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11 March, 2012

I suppose it’s reaching a bit to refer to this as having to do with language per se, but it is another topic that brings out the curmudgeon in me.

One of the things that makes British accents so charming is the fact that they actually pronounce words and do so very precisely.  In America there seems to be an epidemic of mush-mouthed mumbling.  In the job I used to have before retirement, I often received telephone messages from persons so mush-mouthed that I could not understand parts (or sometimes all) of what they said.  Some managed to be so mush-mouthed that one could not even understand the phone numbers they left.  One factor is that diction appears no longer to be taught in elementary schools, a very sad thing.

For more than a few, there’s a sheep factor here as well.  The mush-mouthed diction is an “in” thing for many.

In any case, with a little bit of attention to the words being spoken, their consonants and vowels … along with taking the time to think and form the words … can go a long way toward communicating effectively.  When speaking with a mush-mouthed crowd, the decoding (I’m assuming) goes okay.  With anyone else, meaning is lost, and is conveying meaning not the only reason to attempt to communicate in the first place?

There’s one last thing:  This is one of those habits that can impede life in general; things like gaining respect from the listener and getting a better job.

Lose the mush-mouth, folks.  Pretend you’re mimicking a Brit.

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