surpasses my ability to speak our language.

    Nonetheless, what a great topic! Thank you for the opportunity to add my “two bits.”

  30. Marjury -  August 24, 2011 - 9:48 am

    I believe this is just the way we all have gotten used to be talking, though the way we talk says a lot about our education. This will be like the not common language used in a friendly chat, and the typical common spoken and written language is much more formal manner to behave, it depends on the enviorenment and people we are dealing with.

  31. Cassandra -  August 24, 2011 - 9:26 am

    @Salvatore on 8-19-11, 9:50 a.m.; @Max on 8-20-11, 8:17 p.m.; @Serena on 8-21-11, 3:57 p.m.:

    The proper term is not, “allot” or “alot”. The phrase you’re looking for actually consists of two words, “a lot”. Ex: Susie talked a lot. That is why you were unable to find it in the dictionary, Max. “Allot” means to distribute or allocate. “alot” is not a word.

    @11Vandev on 8-23-11, 6:40 a.m.:

    “Then” is used to tell one what comes next. “Than” is used to compare one thing to another.

    @Archon on 8-20-11, 3:37 p.m.:

    You said, “If you can show me an error in usage or fact, lay it on me, I welcome the chance to improve. If I, or anyone else shows you the error of your ways, man up, and take the hit.”

    I’d like to introduce you to the use of the semicolon. If you have two complete sentences, and one or both sentences contain internal punctuation, it is better to separate the sentences with a semicolon or period. That way, you avoid confusing or run-on sentences.

    Ex: If you can show me an error in ussage or fact, lay it on me; I welcome the chance to improve.

    I hope you are able to “man up” and take the hit!

  32. Christopher-J -  August 24, 2011 - 8:57 am

    Though this conversation is wonderfully entertaining and informative, I didn’t have the time to read all the posts. Or as they say in texting shorthand – tl;dr. :-)

    That said, if someone hasn’t already brought up the subject of poetry (modern or classic), if it wasn’t for relaxed pronunciation*, creators would be limiting themselves quite a bit. Though some people (including literary “critics”) say the best creators are the ones that purposely constrict themselves to more formal rules.

    Furthermore, modern popular music, particularly in the hip-hop and rap genres are greatly dependent on relaxed pronunciation*. And this music, conversely, has a great influence on how people speak these days.

    * (Re: “pronunciation” – I hate the spelling of this word, and how it is “pronounced”. Why the heck take the “o” out and pronounce it differently than its relative words; confusing people in the process. *grrr*)

    By the way, here’s a favorite quote of mine…

    “The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
    - James D. Nicoll (1990-05-15), “The King’s English”, rec.arts.sf-lovers newsgroup


  33. Joel Lippert -  August 24, 2011 - 8:38 am

    I had an English professor in college while studying technical writing that blamed most of the problems with the state of our language on advertising, television, and road signs. He wasn’t a big fan of workplace jargon either. But, he did believe in THE correct word. He felt it was up to the writer (or up to him when grading our papers) what the exact right word was for what they were trying to convey. So, while I feel that in most cases we should stick to common rules and usage, spelling even, I do know that even a curse word, contracted or not, misspelled or not, can sometimes be the right word. Just doncha go make’n a f’n habit of it.

    Right back attcha…

  34. Ray Tomecko -  August 24, 2011 - 8:29 am

    Language is going to evolve whether we like it or not. Just be glad most texting isn’t entering written or spoken language. As a writer, sometime relaxed pronunciation just sounds right. It’s the way people talk. Why do appliance ads say we have Tv’s on sale? Because TVs looks wrong. Just the way it is.

  35. EagerLearner -  August 24, 2011 - 6:59 am

    Nothing wrong if it will be used verbally. However, in written form, it is erroneous to use it.

  36. Jim -  August 24, 2011 - 6:50 am

    It is possible to view language as just a tool for communication and it is also possible to view language as art. Now most will agree that art can take many forms. Nevertheless, for an air traffic controller to deviate from terminology generally understood in the aviation field would be unwise. For informal speech precision can take forms that elude the language standard form. This is the old time and place argument. It always works and does not have a time and place.

  37. Sagnus -  August 24, 2011 - 5:25 am

    Excuse the spelling errors in the last post.

  38. Sagnus -  August 24, 2011 - 5:23 am

    whoops – wouldn’t

  39. Sagnus -  August 24, 2011 - 5:22 am

    How far do you go? How much of the relaxed english do you make official?

    The problem with making this sort of thing acceptable writen language is that we all do it slightly differently.

    I’m scottish. I would, in my day to day life pronounce would’nt as would’nae.
    Would you?

    You write something as spoken in the relaxed english of your part of the world, then show it to another native speaker fom another part of the country (or accross the pond) and they will probably have difficulty reading it.

    If one of these dialects was addopted as the standard you would still have people learning to write differently to how they speak. So what was the point?

  40. SJ -  August 24, 2011 - 5:16 am

    @ Carlitos

    Someone once suggested that if aliens were observing the Earth and chose to concentrate on Italy, they would likely come to the conclusion that most human communication was achieved through sign language and gesticulation, with words added only for emphasis…

    On other matters, I think most are agreed that in creative writing e.g. poetry; novels etc slang and other forms of relaxed language are in many cases essential, consider the dialogue in ‘Of Mice And Men’ and even the narative in ‘On The Road’ or ‘Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas’. The language used is integral to the characters. Imagine how odd it would be to read a gangsta (sic) stating that he is “going to shoot a bullet in your bottom” as opposed to “gonna pop a cap in yo ass”. All of the above mentioned novels, however, have dated due to their use of such ‘of the time’ language, ‘A Clockwork Orange’ has dated much less due to its complex use of invented slang. Creative writing is only one small part of communication though, and, like swearing (or cussing if you are American) it has its place, and its uses. When used inappropriately (my mum has seen college and even job applications filled out exclusively in text-speak) the impression it gives can be catastrophic. The issue is, as I see it, twofold: WHEN is it ok to use informal language; and the bigger issue of the inability of some to communicate any other way.

  41. Walid -  August 24, 2011 - 1:36 am

    English is my second language, yet, this subject applies to all languages all around the world.

    I still believe in “Speak Right, Spell Right” in all languages. However, the use of mainstream language should only remain for the day to day language in the street or for informal usage.
    Writing academic material, business letters or report, formal meetings and many others should stick to the formal language that is right in speaking, writing and spelling and should be gramatically correct.

  42. A strange cow -  August 23, 2011 - 11:51 pm

    I wonder. Should we LOL today.
    Or Laugh out loud

  43. Archon -  August 23, 2011 - 10:20 pm

    @ SJ

    I don’t normally toot my own horn so loudly or blatantly, but that post was a specific reply to Carlitos who didn’t think I had the guts to correct anyone except in this anonymous arena. The point was to show him that, not only do I have the guts, I have the intelligence, education, observational ability and life experience, to correct someone who calls a German immigrant a pretentious, English snob.

    As to the question about informal language, except for precisioneer grade writers/speakers,(and there are damned few of them) we all speak informal language at some level. The only concern is, what level a specific user is willing to employ. Some of the posters above seem anxious to wallow in their baseness, as if proof of intelligence and education through better usage is anathema to them. Perhaps they fear social ostracism from their barely literate peers. One writer said, “This isn’t English class, you know”, as if correct usage any place other than English class was, somehow, improper.

    One’s social and employment lot in life is influenced strongly by the level of language used. If you have absolutely no aspirations to improve yourself and your lifestyle, if, as Jeff Foxworthy says, you’re willing to have a job with your name on your shirt, if you don’t give a damn that Carlitos thinks you write like a hillbilly, then feel free to spew ‘ssup, WTF, and, I would of went out on the fire excape if he’d axed me.

    I worked in an auto parts plant, supplying to the Big Three. I had to hire a production assistant. The one I inherited when I started was moving, his wife got a better job. I had already received snide comments about his abilities from people at Ford and GM. He was a hard worker, well organized and quite competent in his entry-level job, but his vocabulary and spelling were abysmal. For his job, I received fifty applications. Forty-five of them I immediately threw in the garbage. These people were as bad as, or worse than, the incumbent. One of them listed a previous employer, but spelled the name wrong. He claimed to have worked there for three years, but apparently failed to notice that his named company had been bought out five years before he started and name had been changed. I couldn’t and wouldn’t hire anybody like that.

    You can speak/write at whatever level you’re comfortable with, and you should speak at the level of the group you’re addressing, but remember, there are social and financial consequences for failure. I would rather raise the average level of ability of the group than lower the level of usage till we all babble incomprehensible slush.

    The higher the level of precision in communication, the smoother and more error-free the personal interactions. blank, above, claims that ‘dya means “do you”, not “did you”, but that’s just his opinion, one he can’t prove. Perhaps the author, in that specific case, meant “did you”, but, how would you know? Perhaps that’s why, “Well, you know what I mean”, is the most commonly used English phrase. There’s a lot of time, energy and social goodwill wasted questioning and double-checking.

    Relaxed pronunciation and informal usage is fine, in relaxed and informal situations, but it’s a good idea to be able to communicate the ability to perform the job, for the folks who sign the paychecks. As business grows ever more technological, the requirement to read and write clearly becomes more important. Operation manuals, process sheets, WHMIS and OSHA forms are imperative. “Yo, dude”, aint gonna cut it!

  44. Carrie -  August 23, 2011 - 10:13 pm

    I do not think slurred or relaxed speech/pronunciation is a big deal in a casual setting; I sometimes participate in it with my friends and family, even though, as a general rule, I prefer to be grammatically and phonetically correct in most of my speech. I would never, ever, EVER use such an informal manner of speech in a professional setting.
    As far as writing goes, I think it depends on what you are trying to communicate. In most situations, I think it’s important to adhere to the given rules of phonetics; however, if you are trying to depict a younger or more informal character, slurs like “didja,” “gonna,” wanna,” or “dontcha” may be appropriate. Personally, I am much more likely to say “I’m gonna grab something to eat” than “I am going to go grab something to eat.” I am seventeen years old.
    If you’re trying to depict a college English professor who loses his mind whenever he hears one of of his students slur their words together, then you should probably be very strict grammatically as you write his dialogue. In contrast, one of his students – or even the campus art professor with whom he meets for lunch every Friday – might be much more relaxed, and allow a few slips and slurs in their speech.
    The “do not end your sentences with a preposition” rule, while helpful, is often ignored by the common American. It’s just too awkward to call your child/friend/sibling/significant other and ask them, “With whom are you?”
    Seriously – using proper grammar is great — I myself am extremely picky about grammar and spelling — but sometimes, it’s just plain awkward.

  45. Chrisf -  August 23, 2011 - 10:01 pm

    Darrel, try a Find on this page (Ctrl-F works in most browsers).

    “NotDead”Chet on August 21, 2011 at 11:13 am
    How ’bout : Ah “finna” bus’ yo’ lip. = “I am fixing to bust your lip.

    While I knew this, I cannot tell you how “fixing” means “getting ready.”

  46. Ryan -  August 23, 2011 - 9:45 pm

    Sounds like some of the popular redneck terms like “younto” or “jedinuse”.

  47. Ulysses -  August 23, 2011 - 8:25 pm

    Using incorrect writting; pronounciations; verbaly abusing words; it’s all good in the hood, homies and homegirls. It doesnt get any better than slang. West coast English is the finnest, clearest, slickest, nasty, hyphy, bay area type of language. Compare to some East Coaster’s out there who have the toughest accent nowadays….. late!

  48. Jalin -  August 23, 2011 - 7:35 pm

    If relaxed pronunciation is that big of an issue, I say we just forget the Latin alphabet and adopt Chinese symbols. Message gets conveyed and you’re free to pronounce it as you please.

  49. sharon -  August 23, 2011 - 7:28 pm

    I am tarred of all this speech.

