DIALECTAL GENOCIDE

DIALECTAL GENOCIDE

A woman I once worked with
Was ordinarily quite intelligent
But when it came to pronunciation
She could become belligerent.
Her way was the right way
And she brooked no question.
Braving her ire, I decided there
Was one I had to mention.

She said the word comf-tubble
And I said that was incorrect.
She got so very irate with me
That I feared for my own neck.
She called it socially acceptable,
Her ghastly mispronunciation.
I said it was a sign of the times
The slippery slope of our nation.
If people were to go on and cease
An honored way of speaking
Then, we are all of us adrift
In a doomed skiff that is leaking.

She said some more to me
But I quit paying much attention.
There were too many “I means”
And “you knows” to mention.
There were ‘haftas’ and ‘ominas’
And the sad utterance, ‘wannabees”.
This poor soul would not pass
The first hour of a spelling bee.
I wondered if this poor soul
Had seen on a computer screen.
The words just as she was saying
On some website she had seen?

I accept that nobody in the USA
Or even in Merry Old Blighty
Says words like Wednesday
Comfortable or February rightly.
It’s like there is an international
Formal and binding declaration
That nobody need say these words
Correctly in English speaking nations.
We can lapse into hickbonics,
We jess git tah stumble along
And say set instead of sit, and
Others we so often say wrong.

We kin say double pneumonia
And quay’s eye and nukeyoulurr,
Irregardless and even pee cans,
And nobuddy questions wut fur.
We c’n say thangs like reel utter,
SimmYooLurr, BennaFishErAiry.
Innerest, furrmillyurr, Mason Airy,
Flustration and *shudder* LieBerry.
But as sure as there is air to breathe
And that every day will follow night
Most people pronouncing words
A certain way doesn’t make it right.

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