Posted 02-17-2004 at 01:05:22
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I cannot abide lazy speech. Now, I'll say ain't on occasion. Sometimes it just fits in a sentence. I say ya'll, instead of 'you all', they're instead of 'they are', and you'll instead of 'you will'. But if there's one thing I can't stand, it's sticking letters in words where they don't belong. For example, driving down the road in the truck, it's not unusual to hear Jake say something like...
"Roll down the win-der, it's hot in here."
My neighbor when I was growing up had two daughters. Linda and Rita. She called them Lind-er and Rit-er and it used to just set my teeth on edge. So every time Jake sticks an R in a word where it doesn't belong, it tends to make me angry, and I react immediately and aggressively.
"Hey! Whatdja do that for?!"
"Jake, I've told you a dozen times...there's no R in window! You sound like a rube!"
"If I want to say wind-er, I'll say wind-er!"
"MOM! Cut it OUT!"
"Well, stop saying that!"
"It's a habit! And if thumping me is your idear of making me stop, it ain't gonna work!"
"Dammit boy, there's no R in IDEA!"
"If you thump me one more time, I swear I'm gonna get out and walk!"
"Well, if you can't talk any better than that, you might be better off. It's embarrassing."
"Everybody I know talks like that!" Rubbing his head.
"I don't! Your sisters don't! Your father doesn't!"
"Well I do, and I can't change it."
"With enough thumping, you'll learn to change it around me. I did not raise you to talk that way, and I won't have people thinking that I let you talk like that. I don't care if I have to thump you right in front of God and everybody. I don't care if I'm still thumping you when you're thirty years old!"
"That's better." I say, satisfied.
We pulled up in front of school, and Jamie, Jake's best friend comes walking up to the driver's side of the truck. He wants to talk to us. He makes a rotating motion with his hand...
"Miss Cindi...roll down yer win-der fer a minute."
"Jamie," I say, cranking on the window handle,
"there's no R in window."
"I said there's no R in window. Window...W I N D O W, see, no R in there."
"Oh, yes ma'am. No R in win-der. I know."
"Well, then why do you SAY it like there's an R in it?"
"Jamie...you say win-der. That's not right. It's win-dow. You wouldn't say rain-ber instead of rain-bow would you?"
"Or el-ber instead of el-bow?"
"No ma'am. That sounds stupid."
"Okay. Then you shouldn't be saying win-der instead of window. Right?"
He was penned in a corner and was getting flustered, and I started to feel bad.
"Never mind. What was it that you wanted, Jamie?"
"Oh...uh, there's a fell-er over there that's been tryin' to pick a fight with Jake. Not that Jake couldn't whup him, I just wanted to warn him, that's all."
"Yeah," Jake said, climbing out of the truck, "he's been foll-erin' me around for a week. I don't know what his problem is."
I gave Jake an exasperated look.
"Oh, 'scuse ME, I mean 'FOLL-OWING'."
"Thank you, son."
Jamie just looked puzzled.
I have an 'idear' that I have my work cut out for me, ridding his speech of all unnecessary R's but I think we're makin' progress.