  50. RequiredName -  August 23, 2011 - 7:16 pm

    Ebonics should be taught in schools, right alongside internet emoticons.

  51. babybull -  August 23, 2011 - 6:33 pm

    I agree with hazardass. Relaxed speech is already part of our language. The spelling of it, on the other in hand, won’t be acceptable thanks to most people in America having access to books, computers & an education.

    Regardless of how you feel about it, there are many, many words we all say two different ways and we all understand each other anyway. And this is one of the main reasons why it’s so difficult to learn another language. Every language has its proper way of speaking and the way people speak in a relaxed informal setting. I know this because I come from a trilingual household & yet I know six languages – the proper way to speak them and the informal relaxed way.

    So those who think they know only one language actually speak two – the proper way and the relaxed informal way.

  52. robbie -  August 23, 2011 - 4:50 pm

    The answer to Jeet and Squeat might be
    Twirly Tweet.

  53. Jonelle -  August 23, 2011 - 2:46 pm

    You may speak truth, but is it not rather harsh? I mean, if you take notice at the different styles of writing, you can see that some people write in the perspective of a young child who has no knowledge of proper English dialect, hence they say things like “Should of” and “could of”. In other books the perspective is different: it is in one who’s vocabulary, is far larger than a child’s, and therefore the words may state “Should have” which is far more proper. Just as someone commented, one may unconsciously speak improperly, due to their exposure in life, which is incorrect, yet no one realizes, where as an outsider who was exposed to something entirely differently will quickly notice what needs correction.

  54. Adonis -  August 23, 2011 - 2:17 pm

    i MEAN gUD A. M.

  55. Joj -  August 23, 2011 - 1:12 pm

    cool topic!

  56. Tom -  August 23, 2011 - 1:01 pm

    It seems every day we move more and more to a real life version of the movie Idiocracy.

    Welcome to Costco, I love you.

    If you haven’t seen it watch it and be afraid for our future.

  57. Rob -  August 23, 2011 - 12:50 pm

    P.S. I grew up in Mississippi and my ‘English’ is highly unintelligible to most folks…especially when I forget I live in California and commence slurring and drawling, turning most sentences into coarse grunts. HOWEVER…I also write novels…and I’d never, ever consider trying to commit those slurs, drawls, and grunts to paper. Frankly, my dear, I’d even have a hard time understanding them!

  58. Rob -  August 23, 2011 - 12:46 pm

    Try ‘quickly’ reading and understanding Joel Chandler Harris (‘Uncle Remus’) or the second half of Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Rob Roy.’ Nope, these ‘spoken vernaculars’ haven’t yet entered our literary written English. OR…for those folks who think that stuff written in ‘dialect’ is fun reading…my guess is that they haven’t tried to write or read complete novels written as such. No, there’s no ‘Académie Française’ for English…but there still is an ‘educated crowd’ around that reads books–remembering that the average age of a person who walks into a bookstore to buy a book is about 50–and, it’s not always the ease of reading that attracts a reader to a novel. It’s something way beyond the ‘dialectal slang’ that makes sense–sometimes–when you mouth out the sounds…if you don’t fall asleep first whilst trying to figure out what has been written!

  59. English tips -  August 23, 2011 - 12:33 pm

    Actually I don’t like to speaking about the informally usage, instead, it’s much better to speak using the formal ones. Carlos from Brazil owner of English tips blog.

  60. Drakkletannon -  August 23, 2011 - 12:06 pm

    “I would alway win”
    Improvement found.

  61. Drakkletannon -  August 23, 2011 - 12:00 pm

    I smell a Trollolololo.

  62. Ralph -  August 23, 2011 - 11:24 am

    @ Mr. Gamer: It is jeet (did you eat). Depends on where you grew up and I think suzieque and I come from the same part of the country. I grew up saying “jeetyet?”

  63. PetPeeves -  August 23, 2011 - 10:22 am

    what confuses me is when phrases are spelled like this:

    Should of = “should have” ?
    Could of, etc.

  64. Darrel -  August 23, 2011 - 8:40 am

    I often wondered why did ppl say I’m “finna” go outside. What in the world is finna. If not they would say I’m “finto” eat my dinner. Maybe it’s a southern dialect but either way it sounds ridiculous.

  65. Shane -  August 23, 2011 - 8:40 am

    hahaha…yeah forget about it…cool

  66. Sandi -  August 23, 2011 - 7:54 am

    I am getting a headache reading some of these posts. I am most baffled by the posts from people touting the importance of correct, clear pronunciation and grammar while their post is littered with incorrect grammar (by American English standards of today). Be that as it may, I agree that there is a place for “relaxed pronunciation”. There is no room, however, for incorrect grammar. In addition, I wish people realized that, while “could’ve” and “should’ve” are correct and acceptable, the use of “could of” and “should of” brands them uneducated and not at all well-read. Perhaps I am only half correct, though, as I have seen “could of” published in several otherwise-respectable publications. It is sad that even some of the professionals are clueless.

  67. John Norbert -  August 23, 2011 - 7:17 am

    Good grammatical point made by “reafadas” on August 18th.

  68. someteacher -  August 23, 2011 - 7:11 am

    Wow, what a conservative bunch. I’m an English teacher, and I think it is preferable to use this type of writing in some cases. First of all, if you’re writing dialogue, you SHOULD write the way people speak. You should also use this anywhere else where you want to preserve the sound of actual speech for effect.

    There is a concept of “voice” in writing, and most states score student writing partially based on it. Using authentic voice can involve writing the way we speak v according to formal rules. No, I wouldn’t use “relaxed pronunciation” writing a business letter, but I would use it in an essay.

    I used to work with a teacher who told students never to use contractions in writing. To a reader, it “sounds” very awkward and unrealistic to read a quote like “I am going to go now,” when you know darn well that what was said was, “I’m gonna go now” or “I could have done that” instead of “I could’ve done that.” And what happens with my students is that, since they’ve never been taught “could’ve” and the like, they write “could of” because that’s how it sounds to them. This forbidding of contractions is the equivalent of forbidding relaxed pronunciation, as far as I’m concerned. It goes overboard.

    The point of writing is communication. If you can communicate effectively, then what is the obsession with formal rules about? (Oops, there I go breaking the “don’t end a sentence with a preposition” rule. God forbid! I should have said “then about what is the obsession with formal rules?”. Feel better now?) There are cases when you SHOULD use relaxed pronunciation to be truly effective.

  69. blank -  August 23, 2011 - 7:08 am

    I believe “d’ya” is short for “do you,” not for “did you” as this article claims. The article has no byline, but whoever the author is pointed this out by mentioning “didja.” I suspect he/she is aware of this, and that this is just a careless mistake.

    As for “Sarah” who wrote in at 1:03 on the 18th: If you are the person correcting others and complaining that they do not listen, perhaps you should investigate your own incorrect use of the singular “they.” I know that I certainly would not take usage advice from someone that ignorant.

  70. vikhaari -  August 23, 2011 - 6:55 am

    2 Karen,
    I am very much new in this blogging club, and I not at all smart; however, mind you, I am enjoying very much as I read all these very educated, talented and knowledgeable pieces of writings—making me feel like I know nothing.
    But Karen you said his/her  hs (one term—unique, rightful, logical and, above all, equal—as timely too, for both genders) will be taken over in pronunciation as …remember what you mentioned! But we cannot let that be so; can we! Or should we? We defend it with all our might lest it happen, and must correct that vigorously in defense for us. Don’t you agree? Sorry I think I am diverting the original topic, perhaps.

     2 Doug,
    I think when it comes to numbers (like the two that you’ve mentioned in your piece or any such other figures) the verb it takes always singular. Or kindly correct me, please.

  71. 11vandev -  August 23, 2011 - 6:40 am

    If speaking properly in English is manageable for me than so is writing properly. Don’t get your knickers in a twist, people (excuse the idiom). Although having a standard for writing is good, not all will follow it. There needs to be a middle ground. If one can communicate their point and have someone understand it, the job is done. Words are meant to get a point across. It doesn’t matter how; it only matters if the other person understands or not.

  72. Paul -  August 23, 2011 - 6:36 am

    By the way, this is more commonly known as “connected speech” in linguistics.

  73. Paul -  August 23, 2011 - 6:33 am

    This is not a new thing. Connected speech has been a feature of English for a long time. Learners of English need to know about it, so teachers need to teach it.

  74. shmead -  August 23, 2011 - 6:32 am

    These sort of phonological processes happen in all languages at all times. Words like ‘dontcha’ represent two particular processes. One is assimilation. The phonemes /t/ of don’t and /j/ of you are merged into the affricate [tʃ]. The second process is vowel reduction, where the unstressed /u:/ of you becomes a schwa.

    Many of these sound changes are standard, even unnoticed in spoken English. The pronunciation of football as [fʊpbl], with the ‘t’ assimilated to a ‘p’, or the pronunciation of Saint Paul’s, for the London Cathedral, in my pronunciation as [sempɔːz], aren’t noticed.

    The reason some sound changes are noticed and others aren’t is because a) some are limited to a particular group of speakers, usually of a non-standard dialect, or b) because it’s a relatively new development, or c) the sound change is only used in a particular register.

    Register is the issue which is the most divisive, as it defines the type of language used in a particular context. When talking to friends, saying ‘gonna’ isn’t going to raise any eyebrows, but perhaps in a board meeting, or in court, this usage would be considered unacceptable.

    However, if the sound change becomes pervasive enough, it’ll become standardised, and no-one will even notice it.

  75. Roberta Hardy -  August 23, 2011 - 5:48 am

    I once advised a French colleague to ask an American colleague, “Jawreddy eat?” She was skeptical that she would be understood, in fact, she thought I was pulling her leg, but she tried it. The American colleague not only understood her, he didn’t even notice she had used relaxed pronunciation.

  76. Haiazahel -  August 23, 2011 - 5:30 am

    Icy ape rob limb hare…

  77. SJ -  August 23, 2011 - 5:28 am

    @ Archon

    Congratulations on all your success, you smell terrific!

    While I’m sure the world is grateful to you for sharing your glorious achievments, I’m of the humble opinion that your comments would be better placed in the ‘Narcissism’ forum.

    At the risk of going off topic, do you have any opinions on the use of informal language?

  78. rebecca -  August 23, 2011 - 4:45 am

    (let’s go)

  79. Ellen -  August 23, 2011 - 3:16 am

    I wouldn’t want to see relaxed pronunciation slip into the way we write, but I’m baffled by some of the comments here, that we shouldn’t be speaking this way. It’s natural, and speakers of every language have their own informal, relaxed pronunciations.

    I teach EFL, and my students loved the lesson I did on relaxed pronunciation. They know, from movies and tv shows, that the very formal English they speak in class isn’t what people in the States speak, and even I was surprised by how eager they were to pick up this less formal speech and walk around saying things like, “wouldja tell me what time we gotta go to school?”

  80. tali -  August 23, 2011 - 3:10 am

    twinch (two inch)

  81. Suhail -  August 23, 2011 - 2:57 am

    @John Fotheringham. I feel Reen is emphasising about the accepted norms of formal English speech & script rather than what is in favour or disfavour.

  82. lou -  August 22, 2011 - 11:31 pm

    The determination of language be it written or spoken is to communicate a message. If the message is being understood why is it wrong? With the fast pace of technology and communication on such a major scale, language is developing and evolving rapidly. I happen to think it is quite exciting and interesting.
    During the earlier part of human evolution we grunted to and at each other to get a message across. Language is developing and evolving faster than we are physically. If we wanted to be more formal in our communication I believe latin is the traditional approach, we have certainly come a long way since those times.

  83. david bean -  August 22, 2011 - 9:28 pm

    Most modern song writing and poetry is full of this sort of wrong abreviation. Who are the word police that would have told Shakespear he couldn’t invent words? I’m sure that in the future some of these relaxed pronounciations will be accepted as “intonations” that reflect the feeling of what is being written. As for William Burroughs, who also calls himself “the Master Drug Taker”, I am reluctant to accept his addled view on anything, even if he is considered a creative genius.

  84. Kt -  August 22, 2011 - 9:09 pm

    Yay! My kinda peeps! Thank you all for the most enjoyable reading, here. If I’m able to look through it again, perhaps I’ll learn something. Random comment: My dad had taught us the value of pronouncing words phonetically – for fun AND educational purposes. My friends & family crack up with my combined usage of acronyms (“atm”, for “at the moment”; or “lol”, for when you can’t think of what else to say), and text abbreviations (“workn” and “prob’ly”), along with spelling out words like “experimentally”…all in the same sentence, text or otherwise. S’all good. Btw, special thanks to you, Ella, for pointing out the correct use of “than”, in addition to other pet peeves of mine that have been addressed satisfactorally by vicarious means. Taking license in casual correspondence (including this mainstreamish venue) is acceptable – written or verbal – imho. That’s my vote.

  85. Jeff -  August 22, 2011 - 8:32 pm

    The English language is the richest language in the world, borrowing from so many other languages. Yes, this relaxed pronunciation is appropriate for very informal speaking and writing–language is all contextual. If I’m writing a novel which involves teenage informal dialogue, I would use this relaxes pronunciation to capture their conversations. Wassup, peeps?

  86. camouse -  August 22, 2011 - 7:58 pm

    how about “Hain’t” I Hain’t got it!

  87. rocker -  August 22, 2011 - 7:56 pm

    Regardless of your position on formality vs. informality or preservation vs. evolution of language, an issue that arises when attempting to spell words and phrases as they are colloquially pronounced has to do with spoken accent. For example, an American sending a text message may use “wat” or “wut” in place of “what,” whereas a British speaker would probably use “wot” in the same context, and similar discrepancies would doubtless crop up in other words and phrases; therefore, if these two people, who technically speak the same language, were each to spell phonetically, they (and others with different accents) would have a harder time understanding each other’s writing than if they were to write formally. Because of these colloquial differences, which may widely vary even between different ethnic groups of similar social standing in the same area, colloquial writing may be considered appropriate for familiar conversation but not for communication to a wider audience.

  88. ron archie austria -  August 22, 2011 - 3:19 pm

    this is good to know. learners and users of a language must know these things about that particular language. however, in my point-of-view, i would strongly consider learning both the formal and informal aspect of a language because this will, at the end of the day, allow its user to communicate to every language user and not to a particular group alone. :)

  89. Carlitos -  August 22, 2011 - 1:17 pm


    “Archon on August 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm
    @ Carlitos

    They tore down my list of friends but, as far as calling a spade, a spade openly is concerned…

    I have a file containing over a hundred Op-ed letters, two Community Opinion pieces, and a 24 line poem, published in the local newspaper, or the big regional one, down the road. Of course, nobody debates the poem, or even cares, but some of the letters and one of the opinion pieces were the result of phone calls or emails from the paper, suggesting that I weigh in on a particular issue.

    Every one of the letters is not only signed with my complete name, it includes my address and phone number. The two opinion pieces even include my photo. I also have letters sent directly to concerned parties. Trust me, these people know who I am and where I live.

    I have skewered petty politicians, bumbling bureaucrats, shady businessmen, unresearched Chicken Littles, self-important columnists and professional, as well as amateur, moralistic religionists. I went to the local paper about something else, and decided to go upstairs to tell a writer that he obviously didn’t know the difference between Carbon Dioxide Laser melanin removal and cryonic dermabrasion. Have you ever been shot with a CO2 laser, he demanded? The look on his face when I explained that I had, not once, but twice, was priceless.

    I once stood nose to nose and toe to toe with the local Monsignor and traded biblical quotes and Catholic tenets, until he finally admitted that he didn’t really understand the issue at hand, felt that the worshippers would be better served the way they, and I, suggested, and that he was just following the party line.

    My wife complained a couple of times that, with my larger vocabulary, and the fact that I’ve studied logic, I would alway win the argument. No matter what language, no matter what logic, two plus two always equals four. Of course, so does five minus one, and the cube root of sixty-four.

    People correct others on this site all the time. Gamer just corrected Suzieque, Ella just corrected Dee. If you can show me an error in usage or fact, lay it on me, I welcome the chance to improve. If I, or anyone else shows you the error of your ways, man up, and take the hit. I won’t debate you except under Archon, because the term psychotic stalker comes to mind.”

    —Wow, Archon! You’re that busy, have that many friends and are that important in your community, yet you still have the time to compose such an articulate and amazingly smug reply to a nobody like me on a blog where you will never know nor meet any of the other bloggers? I’m thoroughly impressed! Once again, my hat is off to you. You ARE the winner. I have congratulated you before, and ceased to contest your HotWord crown. I did “man up” and admit that you’re so much better than I and the others here, yet you still beat the dead dog. You’re just a dead dog-beater, you dead dog-beater! Why don’t you go beat a dead-dog!

  90. freelife -  August 22, 2011 - 11:18 am

    its okay in Texts………………but not officially and to practice good speaking and communicative skills………….we need to forget about relaxed terms………….once a habit always a habit

  91. Carlitos -  August 22, 2011 - 10:07 am



  92. Jones -  August 22, 2011 - 9:47 am


  93. Carlitos -  August 22, 2011 - 9:41 am

    There could be a time when we could take these relaxed pronunciations to the next level. Not from laziness or ignorance, but out of purpose. It may be possible, when the irrelevant minutiae is eliminated from our methods of communication, that we essentially achieve a kind of telepathy, or a minimalistic bare-bones form of communication that requires only the smallest bit of action to convey the desired information.

    There have been stories of aboriginal tribes and peoples, who were able to in some sense communicate telepathically, because they didn’t posess the hubris and ego that modern man typically embraces wholeheartedly. This freed them to communicate more as a single organism, as they were likely already sharing the same types of honest and intuitive thoughts, not having to maintain their image of themselves in their own mind or in the minds of others in their communities.

    I suspect that eventually the spoken and written word will be obsolete, on many levels, for favor of some new (or dormant) ability to communicate effectively and effortlessly. Or, our egos will continue to triumph and we’ll become a species of fiercely individualized and isolated xenophobes.

  94. jenny -  August 22, 2011 - 8:53 am

    You all seem to have a point.I mostly agree with Lori Callaway. It’s better to be ready and know how to reply to anyone the way they are used to.There’s no discussion if you’re making no meaning out of it!

  95. norman -  August 22, 2011 - 8:26 am


  96. Shree -  August 22, 2011 - 7:53 am

    I use those various “contractions” a lot on Face Book or Twitter when I am expressing myself the way it would sound if you could hear my voice. I have lived in Texas for so long that the pronunciations I formerly found amusing are natural to me now, and creep into my everyday speech. HOWEVER, I believe it is mostly inappropriate in formal writing when the recipient is not a personal friend and one is not trying to be comical or entertaining. If you are writing a story and are quoting someone with a twang, then it’s probably alright – if you put it in quotation marks. We should all strive to know and be able to use proper grammar when speaking to a group because it makes us sound more intelligent. I find it annoying and a little bit sad when I hear public speakers, like news anchors on TV, using colloquialisms, slang, and improper grammar. An accent is one thing, but mashed up, jumbled together, mumble speak is “a whole ‘nuther thang all t’gether” when one is supposedly representing a reliable source of information or trying to educate others.

  97. Alyssa -  August 22, 2011 - 7:25 am

    I think it’s okay to use orally, for the most part, but a lot of kids use this when texting and IM’ing and don’t use proper spelling or grammar in the classroom. I still know people who are in their 20s who use “could of”, “would of”, “should of” when it should be “could HAVE”. I press slight blame on the English curriculum in schools now. They just don’t teach the actual language. I never learned a darn thing in any of my English classes, and I’ll be damned if I ever have to compare two short stories again in my life.

  98. SJ -  August 22, 2011 - 7:10 am

    Kingsley Amis divides English pedants in Berks and Wankers, thus:
    “Berks are careless, coarse, crass gross and of what anybody would agree is a lower social class than one’s own. They speak in a slipshod way with dropped Hs, intruded glottal stops and many mistakes in grammar. Left to them the English language would die of impurity, like late Latin

    Wankers are prissy, fussy, priggish, prim and of what they would probably misrepresent as a higher social class than one’s own. They speak in an over-precise way with much pedantic insistence on letters not generally sounded, especially Hs. Left to them the English language would die of purity, like medieval Latin”

    As a footnote, it took an American to come up with the wonderfully succinct metaphor for such things: “Catch 22″

  99. sali g. -  August 22, 2011 - 6:43 am

    Why can’t I access “the history of hello” mentioned in todays slanguage column?

  100. Kissy -  August 22, 2011 - 6:31 am

    I’m gonna start saying “I’m going to…”

  101. Shane -  August 22, 2011 - 6:14 am

    ♥ i think it’s ok to use slang words as long as everybody understands u..hahahahhalol

  102. Robert M -  August 22, 2011 - 5:39 am

    “Yurr me?” Do you hear me.

    “Know’m, sayn, yo?” Do you know what I’m saying?

    “Feel me, yo?” Do you understand me?

    “Ho dee doe” Hold the elevator door.

    “Tear de roof off de suckah” Lots of applause.

  103. Rogerio -  August 22, 2011 - 4:35 am

    it’s nice to know, but it is a big issue for us, foreign students…!

  104. Rob -  August 22, 2011 - 3:25 am

    I love these relaxed whatchacallits I use them all the time actually.
    But my favorite (which may or may not actually be a relaxed pronunciation since I spell it with an apostrophe) is G’moe. For those early hours of the day when you are too tired to fully say good morning this word works wonders.

  105. eustace alexandra -  August 22, 2011 - 3:00 am

    I am a stickler for the Queeen’s English, however when it comes to typing an e-mail, I find that I often use a single alphabet to convey the meaning of a word. Example: U for you; 2 for to, R for are etc.

    Hypocrite thy name is Alex !!!

  106. John -  August 22, 2011 - 1:37 am

    “leave your street talk in the street” was my mum’s motto. She spoke ‘properly’ even though, with peers, she had a pronounced North Eastern accent complete with vernacular words.
    No reason why we can’t be bi-dialectical, with colloquial street talk and a universal accent that facilitates communication between disparate groups.

  107. Joe -  August 22, 2011 - 12:35 am

    I use it because typing… I type so much everyday that I could use a vacation… I could learn to play a sport and have a new ego than type all this stuff. Somtemes… like now.. i just let myself stop typing correctly. It’s so stressful. I say while there’s no real serious concern for the stress involved in typing, it is okay to use relaxed pronounciation. It can be indication that the person has too much in life to deal with than to try to put the time to have correct pronouncation. A person like that can also use a vacation, even though the person makes adaptations to ease it such as relaxed pronounciation.

  108. J Lieb -  August 22, 2011 - 12:08 am

    Er, I meant “…deplore English evolution…” ;)

  109. J Lieb -  August 22, 2011 - 12:05 am

    Hey, what’s slang today is mainstream tomorrow. I’ve no problem with English evolving; I think it’s fabulous. Look at all the Latinate and Germanic loanwords in English. And now I hear slang words like “bling” used in the mainstream media. With the advent of the internet and the mixing of cultures, I expect to see more of it. Here in Japan, where I teach English, there’s a lot of mixing. The Japanese even have their own brand of English. They call it “Jinglish”. In Singapore there’s “Singlish”. I’ve seen these variations all over Asia. It’s a two way street, don’t you think? We borrow from other cultures and they borrow from us. Take the phrase “air conditioning”. In Japan it’s been adopted and shortened to “aircon”, which suits their needs better. I even find myself using it. Some of you may deplore the use of English evolution, but it’s the natural course of events, the ebb and flow like the tide.

  110. ??? -  August 22, 2011 - 12:04 am

    i think its fine
    didja, sorta

  111. Mesila -  August 21, 2011 - 11:12 pm

    The technology effect can’t be ignored. Our attention-spans for textual matter are – to the panic of many – reduced by the continuing increase in the ubiquity of Tweetspeak and Farcebook–um, Facebook–updates, since they’re now tied into 9 out of every 10 websites we visit.

    Then there’s the slabs we carry around with us – it seems quaint to call something that has about 60 applications on it a ‘cellphone’ when only one of those apps is indeed a telephone (and what does ‘cellular’ mean, anyway?) The speed with which people tap out texting makes it easier to say ‘wouldja’ than ‘would you”, and it takes up three fewer characters, too.

    In San Francisco, the old saw about ‘Frisco’ being something the tourists called it, not the folks who live there, is being turned on its head by Android slabs which make it easier to type ‘Frisco’ than ‘San Fran’ or even ‘SF’ since that requires hitting the shift key twice, and the abrvtn can mean one of a bunch of different things: the obvious being ‘science fiction’, but also, it’s your friend’s initials, one of several obscure tech-jargon shortcuts, ot ‘single female’, to name just a few. So “Frisco” seems to be coming back – for the residents, though, who wear it on their gangsta teeshirts. The tourists, wary of being thought rubes, don’t say it.

    Language gets turned upside down, and chopped up, and constantly portmanteau’d – though ‘mashed-up’ is the appropriately current terminology for this comment – all the time. And eventually, the Official Bureaus of Standards, Webster and its peers, begin to integrate those changes that stick around more than 10 years or so.

  112. anant -  August 21, 2011 - 11:07 pm

    swag- style !! :D this slang is never used !!

  113. DanQ -  August 21, 2011 - 9:47 pm

    Sit ok to say didja or cudya? Dunno.

  114. Doug -  August 21, 2011 - 9:13 pm

    suzieque — Jeetchet? No? ‘Tsqueet!

    Sarah, I too am a language snob. But I finally figured out that correcting others does not quite have the no-effect you describe — the effect is something else: everyone thought I was pompous ass. (Because I was.)

    So now I grit my teeth. Mostly. A sales person recently said, “there’s two of ‘em,” and before thinking I said, “there *are* two of ‘em.” “You’re right,” said she. (“Sorry,” said I, having sworn I wouldn’t do that anymore.)

    Old snobbish habits die hard. But with work, at least they’ll lie, for the most part, dormant. The price of arrogance lost is eternal vigilance.

  115. Ray -  August 21, 2011 - 9:11 pm

    Informal language, slang, or every day lingo varies from region to region. However, we should always try to speak and write properly in order to communicate more effectively. Imagine using informal languange in – let’s say Australia or the U.K. – no one will know what the “heck” you mean or say.


  116. Brianna -  August 21, 2011 - 8:38 pm

    Some people are being a bit too dramatic with their condemnation of colloquial speech. A few have said that it impedes communication (e.g. the gentleman who said that “coulda” is unclear because “-a” could represent a number of morphemes), but this is obviously not true because we use these kind of forms all the time without any impediment to understanding. There is no native speaker who won’t understand them. The fact that we are discussing them here means that they are widely acknowledged and understood.

    Others have predicted that children growing up with this kind of speech won’t be able to perform in job interviews and academic essays. This is pretty ridiculous. I’m in my 20s, I grew up with text messages and IM, and we have always said “dya wanna” and “nope” in my house. How deplorable has my command of language become as a result? I got a perfect score on my written SATs. I graduated from a prestigious university with a degree in Linguistics. I can speak (and write!) several languages besides my mother tongue. This is because I grew up reading books, watching the news, talking to older folks, and being exposed to a variety of English standards, just like most kids in America. Learning how to say “yes” and “I would like to” in a job interview is not a very demanding skill that requires daily training at home.

    Still others have characterized American colloquial pronunciation as “lazy”. I suppose this is meant in comparison to the British, who are working tirelessly to uphold the pristinity of their language… except that American pronunciation is actually more true to the English of our forefathers from the 17th century than modern British Recieved Pronunciation, which has strayed quite far from its roots. Different dialects of English just simplify the pronunciation in different ways. Putting the comparison with British English aside, I don’t think reductions like “coulda” are lazy in any case. “Could have” is reduced to “could’ve” because the unstressed /h/ is dropped in many languages. It’s a regular phonetic process that has to do more with efficiency of articulation than laziness. Similarly, the /v/ is reduced because, more often than not, it’s sandwiched between the /d/ of “could” and the initial consonant of the following participle (e.g. the /b/ of “been” or the /g/ of “gone”). The consonant sequence /dvb/ and /dvg/ is unwieldy to pronounce, and is naturally reduced according to articulatory principles as it would be in any human language, without any detriment to understanding. If “coulda” is lazy, then so must be “goodbye” (linked in the article), “the” and “an” (derived from “that” and “one” – how lazy!), and thousands of reductions that are accepted as standard by hypocritical snobs who are ignorant of the history of their language. By the way, “aren’t” was once an uneducated, non-standard alternative to the proper “ain’t”, and “aks” was the standard used by Chaucer before those lazy Brits changed it to “ask” (no doubt getting laughed out of job interviews in the process!)

  117. Steve -  August 21, 2011 - 7:22 pm

    Listen to the President. . . .it must be O.K. Or I the only American embarrassed to listen to his “sound bites” on the evening news?

  118. Nancy -  August 21, 2011 - 6:00 pm

    whohnchee for why don’t you
    plike for play like

    Whohnchee plike you be the baby and …..

  119. cml -  August 21, 2011 - 5:05 pm

    While I understand that this is the “evolution” of the English language, I struggle enough with spelling that all these smooshed together words are frustrating. One word that really ticks me off is irregardless. Think about it! It means exactly the same as regardless, but it must make people think that the extra syllable makes them sound smart when in reality it just sounds ignorant.

  120. AliasPhex -  August 21, 2011 - 4:45 pm

    “Maybe we should just declare a 3rd category of speech called ‘mobile’, besides written and spoken.”

    I believe this is a worthwhile suggestion, to be honest. It may sound silly, but texting is certainly a different form of communication. My only input would be to call it “technological” or “techy” if you will, instead, as that offers a broader range.

    In my opinion, writing–unless it is in the case of characters in books or plays who speak with certain dialects–should be taught as sophisticated as possible. My little sister can hardly spell simple words from texting and she gets poor grades in English class. She also has no love of books and detests reading because she cannot spell or understand common usage words and it frustrates her–and she is nearing high school! It is a decadence, a loss of beauty if we don’t at least teach correct English well. If one must butcher a language, at least know how to communicate it correctly before you do. Beauty should not be reserved to historians and linguists of archaic forms of languages.

    Writing does, however, depend on the audience and intent. There lies the fluidity of language. Many write as they speak and I agree with many of you that language (namely speech) is highly versatile and adaptable. There is beauty in that, even in poor grammar, slurred words, and relaxed pronunciation.

    However, I believe that written colloquialism should be reserved for certain places. “Mobile”, “technological”–whatever you would call it–(that includes texting, blogging, chatspeak and social networking sites) would fall under this category. Perhaps even in magazines for teenagers would be included because those aren’t likely to be swayed to bring teenagers up in manners of effective grammar and spelling. Letters to friends and family, even. I don’t believe that newspapers, any professional documents, and books (even books for teenagers and kids) should fall under this category–they should be reserved for the good mechanics of written rule. Perhaps this is a stiff and unyielding response to change–I recognize that. I’m hard-pressed to accept it myself. I slur words together in daily life–in speech and the internet–but not in written word. I don’t believe English should enhance its already poor reputation for being a grammatical mugger. What is easy is not always the best way–sometimes it’s the lazy way–and sometimes there are good reasons that tradition remains true for ages.

    I mean no insult or offense, truly. I only wish to offer my opinion.

  121. Serena -  August 21, 2011 - 3:57 pm

    I am a kid, okay? And I talk like that ALOT in school, out of school, texting, everything! So I’m used to and understand what all these “contractions” are. We don’t mean to say didja or stuff like that. We mean did ya or did you. Sometimes it might even come out sounding like didchu or dya. :-l.

    DIDCU= Did you

    DYA=Did ya.

  122. Rosa73 -  August 21, 2011 - 3:25 pm

    I believe it can be written, but only in regional writing if you are targeting a specific person or area of the country. A commonly loved book that uses this is Huckelberry Finn by Mark Twain. However, in magazines, newspapers, and other media forms, this kind of writing is inappropriate.

  123. Karen -  August 21, 2011 - 3:05 pm

    When I read: “MataMerser24 on August 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm
    que?” I thought that the question was “Que?” as in, Spanish for “what?”
    Silly me.

    I find text shorthand to be very difficult to read. I would say that this is simply generational but my 20-something daughter also detests text speak. Maybe that is because she was raised to speak correctly. I did my best anyway.

    To the person who want to introduce ‘youse’. That is like nails on a chalkboard to me. And- on the west coast, “you guys” is not gender specific. I have said “you guys” my whole life when addressing a group regardless of their gender. Women/girls do this all the time. ‘You guys’ is similar to ‘ya’all’ in the south. Also, to try to contract him/her & he/she to ‘hs’ is nonsensical. ‘Hs’ would come to be pronounced “his”.

  124. Duck -  August 21, 2011 - 2:31 pm

    As a linguistics student, we learn not to prescribe how language should be used but rather to describe it as we see/hear it. A standard form of English is a man-made idea that was decided by people in positions of authority way back when. Language is a living, moving, changing thing and we should remain amused and interested in how and why it changes, if not completely embrace it.

  125. ester -  August 21, 2011 - 2:12 pm

    We all spend so much to learn what is right, written or spoken languages. yes, i agree people acquire differrent level of education too. We dont look down on any one speaking or writing less (majority) just because they speak or write differently from the way we speak or write however if a person have achieved a higher level of efficiency then they must speak and write properly to avoid the rule of majority, that might pull down the level of efficiency in speaking or writing.

  126. Klem39 -  August 21, 2011 - 2:04 pm

    One of the sad things that I have noticed here in New Zealand, is the number of part Maori who can not speak any language. They use some Maori, some English punctuated with slang and swear words. Add the use of text messages and one wonders how, and if, they read a news paper.
    How can they hope to get a job or promotion?
    By The Way: If you visit us, the normal greeting is “G-day”

  127. Susan -  August 21, 2011 - 1:15 pm

    Dunno bout u, but I never wrote like this til I joined a chat of ADHD folks. Talk flew so fast only wayta keep up was 2 short talk whenever I could. I don’t do phone text messages, but know they’re very abbreviated. I use some relaxed speech in letters to friends, in journal writing, and certainly in conversation. Sometimes simply because it’s fun to play with words. However, in writing anything else, unless a character’s voice called it, I wouldn’t use relaxed speech. But who knows what might happen tomorrow?

  128. WALNUT -  August 21, 2011 - 12:26 pm


  129. Vasanthan Parameswar -  August 21, 2011 - 12:10 pm

    English may lose its current status as the international link
    language. Chinese may take over. One of the many reasons is the
    different brands of its spoken form. How long can English hold on
    as an international language? English spoken in different countries,
    especially African and Asian, are virtually different languages. They
    are already in a further state of flux. Native speakers are miles away in a different world, not to be bothered about this situation. It is no news that language is in a constant state of change. So we have two hundred languages
    in the place of one. Which one will come to prevail? Just a few. Is English going to be one of them? Can we together do something?

  130. "NotDead"Chet -  August 21, 2011 - 11:13 am

    How ’bout : Ah “finna” bus’ yo’ lip. = “I am fixing to bust your lip.

  131. Mirna A. Smith -  August 21, 2011 - 10:05 am

    I totally agree with Alphageek & mouse on August 19… Strictly speaking, most of the comments, on here, were posted by people who speak fluent American, not English (as a dear friend of mine from across the Pond would say)…

    The American language has indeed evolved from the conglomerate and/or melting pot that makes America Beautiful…

    We are a Nation consisting of a number of subsidiary languages with dialects in a variety of unrelated words and/or phrases, usually as a result of assimilation or acquisition of our common base language, brought over aboard the Mayflower. Please, keep in mind that the Native Americans had many Nations and languages of their own, as well.

    Therefore, our American consists of a variety of languages that are distinguished from other varieties of the same English language by features of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary, and by its use by a group of speakers who are set off from others geographically, socially, and now technically.

  132. DJ -  August 21, 2011 - 9:39 am


    uma goin to da store.

    I am going to the store.

    It dozen madda.

    It does not matter.

  133. DJ -  August 21, 2011 - 9:32 am

    Wasa Madda witchu?

    What is the matter with you?

  134. Anne -  August 21, 2011 - 9:28 am

    One of my pet peeves. “Didja and its informal ilk” are a product of a lazy mind. Just saying.

  135. SheeCreates -  August 21, 2011 - 8:03 am

    A! C M DUCKS!
    O S M R!
    C M WINGS!!!
    O?? O! O S M R!!! U R RITE MUH MAN! M R 2 DUCKS!

  136. Lolface -  August 21, 2011 - 6:53 am

    well, yeah, so we should try to speak properly.

    But what is properly? I mean, should we go back to thee and thou? I expect some characters from the past wouldbe very disgraced with even…

    ‘Could you please open the door for me? It might be your grandmother.’

    No couldya’s or, as i say often, tomozza’s.

  137. francis -  August 21, 2011 - 6:33 am

    we’d be hypocrites if we don’t consider it an acceptable form of speech.

  138. robin -  August 21, 2011 - 5:18 am

    it’s the difference between ‘chilling’ and ‘chillaxing.’ a whole new level of easy, peaceful feelings!

  139. generalno -  August 21, 2011 - 5:07 am

    Did you ever = Didja ever = Jevver

  140. james -  August 21, 2011 - 3:07 am

    And “melded together ” in the second paragraph at the top of this page.

  141. james -  August 21, 2011 - 3:06 am

    I hope I am not boring you with….ATM Machine..( inside a local shopping centre) . ABS Brakes…sign outside a local ervice station.And in my childs biology book at school.HIV Virus.Eroded down..Out fit ( what is that ?) Reverse back. Continuing on. and in a letter from our local council…” Onforward” . And why cannot persons pronounce words like ‘particularly’ instead of particuly , Libry for library and Febry instead of February. ?

  142. james -  August 21, 2011 - 3:00 am

    ” Relaxed Pronunciation” is like a grub that is eating away at the once incrediblely juicy and lovely language of English. Here is something tp ponder, the insidious ” UP” word ,long with ” out” and a few others . Here are a few examples..( so far I have collected 140)..Sit ‘up’ .think ‘up’ drink ‘up’ wash ‘up’ clean ‘up’ dry ‘up’gather ‘up’ lift ‘up’ rise ‘up’ dig ‘up’ back ‘up’fill ‘up’offered ‘up’.and the list goes on. Wear ‘out’dry out’caught ‘out’ burned ‘out’…etc etc etc . I many examples of other trangressions against good grammar.

  143. Roger -  August 21, 2011 - 2:31 am

    The english language is ever evolving and I think if it’s not done too rapidly there is nothing wrong with these corruptions that drive english teachers nuts. It just makes our language richer and can define each of our generations.

  144. Ann -  August 20, 2011 - 10:52 pm

    dunno bout it

  145. Felonious Punk -  August 20, 2011 - 10:36 pm

    Should relaxed pronunciation be accepted into written English?

    Owno, maybe. Yeah, I guess. Ya know, come to think of it, that might be a really great idea!

  146. blueent -  August 20, 2011 - 8:36 pm

    Commin ova da fens

  147. Max -  August 20, 2011 - 8:17 pm

    Here’s another one, Jay: “alot” is a word that has always amused me. I see it written “alot”, but ‘snot in the dictionary (oh, there’s another one).

  148. Midian -  August 20, 2011 - 8:01 pm

    I really think it depends on the situation. For formal writing I’ll use the correct pronunciation, but for informal I’ll simply type the way I speak. My friends would think I’ve gone crazy if I started using “got to”, “kind of” and “suppose” instead of “kinda”, “gotta” and “s’pose”.

  149. Beth -  August 20, 2011 - 6:56 pm

    Oh, dear. Some of these posts make me fear the future of the language. Yes, language evolves. Old English is almost unrecognizable as speech to us now, unless one knows how to read Germanic runes. This does not, however, mean that in the written form of the language, we should throw rules to the dogs and do whatever we like. That isn’t clear communication, and the point of language to begin with is the ability to clearly communicate. It breaks down if we all fall back on our own lazy or regional pronunciations.

    And for the record, I’m from the Southern part of the United States, so believe me when I say, I know regional dialects. Those of us who make it a point to use proper pronunciation can be understood by all speakers of the language, whereas I know some whose regional dialects are so strong other native English speakers have difficulty understanding them.

    These rules are in place for a reason–a need for them arose. Not to sound like a language snob or anything, but that’s the way it is. It’s like reading a work in Middle English with no punctuation–the only punctuation that existed was the period. It’s hard to muddle through dialogue and such without commas and quotation marks! But now we have them, and it makes reading a lot easier. So, language should always be evolving to communicate to a wider group of people, not limiting itself to one region or economic sub-set.

  150. MrBluster -  August 20, 2011 - 6:07 pm

    A little off the topic, but if I have to read “that said…” one more time, I’ll scream!

  151. Mike McKelvy -  August 20, 2011 - 5:01 pm

    ‘Sup? “Relaxed pronunciation” is vernacular and much to the chagrin of grammarians, usage dominates spoken English; accurate spelling of vernacular conveys embedded content not present in R.P. and formal American dialect.That said, whassamata’u? You gotta problem? Fuggetaboutit!

  152. Archon -  August 20, 2011 - 3:37 pm

    @ Carlitos

    They tore down my list of friends but, as far as calling a spade, a spade openly is concerned…

    I have a file containing over a hundred Op-ed letters, two Community Opinion pieces, and a 24 line poem, published in the local newspaper, or the big regional one, down the road. Of course, nobody debates the poem, or even cares, but some of the letters and one of the opinion pieces were the result of phone calls or emails from the paper, suggesting that I weigh in on a particular issue.

    Every one of the letters is not only signed with my complete name, it includes my address and phone number. The two opinion pieces even include my photo. I also have letters sent directly to concerned parties. Trust me, these people know who I am and where I live.

    I have skewered petty politicians, bumbling bureaucrats, shady businessmen, unresearched Chicken Littles, self-important columnists and professional, as well as amateur, moralistic religionists. I went to the local paper about something else, and decided to go upstairs to tell a writer that he obviously didn’t know the difference between Carbon Dioxide Laser melanin removal and cryonic dermabrasion. Have you ever been shot with a CO2 laser, he demanded? The look on his face when I explained that I had, not once, but twice, was priceless.

    I once stood nose to nose and toe to toe with the local Monsignor and traded biblical quotes and Catholic tenets, until he finally admitted that he didn’t really understand the issue at hand, felt that the worshippers would be better served the way they, and I, suggested, and that he was just following the party line.

    My wife complained a couple of times that, with my larger vocabulary, and the fact that I’ve studied logic, I would alway win the argument. No matter what language, no matter what logic, two plus two always equals four. Of course, so does five minus one, and the cube root of sixty-four.

    People correct others on this site all the time. Gamer just corrected Suzieque, Ella just corrected Dee. If you can show me an error in usage or fact, lay it on me, I welcome the chance to improve. If I, or anyone else shows you the error of your ways, man up, and take the hit. I won’t debate you except under Archon, because the term psychotic stalker comes to mind.

  153. Melanie -  August 20, 2011 - 3:28 pm

    I understand that people will use slang. I do it myself in speaking. It seems to be a cohesive element in a geographical area. For example, I speak in a Northern Wisconsin dialect. When i move about the country, others can detect the accent in my speech.
    On the other hand, I believe it is important when writing to be clear and concise in order to be better understood. If you are peaking to someone and they don’t understand, you probably catch it immediately. However, if someone is reading your words and doesn’t understand, you may not be there to explain it to them.

  154. eler -  August 20, 2011 - 3:27 pm

    Language is a living thing, impossible to predict or control 100%, no matter how many Academies or official dictionaries there might be. And as a living ‘creature’, it is subject to evolution, whether we like it or not. Otherwise, the Spaniards, French and Italian would still be speaking in Latin.
    Slang is a fantastic tool humans have devised to save time, as the ancient Latin speakers most probably did – are Spanish, French and Italian not the result of slang?
    So, the issue is whether we accept and embrace these changes or we struggle -in vain- to keep the language pure.

  155. Gerrard -  August 20, 2011 - 3:14 pm


  156. iscream 4 icecream -  August 20, 2011 - 3:11 pm

    I reckon that they should be a part of text and normal speech because relaxed speech just makes life easier, which is what we all live for! :)

  157. Charles Schultz -  August 20, 2011 - 12:36 pm

    I believe it’s acceptable in informal occasions. Under no cicrumstances would you use it any other situation. Likewise, they could be used in informal speech between characters in a story, but even then it’s wise to avoid formal situations.

  158. RHD -  August 20, 2011 - 12:19 pm


  159. Maybel -  August 20, 2011 - 12:06 pm

    It’s fine when people say “couldja” but written it looks horrid. Also, when you have too many of those words the sentence starts t get awefully confusing, and hard to understand. I think these terms are ok to use in informal speach, and can also add charactor to dialect. But they should not be accepted words.

  160. Johannes K -  August 20, 2011 - 11:40 am

    @Everyone who is complaining
    Wug up? is entirely correct. There is no correct way of writing. “Speak right, spell right” is entirely invalid, because what defines “right”? This language isn’t ‘owned’ by any one person. No one makes the rules. You can raise all ballyhoo about what things ‘should be’ and what is ‘proper’, but the thing is, the point is that whoever’s reading the words understands what the person said. If you say slang is lazy, then we better all start talking like ‘open-ed’ instead of ‘opened’, and ‘thorookh’ instead of ‘through’, because that’s how things used to be pronounced before people realized it was a waste of time to say all those syllables. It’s not lazy, it’s efficient, and to be fully accepted into certain social groups, slang a necessity.
    For an essay, your writing style is limited by institute standards to a certain spelling and word choice, simply because that’s the style of speech most everyone associates with a good essay. It’s like a universal dialect, so most every English speaker will be able to read your essay easily. But on your facebook post, or letter to a friend, you can write whatever the heck you want (bounded by international law, of course).

  161. Joy Corcoran -  August 20, 2011 - 11:38 am

    Spoken language evolves more quickly than written. It’s good to have written standards so that everyone can clearly understand what is being written — writing in dialect is quirky and personal and not always clear to someone who isn’t familiar with a region’s dialect or speaking rhythm. In the South, we prefer our grammar to be more colorful than correct, and yet many great writers are from the South — learning to meld what is new and vibrant into what is standard is the mark of a great writer.

  162. Danno -  August 20, 2011 - 11:00 am

    As far as I am concerned, common slurred words that have a clear meaning are fine if not welcome when used in casual conversation among friends. I feel that when they are used in communication with the public in publications or business communications, they reflect a lack of basic grammar and education. Didja, sorta, gotta, gonna, etc. have been used for years in casual conversation. My pet peeve is the use of ‘ax’ in the place of ask.

  163. Book Beater -  August 20, 2011 - 10:56 am


  164. courtney -  August 20, 2011 - 10:55 am

    In agreement with the above comments, these slang words are already being used on a daily basis, already mainstreamed. However, for the purpose of writing and presenting oneself in a professional manner, they should absolutely NOT be acceptable. We are all guilty of being lazy when it comes to perfect grammar when speaking, but writing or interviewing, even working, these words should not be considered acceptable.

    One user brought up a decent point, that the words may be allowed, perhaps in written dialogue between characters, but other than that, the answer is no.

  165. JJRousseau -  August 20, 2011 - 10:23 am

    Sounds like: Woof, Arf, Roof! Oui? Tree bark.

  166. WILLIAM ROBERSON -  August 20, 2011 - 9:19 am

    Like the joke : Build me a halo statue. But the man from sout Lousiana said, NO, no, he reached for a phone (in gesture, no phone there) and said: ” Hallo, ‘s That U?

  167. riv -  August 20, 2011 - 9:03 am

    d’ya is defined incorrectly in that article. d’ya is “do ya” and didja is “did you”. shame on them.

  168. ijxcca -  August 20, 2011 - 9:00 am

    No standard English exists nor should. Language has constantly changed throughout time, and only during the Victorian era have moral and grammatical prescriptivists aimed to impose a “grammatical correctness” simply because they got a hold of a printing press.

    “Correct”? “Correct” only exists because you choose someone or some group to coerce you (as I might have judging by the way I choose to write) with their peer pressure to make you conform. A case of the late psychologist Solomon Asch.

    One’s notion of “correct” would not match another’s “correct” due to each of their different life experiences, anyway. Welcome to the 21st century, prescriptivists.

  169. Sunshine -  August 20, 2011 - 8:51 am

    I do NOT think that ‘words’ like didja should be included in the dictionary or the formal English. Usage of abbs. and such relaxed pronunciations seem just fine in an informal chat but when it comes to a formal usage, some boundaries need to be drawn and the right time is now!

  170. Always a student -  August 20, 2011 - 7:47 am

    @ Slang, I have no clue what you were saying, sounded like (C)rap lyrics, I believe I am in agreement with Grammar Police. My mother was a teacher, turned principal, mother in law was British, so you know accidental slips were noticed and not allowed to slide. Conversation with friends and family, relaxed pronunciation is fine, however, in business / professional is completely inappropriate. I am a medical professional and will not come off sounding low class and uneducated. Although here in the south, we southern ladies will often end our sentences with ‘darlin’”

  171. Luck in W -  August 20, 2011 - 7:20 am

    I think that in any spoken language we tend to speak indistinctly from time to time. This is particularly true for children who were born into the language, so to speak. I’m not a native English speaker, though I started learning it when I was seven and I’m sure I shorten a lot of the same words most of us do. Generally, however, I do try to speak distinctly especially since I’ve taught English as a second or third language.

    However, I think as far as possible, these forms should not creep into formal speech or into writing. That’s where I do find them annoying because I always see these English forms communication as extensions of teaching the English language to foreigners who would have a lot more difficulties with these types of contractions. If English is to continue to be the/a world language, we have to make it as accessible as possible to other cultures and language groups.

  172. Joadsena -  August 20, 2011 - 6:58 am

    As an EFL Brazilian teacher, I find all these really cool. Fantatisc! Whether they should or shouldn’t be accepted… Oh, let’s just enjoy them the way they are.

  173. shawn -  August 20, 2011 - 12:51 am

    @ Tachi; What’s: “a whole ‘nother”?

  174. Robomom -  August 19, 2011 - 10:59 pm

    I, too, am a member of the “Speak right, spell right” club. This comes from being raised by a 5 star general of the Grammar Police; my mother. However, in daily life, we all tend to use the common vernacular and local colloquialisms. Our written words tend to be more formal. What I absolutely cannot abide is being stared at in a squirrelly manner when using a vocabulary of more than 15 words.

  175. Jose -  August 19, 2011 - 10:34 pm

    I believe that spoken language is, to some extent, unrelated to written language in terms of the appropriateness of informality. I agree that relaxed pronunciation is already mainstream and that’s not a problem in the natural scheme of things. I do think that there is a beauty to a “correctly” written sentence though. So, to me, maintaining a certain standard within the written vernacular is important in order to preserve that beauty.

  176. Deb -  August 19, 2011 - 9:05 pm

    suzieque – loved the spelling of your name and your comment. Good chuckle this evening!

  177. Lori Callaway -  August 19, 2011 - 8:54 pm

    I am teaching my children the proper form of speech because that is the way I was taught and I have a sister with Master’s Degrees in English, Spanish and French. I had no option but to learn how to speak properly.

    Some consider this snobbish or posturing, but it is not. As one poster stated;” Speak right, spell right..” I firmly believe in this motto.

    “Yeah”, “Huh” and “Nope” are not allowed in the house as usage in replies. What they do outside of the home I have no control of but at least they have been taught properly and will hopefully remember it when it comes to job interview and college interviewing time. Fight the battles you can win, I say. In the home this is a battle I can win. = ) Outside the home, its a lost cause, I know that.

    However my English teacher I had for many years growing up and my college English professors were and are quite pleased with my use of the English language.

  178. Tachi -  August 19, 2011 - 8:09 pm

    I never noticed how slangy the phrase “a whole ‘nother” is until I tried to write it down.

  179. brandi -  August 19, 2011 - 8:01 pm

    im gonna
    im going to

  180. Jack Oat -  August 19, 2011 - 7:25 pm

    Definitely! It suits the way we currently speak. Eventually the written word is bound to catch up. Just look at how we use a derivative of ‘relaxed pronunciation’ in our emails and sms messages. I try to make the dialogue of my characters in my writing sound normal. Dontcha reckon that such casual speech patterns coming from these ordinary people sounds more realistic? Have a look at another issue of HotWords:
    ‘Goodbye’ was a shortened version of ‘godbwye’, which is a contraction of “God be with ye.” Some changes to language I don’t necessarily agree with, but as we progress as a race, our choice of words changes accordingly. Personally, I prefer to choose the word which best expresses the feeling desired from a choice of vocabulary from various languages. C’est la vie. Happy writing, y’all! Jack Oat

  181. Michaela -  August 19, 2011 - 6:40 pm

    I think that spelling and writing are two different things (Like Rafiki said earlier)

    If you spell, spell right. Speaking is different, because everyone has different ways of it. Much like an accent.

  182. Vaciane -  August 19, 2011 - 5:41 pm

    This article does make you think. With the way that we talk these days, how will the crazy language known an English sound? :)

  183. hazardass -  August 19, 2011 - 4:54 pm

    To all who say dat proper spelling is mo important in writn english, pls pay attention next time u find urlsef typing a txt msg.

    Technically texting is a form of written language, but people resort to abbreviations more often when texting than when speaking. So, it’s not so much about spoken vs. written English anymore, but rather about formal vs. informal situations. If you text your boss, you would use fewer abbreviations than when texting your friend (who prolly understands ur style betta nway)

    Maybe we should just declare a 3rd category of speech called ‘mobile’, besides written and spoken.

  184. mouse -  August 19, 2011 - 3:07 pm

    Has everyone forgotten Chaucer? Go back and try to read him in his original venacular. Shakespearean English evolved from that. How many people in Shakespeare’s time could understand Chaucer? Today it’s like a foreign language. Whether we want it or not, language evolves. Words are added to our dictionaries every day. Technology adds the most. I find I try to “be correct” if I think my writing will be viewed by many, but I tend to write the way I talk when it’s a personal letter or my diary. Gonna, shoulda, dunno show up if that’s the way I’d say it. “The Media” is actually in control of our language eveolution right now. If “they” adapt it as correct, we’re stuck with it.

  185. shawn -  August 19, 2011 - 1:13 pm

    Also, i really like:.”Jeet”. And Suzieque had it right Mr.Gamer. it’s pronounced exactly as she wrote it. The ? was: Do you think relaxed pronunciation is ever an acceptable form of speech? Should “didja” and its informal ilk be welcome into mainstream use? Share your opinion, below…That’s her opinion. it could also be said like this: “Yeet”, “Yyeet”, or “Yaeet”. That’s the whole point. She merely broke down the abbreviation in the parentheses. Phonetically (parentheses) would be: parenthasees… Y isn’t Phonetically spelled Phonetically? And to MataMerser24, que probably just means Q.. Maybe she likes to play pool or it was taken in the user name list. Geta clue (think about it).

    Have a good weekend everybody; on what ever day your week ends on.

  186. shawn -  August 19, 2011 - 12:56 pm

    i think that didja should be welcome ,only because the j so so similar to the y sound, as i am a very phonetical (“new word?”) person and also very literal/logical. At first i was kinda adverse to the way some people were adding the j into the relaxed version of the words. Then i quickly adopted it into my own speaking style as i like things that are unique sounding and “Oh Didja?” sounds so much better than “Oh Didya?”… Yanowatiimean?? Yanowhatimsayintho???

  187. oreofe -  August 19, 2011 - 12:53 pm

    What about “aiight?” as in alright and “whaddayamean” as in what do you mean. Really I think all these are okay for talking, maybe not for writing but I think it sounds cool. At the same time too much use and wrong use can be irritating.

  188. Wug up? -  August 19, 2011 - 12:05 pm

    A few things come to mind when I read these posts. Primarily, English speakers need to understand that we have been contracting words, modifying, borrowing and relaxing pronunciation for as long as the language has been around. It’s why many words do not sound the way they are spelled, and it is why we don’t go around speaking Old English today.

    So, at this point, what is proper English? If we go by the Grammarians (who coincidentally really had no authority to make up any rules – in a nutshell there books just became popular with the rising middle class who wanted to sound more elite), then English should be treated as a finite construct, like math. However, we need to stop treating English like this. Language is, like John stated earlier, in constant flux. Instead, we need to embrace the dialectal variations, enjoy knowing that a word like ‘funner’ for all intents and purposes is technically correct (since it is a one syllable adjective), and while we are at it, bring back the double negative (again English is not math – From Old English to Middle English to Early Modern English, two negatives was to show an emphatic negative – not never a positive). Lastly, end those sentences in prepositions. You know you want to. Just because ‘prep’ means ‘before’ is not a good enough reason not to be able to end a sentence with them. Let’s just start calling them postositions. Why not, we have the gerund?

    I understand writing is a lot different, but then again it depends on the writing. Who is your audience? We use different registers for different people all the time; many people probably don’t even realize that they do it. If you want people to understand you clearly and concisely it is better to use “Standard” English, but if it’s appropriate to use slang, do that.

  189. Laurie -  August 19, 2011 - 10:43 am

    “Caigo” cracked me up!!! I also enjoyed “jeet” and “statue.” Nice.

  190. shawn shifter -  August 19, 2011 - 10:39 am

    1 more thing;
    “Ya hered?” to a lot of people means (Did you hear?); but it’s really bassaqward (ass backward).

  191. shawn shifter -  August 19, 2011 - 10:34 am

    Also, i really like Jeet.. it could also be said like this “Yeet?”. and sizieque had it right mrgamer. it is pronounced the exact way that she wrote it. “Jeet”. That’s the whole point she merely defined the meaning in parentheses. Weirdo.
    Phonetically (parentheses) would b perenthesees. And to MataMerser24: que merely means Q… Maybe she likes to play pool or q was taken tn the username list. Geta clue. (think about it).
    shawn shifter;

  192. Bob Beazley -  August 19, 2011 - 10:15 am

    Do you ever say “didja?” ?

    Yes, but when I do I put the question mark outside the quotation marks where it belongs.

  193. shawn shifter -  August 19, 2011 - 10:14 am

    i think that didja should be welcome ,only because the j so so similar to the y sound, as i am a very phonetical (“new word?”) person and also very literal/logical. At first i was kinda adverse to the way some people were adding the j into the relaxed version of the words. Then i quickly adopted it into my own speaking style as i like things that are unique sounding and “Oh Didja” sounds so much better than “Oh Didya”… Yanowatiimean?? Yanowhatimsayintho???

  194. Paul -  August 19, 2011 - 10:03 am

    What is the official term for “didja,” “sorta,” and “d’ya?”


  195. salvatore -  August 19, 2011 - 9:50 am

    To me the spoken language is what is more important. What good is it to learn the correct way to speak a language if nobody will understand you, nor you them. I learned this while learning Spanish. Allot of times I could not understand what the people were saying because they were shortening the words allot. As well as when I would try to teach some English to my Spanish speaking friends. I found out that I was shortening allot of words as well, that I never really thought about. If you have ever read any Mark Twain books. This was exactly how he wrote. How the people spoke.

  196. narrator -  August 19, 2011 - 9:49 am

    @Gavin on August 19, 2011 at 8:44 am
    ‘I suppose it has to do with I am.’
    Should be:
    ‘I suppose it has to do with the fact I am.’
    end quote

    No Gav, it should be:
    ‘I suppose it has to do with the fact that I am.’

    (sry, i catenated your name)

  197. boegiboe -  August 19, 2011 - 9:43 am

    Ima = “I’m gonna” = “I am going to”
    youa = “you are going to”
    heeza, sheeza, wea, etc. All very useful, though they can be confusing to folks who’ve never heard them.

  198. Pensive -  August 19, 2011 - 8:55 am


    “Do you want to go?”

    Perfectly correct in my relaxed world. (lol)

  199. Rafiki -  August 19, 2011 - 8:50 am

    I believe that speaking and writing are two separate categories. Relaxed pronunciation I find perfectly acceptable when speaking. When texting, I usually don’t use punctuation at all because it takes too much time and the point of texting is to save time. Because of my phone’s text mode, I also find it easier to text “yore” instead of “you’re.” However, I am infuriated when people mix up words (worst are “you’re” and “your”); misuse apostrophes (“its” and “it’s”); or spell like small children (ikspecially). Words like coulda, shoulda, mighta, woulda, kinda, sorta, gotta, didja, wanna, gonna, and the rest I find just fine. Just don’t overuse them.

  200. Gavin -  August 19, 2011 - 8:44 am

    @Chelsea M

    For someone so focused on pronunciation; you seem to have neglected your writing stye:
    ‘I suppose it has to do with I am.’
    Should be:
    ‘I suppose it has to do with the fact I am.’

  201. Builder -  August 19, 2011 - 8:31 am

    Reading is one of my passions. So although I am fine with relaxed pronunciation (though “dey” and “dat”, as in “dey’s goin to dat store” tend to grate on me), I prefer to see proper English used in written form. The evolution of English is fascinating, including the introduction and use of slang.

  202. fatima jiya -  August 19, 2011 - 8:26 am

    i really don’t feel this really social and a decent way! informal doesn’t mean to skip decency in your talk!…your conversation should be sophisticated and light…do give an informal touch but don’t use this relaxed pronunciation for it sounds weird!!!

  203. Ed -  August 19, 2011 - 8:15 am

    I agree with Tron, this is inevitable even though I try to speak properly. Anyway, it’s the English language that has “conquered” the world of speech because it adapts.

    I think Ella would disagree though.

  204. Ole TBoy -  August 19, 2011 - 8:06 am



    Naw. Squeat.


    Did you eat yet?

    No. Did you?

    No. Let’s go eat.

  205. Kristy -  August 19, 2011 - 7:54 am

    Lemme (Let me)

  206. vikaari -  August 19, 2011 - 7:52 am

    Hi Tron & Others:
    2 Tron’s (Aug 18, 2011 at 242pm) “One day … will be a widely accepted pronoun to replace “his/her,”…. Yes, I think I have one, one word that is: hs, as you see h is from his and s is from she; pronunciation would be like horse, but alas, perhaps, this horse has no r in its sound system.
    So you see Tron it is not one day! It is here and now, today! So, all of you, what do you think about my proposal of hs replacing his/her? Do let know in your postings.
    About the current article it is very interesting, excellent, and informative!—so much to learn and know.
    Thank you.

  207. robin -  August 19, 2011 - 7:44 am

    wood-a or would-a? don-cha or don’t cha? or doan cha? Will there be agroup who decide which is righter? or more right?

  208. Shamily Williams -  August 19, 2011 - 7:40 am

    I am a speech therapist and have taken classes where this subject is talked about in depth. In America, we have to accept that we are a melting pot. It is what it is; that is what we are. Other cultures will speak the way they were brought up. They will speak the way their mom, dad, siblings and friends speak, because that is all they know. However, slang does have its place. There is a time and place for slang and a time and place to speak properly. This is called “code switching”. For example, you wouldn’t walk into a job interview unshaven, unbathed, not matching, uncombed hair, etc. Certainly not! It would make a bad impression. The same goes for our speech. It is perfectly fine to keep ones culture of speech at home, with family and friends, but learn to code switch when you need to.

  209. bholland -  August 19, 2011 - 7:27 am

    When a shortcut is taken, something of vaue is lost.

  210. Michael -  August 19, 2011 - 7:14 am

    This is good. Innit?

  211. Grammar Police -  August 19, 2011 - 6:43 am

    I agree with many who have indicated that the written language should be treated with a higher respect in regard to “lazy language”. Relaxed pronunciation is informal speech and should be used in informal situations such as with friends or family. However, when I am at work or school or need to get a serious point across to someone (even friends or family) I use more formal and correct speech.
    My mother was the Grammar Police when I was a child. I hated it then, but when my own children were young I took on the role in our home. I’m proud to say they survived and excelled through college. They will one day become the Grammar Police in their own homes. When you are used to speaking correctly, it’s much easier to write correctly.

  212. anadarko -  August 19, 2011 - 6:05 am

    I agree language is a virus. If this was not true we would still say ….
    Dost thou know the time?”
    Who is in charge of contractions and what is the difference in chopping one word verses another word.
    Language will change regardless of the dictionary/pronunciation police.

  213. John -  August 19, 2011 - 5:47 am

    I realize that English is a living language and changes according to common usage, but does that mean I have to endure idiots saying “how big of a raise did you get?”, “I’m waiting on you to start” and “our technologies are going to improve synergies and efficiencies in your workflows …” Pthhhhhh!

  214. iloveyou -  August 19, 2011 - 5:46 am

    i love slang!
    hahahahaha :’P

  215. Alphageek -  August 19, 2011 - 5:34 am

    “English doesn’t borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and goes through their pockets for loose grammar.”

    This tongue-in-cheek assessment neatly explains almost every rules “violation”.

  216. James -  August 19, 2011 - 5:15 am

    I amn’t (I’m not) being racist but I prefer to stay upper class… I don’t use many of the words my mother uses and vice-versa. But, do you think with so much English being published that in 500 years we will still be able to read with ease material published today? Mmm but many Americans can’t understand New Zealand, Aussie and UK words (and I’m not talking about our slang). Old English, Modern English, Postmodern English, simple English and international English… Street English, Mexican border English…. Sos, kinda gotn distracted n wenoff ona tangent.

  217. Melody -  August 19, 2011 - 4:22 am

    @Mike Kirby: “Can I go with you?”
    @katy: Good one, actually. As an Australian, I often hear errors in our own national anthem! For example: “Australians all let ostriches, for we are young and free…” (Ostriches replacing “us rejoice”.)
    LOL, aren’t those things funny? Good topic, Hot Word!
    Didja know that Hot Word is sorta amazing… and kinda cool… but totally rocking!! D’ya wanna test me on that statement?!

  218. lck -  August 19, 2011 - 4:19 am

    There is a word for this, yes a real word: SLURVIAN. Love it!

  219. Kevin Bahler -  August 19, 2011 - 4:12 am

    It is very rare for a discussion of language to not be dominated by prescriptivists. It warms my heart to see people who understand that language is a living thing, constantly growing and changing to suit its users. It brings me so much joy to know that other people understand that language is a collection of sounds that have an agreed upon definition.

    Trust me, I understand the difficulty of it. I am a wiz when it comes to spelling and grammar and all sorts of standard English rules and regulations. And I am happy to know these rules. It makes communication very easy for foreigners and natives alike. The only time I ever have to explain myself is when I use a word not in common lexicon (or make a typographical error or five).

    However, for as much as I like rules and feel comfort in their security and unwavering permanence, I realize that they are neither unwavering nor permanent. There are a number of modern conventions I do not care for. However, it is not my right to belittle them or fight against them. Language is alive and the majority rules. If I am in the minority, I must accept that language will move on without me.

  220. Barry Jacobs -  August 19, 2011 - 4:03 am

    In order for people to communicate properly with each other and understand each other they need to speak slowly, clearly and enunciate so as to be understood.

  221. taoheed olamilekan -  August 19, 2011 - 4:00 am

    To me I’ts everly incorrect, bcos slangs spoilt tongue in speaking areas, I think if their should be a way to eradicate this, life will so better, n things dat imployed corruption to the nations, most especially africans wil reduiced.

  222. SJ -  August 19, 2011 - 3:45 am

    Bad form chaps, mourn only that which is truly lost, not merely fallen from general popularity. English never truly loses any words, that’s why the full version of the OED is three feet wide and always growing. If you like accurate punctuation, punctuate. If you like saying it with 100 words instead of 10, feel free to give free reign to your willful verbosity. If you like archaic words and phrases, fare thee well. If you like being all modern and street, fairy nuff. English is flexible enough to accomodate all. Revel in the freedom and variety of expression this gives us as users of this glorious language.

  223. Steve Foster -  August 19, 2011 - 2:47 am

    We need not accept innovations we find silly or lazy just to submit to the anarchistic creeds of dogmatic, descriptivist linguists. Grammatical preservation has a long history in English. Language change, if ‘natural’, does not happen at an absolute rate, or always toward useful outcomes. The more we embrace it, the further we get from our history. Already, Shakespeare and the Bible have become foreign-language material to some, because too many of our great-grandparents passed up the chance to stretch their minds around the still-current vocabulary.

    In this case, the more of us accept, or refuse to accept, “coulda”, the quicker it will become standard, or die back out. I say, let it die. We don’t need another variant for our past-participle modal verb, so that future students have to learn “have”, “___-’ve”, and “____-a”, plus the null form. Seriously, 3-4 forms, and only two of them retaining their semantic link to possession? That’s stupid, especially when we already have so many “a-” morphemes. We’re turning the language into a big, confusing junkyard, just to save two seconds with our text messages. Just say “could have”, if the apostrophe takes too long.

  224. Nora Baik -  August 19, 2011 - 2:07 am

    Well, this is really interesting. I never thought about it before, but you guys have really gotten me into this now.

    I personally think that slang is okay to use. I mean, it’s almost pretty mainstream now. As long as it’s limited to a certain use where everyone can understand it, yeah, I think it’s pretty okay. It’s natural to speak in, what was it? Relaxed pronunciation? I guess it’s all because it’s a part of speaking anyway. We can’t expect people to use formal English forever, ’cause language constantly evolves, even as we type all these comments up.

  225. phiphi -  August 19, 2011 - 1:08 am

    Well English is a very rich language and we have to remember that there are so many borrowed words from different languages as well. There will always be different words introduced to the language as well as how it is written. So i think everybody needs at ‘catch on’

  226. C.J. -  August 19, 2011 - 12:44 am

    @Reen. I completely agree. I also think it’s sad that too often now you see that as a result of relaxed pronunciation, reading and comprehension skills of accurately and thoroughly expressed sentences can be so very poor. Not to mention many people think thorough expression is impolite for the space it takes up or make the assumption the person typing thinks highly of themself.

    Also, I guess I accept txt type in txt messages for people who are short of time, dislike typing on a phone or it would cost more to type another way. I can’t stand it when people type that way at a keyboard on forums and the like. It’s more difficult to read imo (in my opinion, and I do use that a lot), but I can’t see how it’s easier to type either.

  227. C.J. -  August 19, 2011 - 12:36 am

    Sara from the 1:03pm response, August 18th. If I were your teacher I’d say speak correctly and spell accurately, not “speak right and spell right”, lol.

    Personally I believe there’s is only one relaxed pronunciation I’d like to see a part of English and actually a friend used it throughout a book he wrote and it really didn’t stand out after seeing it a few times. That’d be the word “youse”, in place of saying “you lot”, “some of you” or “you guys/gals”, or all the other lengthy expressions that are more specific to whom the “youse” are. Not to mention get even longer when you need to be specific about who the youse are. As I’m sure “you guys” would be improper if one meant to include females, so girls/gals I think should be added if you mean both genders but then I also think usually guys is okay to say when meaning men but I think girls sounds less appropriate for women.

    Ergo, I’m all for “youse” being accepted, while not excluding all the other alternate ways to refer to more than one person. :-)

  228. narrator -  August 19, 2011 - 12:16 am

    I take the moderate point of view. As a technician turned teacher, I come across a lot of kids who spell it like it sounds. Better pronunciation leads to fewer embarrassments and less people thinking you’re just ignorant. “Relaxed” or slurred speech can come from a desire to seem acceptable. Esteem yourself too highly makes you sound pompous, but esteem yourself too lowly and you sound like a hillbilly. And hey, pull your pants up, man.

  229. gasbag -  August 18, 2011 - 11:56 pm

    didja sounds like a dijeridoo which lost its way!

  230. Annie -  August 18, 2011 - 11:54 pm

    A problem with slurred pronunciation is that many people, especially older people, can’t understand you. Those of us with mild to moderate hearing loss need to hear words spoken clearly. (Hearing aids aren’t a universal panacea.) As for writing, the farther one gets from standard English, the harder it is for those who speak different dialects to read. I’m sure folks in Mississippi have an easier time reading Mark Twain than Robert Burns and that the reverse is true for lowland Scots. Those two are worth the effort, but not many writers are.

  231. Megan -  August 18, 2011 - 11:05 pm

    Um, what about Gotcha? (Got you?) Haha, I use them all the time, who really cares if it’s acceptable or frowned upon. I adore using the words because it makes ya different. As long as it’s not the text language crap, I’m all for using relaxed speech :)

  232. Fejjie -  August 18, 2011 - 10:48 pm

    There are 350m people who speak ‘English’ as their first language. There are 1.3b people who speak ‘English’ as a second, third , etc. language.
    More conversations are occuring between non-native English speakers than native.
    Without an “Académie française” style controling body English can evolve and grow.
    In my opionion the non-native speakers will define the future not kids texting. So if they like informal and find it easier it will be part of the language in the future.

  233. Ron E. -  August 18, 2011 - 10:08 pm

    How about “Coopetiton”, Meaning; Shared help, Competitive “Shared” Help, Or even “Obscenarian”. Meaning; A “bad” R Rated Movie, Or anything else that May come to One’s Mind, The possibilities are endless. Ron E. :)

  234. Shrapnel -  August 18, 2011 - 9:52 pm


    That’s not slang, that’s just atrocious spelling, grammar and sentence structure. I don’t even understand the first “sentence”.

  235. Chelsea M -  August 18, 2011 - 8:32 pm

    I truly hope that slang in all it’s various forms do not become more mainstream than they have already become because I would not be able to understand anything anyone was saying or what I was reading. I already hardly understand many people when they talk because they do not enunciate. I suppose it has to do with I am, as my friends and family say, OCD about language(s), but I would rather deal with long, drawn-out ways of speaking, writing, and reading than not understand a word of it. Personally.

  236. Lamia -  August 18, 2011 - 7:41 pm

    Tryn unnastan su’n draw. Ydunno one til ya hurreal goodun.

  237. Ella -  August 18, 2011 - 7:30 pm

    @ Dee:

    It’s THAN need be. Not THEN need be.

  238. Robot -  August 18, 2011 - 7:08 pm

    Yes master.

  239. SquareGuy -  August 18, 2011 - 6:35 pm

    While I am not particularly fond of the idea of slurred language used in writing (outside of dialogue, of course), I know that it is inevitable. I would prefer to see the written language maintain a more “proper” and standardized english.

  240. Mike Kirby -  August 18, 2011 - 6:18 pm


    “We’re going to the store.” “Okay, caigo witchoo?”

  241. MSB -  August 18, 2011 - 6:07 pm

    The word that they’re trying to find is … colloquialism.

  242. Damian G. -  August 18, 2011 - 6:01 pm

    I take the stance that the spoken and written word are different venues requiring different standards of formality.

    Regarding contractions, they are seldom acceptable in the written form. There are exceptions, such as, “What’s more” (“What is more” is cumbersome, and no one ever, ever says it), but generally, the point of contractions, as I see them, is to make conversation flow more efficiently. It takes far more time to say a sentence than to read it.

  243. fofo70 -  August 18, 2011 - 5:38 pm

    (what did you)

  244. Mr.Gamer -  August 18, 2011 - 5:38 pm

    Actually Suzieque, It’s pronounced “didja eat?”
    Another word is “Ya hered?”
    (Did you hear?)

  245. candler -  August 18, 2011 - 5:36 pm


  246. Lyn -  August 18, 2011 - 5:10 pm

    It’s a kinda cool stuff, very interesting…

    Here in Philippines we called that kinds of words are; street talk…like; brother – utol. uncle – tsong, mother – ermat. cool, but those kinds of phrases did not used of most people here; only people who no breeding and low class.

  247. zipurlip2 -  August 18, 2011 - 4:59 pm

    Slang, contracted speech, whatevers … it’s all good – - – until we don’t know when to use it and when not to use it. I truly believe there is a time and place for abbreviated words. Just as one dresses up or down depending on the situation/ occasion, I believe speech is the same way.

    When we’re speaking with a friend a ‘short-hand’ is usually a plus ’cause we understand most of what’s unspoken. However, beyond that, if it’s too abbreviated what is intended is often misunderstood or misconstrued.

  248. reafadas -  August 18, 2011 - 4:41 pm


  249. yayRayShell -  August 18, 2011 - 3:36 pm

    Didja know you guys are awesome?

    This is really interesting. You are digging into the meaning of what we are so used to.

  250. hazardass -  August 18, 2011 - 3:33 pm

    “Should “didja” and its informal ilk be welcome into mainstream use?”

    Uhm, well, actually this question is entirely pointless. Slurred language is ALREADY mainstream, so if that doesn’t answer your question, I don’t know what does.

    Word slurring is part of the (spoken) informal language and it’s totally natural. To those who say that it’s lazy or uneducated, I say it’s efficient and time-saving, if used appropriately. Slurring is an instrument of speech, and like any instrument it can be used correctly or incorrectly.

    Also, it’s not a question of whether slurred words should be declared part of the vernacular. Language evolves naturally, so when a word or phrase is popular enough, it is added to the official vernacular, formal or informal, written or spoken.

    “…relaxed pronunciation such as “coulda” and “shoulda,” while part of informal speech, has no standard written form.” – that’s only a matter of time. To that point, the author shoulda considered another important aspect of modern speech – mobile communications, and especially texting. That’s one form of written speech where slurred lingo really comes in handy. It’s fast, it’s efficient, it’s time-saving, and its immensely popular.


  251. SLANG | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  August 18, 2011 - 3:29 pm

    [...] ‘Slang’ yer way tru da Holla Day? — Was da sound enuf ta lead ja on? — Did dey call yer bluff [...]

  252. MataMerser24 -  August 18, 2011 - 3:01 pm


  253. Dee -  August 18, 2011 - 2:49 pm

    We in the south have used “relaxed pronunciation” for decades. Why say more words then need be. Especially in this record breaking heat spell. Also, in this age of technology why put stress on the fingers or waste someones time reading them all.

  254. Tron -  August 18, 2011 - 2:42 pm

    The evolving and morphing of language is inevitable. Common speakers, not the grammatical elite, dictate the language. It’s less the idea of a correct or incorrect way of speaking or writing; these variations within a language are dialects. If someone wants to be understood by a wide audience, they (he/she) should use the Standard American English dialect; however, if someone prefers to speak essemmessese (I took some liberty with “SMS”) among friends or family, or another person wants to speak cockney rhyming slang in informal situations, it’s not incorrect. One day, “their” will likely be a widely accepted pronoun to replace “his/her,” and if “would’ve” or “hadn’t” are now acceptable, similarly, it’s highly probable that “wanna” or “gonna” will become accepted.

  255. Tamar -  August 18, 2011 - 2:35 pm

    Don’t forget “gotta”!

    I imagine that with the way language evolves, all this will eventually be standard and considered correct. It doesn’t even stick out on the page to me as “incorrect” anymore unless I take the time to notice it.

  256. lezza -  August 18, 2011 - 2:17 pm

    Of course it should be accepted in speech. There is formal and informal speech, but as long as both people understand each other, then the communication was successful. As for in writing: one has to understand that writing is not the same as speaking. Written English can be thought of as a dialect of English that is several hundred years old. This is why people who have written in English most of their lives still have to take English classes to learn how to write, whereas people who have spoken English most of their lives almost never take or need a speech class.

  257. John Fotheringham -  August 18, 2011 - 2:07 pm


    I know many people who share your position on informal language usage, and I agree that there is a time and a place for slang, but I have to say that you are espousing a fairly common (and altogether false) view that many native speakers of a language can’t properly speak their native tongue. There are certainly differing levels of education, vocabulary accumulation, writing ability, etc., but it is important to understand that every human being is evolved to acquire the language patterns, pronunciation, and vocabulary usage that they hear around them. So if you hear a native English speaker talking in a way you consider improper, it just means that they grew up in a different environment from you.

    Moreover, English (like every other language) is in constant flux, and what is considered “correct” today can fall into disfavor in a matter of 1 to 2 generations.

  258. Reen -  August 18, 2011 - 1:51 pm

    We as American are already incredibly lazy with regard to our punctuation is concerned. I would truly hate to see relaxed pronunciation become part of the mainstream. As a vernacular to use with one’s friends or family, relaxed pronunciation is fine but I do not want to see it in mainstream writing. There is a time and a place for everything and that goes for slang and relaxed pronunciation. People need to learn to write so that everyone can understand what was written/said. Text messaging with all the abbreviations and shortcuts that it involves is fine for texting friends and family but it is inappropriate for e-mailing to a teacher or boss.

  259. katy -  August 18, 2011 - 1:23 pm


    (is that you?..hehe)

  260. krisumpoo -  August 18, 2011 - 1:21 pm

    whatcha – What are you or What do you

  261. Beenish -  August 18, 2011 - 1:18 pm

    The usage of such relaxed terms is allowed in writing too that’s if you are writing dialogs of a character who talk like that :) So I guess, in the end there is no restriction on written English :)

    Completely agree with William Burroughs, languages indeed are a virus!

  262. Sarah -  August 18, 2011 - 1:03 pm

    I think relaxed pronunciation is acceptable sometimes…everyone uses it when they’re in a hurry or they’re just lazy. It’s pretty much already in mainstream use. On the other hand, as my English teacher often says, “speak right, spell right.” I’m always that pretentious kid in class correcting people and reminding them of this. No one listens.

  263. suzieque -  August 18, 2011 - 12:54 pm


    (didja eat?)


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