Comments about ‘Utahns who drop the T in words like 'mountain' not so unusual, Y study says’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 9 2013 6:00 a.m. MST

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Mike in Sandy
Sandy, UT

As an English major, perhaps I'm way on the other side of the spectrum, but never have I heard elements of the English language--syntax, usage, pronunciation--butchered as enthusiastically as here in Utah.
And don't get me started on the complete and utter confusion abounding in regards to the use of the apostrophe, and how the letter "s" should be used in plurals and possessives.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

@Mike in Sandy

No doubt that, as an English major, you understand that (a) the English language - just like all other languages - is constantly evolving, and (b) that evolution is accelerating in the information age. So instead of whining about how people, especially youth, have "butchered" the language, maybe the onus is on us to adapt our archaic and obsolete form of language. You may revile the shorthand used by today's youth in texts and instant messages, but the bottom line is they are successfully communicating, which (as you no doubt know) is the point of language.


I've lived all over the country and people use the same kinds of "bad grammar" everywhere. Utah is no different.

Layton, 00


Change forces adoption and confusion forces adaptation. The times are changing and possibly confusing. Your logic is unassailable.

But if the bottom line is what one shoots for, congratulations to the teens, because anything that comes easy is not worthwhile.

Park City, UT

Is this for "rill"?

Provo, UT

This is fun news!

Mike in Sandy
Sandy, UT

You defend the indefensible.
Mediocrity in many things is the accepted norm.

Maybe if Utah wasn't dead last in education spending---another hot local topic---
perhaps if would be different.

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Mike in Sandy,

I believe you meant "in regard to." :)

Me, Myself and I
The Promised Land, UT

Most places have peculiar aspects to the local jargon.

Mike in Sandy

I would be willing to bet you have never spent much time in the upper midwest, especially around southeastern Michigan. If so you would know they use what some refer to as the Michigan "S". Many of the locals tend to drop the S from words which should have it and add them to one's which shouldn't. For example "I work for Fords,.four twelve hour shift a week."

I'm glad this article shed a little light on the "Utah T". I couldn't figure out why people would say Utahn's drop their T's when in the middle of words. I could always hear it, although it's more of a soft T. The part of speech I hear missing the most in Utah is the g missing at the in of words, which I'm as guilty of as anyone.

Mike in Sandy
Sandy, UT

Touche, Sir!
"With regards to" or "in regard to".
Nice catch!
Thank you...Somewhere, looking down from above, Mrs. Tracy frowns upon my mistake, eagerly awaiting the chance to rap my knuckles with the ruler....

Cedar Hills, UT

@Mike in Sandy - by your logic, we should expect the citizens of Washington, D.C. to have the best grammar, since their educational spending is highest, per pupil. Utah consistently gets around the best value per educational dollar spent. Having lived in various parts of the country, I wholeheartedly agree with "Me, Myself and I" above. If you really believe Utahns butcher the language worse than people in other parts of the country, you need to get out of the state much more.

@Me, Myself, and I - my experience is that, with regard to words ending in "ing," there are equal parts correct pronunciation, dropping the g, and what I find strange - putting a hard g at the end of the word.

Mike in Sandy
Sandy, UT

I contract my law practice out to various firms, and have done business in 22 states.
I know whereof I speak.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

U peeple R ignernt.

American Fork, UT

Wasn't this subject already covered in the Deseret News by John Hollenhorst in his article titled "BYU professor researches Utah linguistic quirk"?

Orange County, CA

@Mike in Sandy

In your English classes did you learn about the subjunctive case?

Mrs. Tracy would circle the "wasn't" in your statement "Maybe if Utah wasn't dead last in education spending..." and write in big red letters: "weren't" to correct your mistake.

Hold out your hand so she can rap your knuckles again!

Riverton, UT

I think there's a fine line between "evolving" and "butchering". When I see a nonstandard punctuation or hear a nonstandard pronunciation, I normally don't say to myself, "Wow, that guy's a real trendsetter." I normally say, "Wow, that guy doesn't know what we learned in elementary school."

Someone commented about apostrophes. It's mindboggling to see plurals formed with apostrophe + s. But recently I saw something even worse: "Include's fries and drink".

I don't think use of "to be like" or "to be all" or "to be all like" in place of "to say" is successful communication.

Finally, the missing "t" seems like a nonissue compared with Utahns' bizarre vowel sounds, e.g., long a -> short e, long e -> short i. As in "Enjoy your-guys's mill", or the regrettable mispronunciation of "Hail" in the hymn "We'll Sing All Hail to Jesus' Name".

Counter Intelligence
Salt Lake City, UT

It is my observation that many of the people complaining about Utah grammar are merely sublimating their hostility towards other parts of the culture; Otherwise they would also be whining that words like "Los Angeles" are seldom pronounced accurately (even in Los Angeles).

"Layton" is accurately pronounced however the locals choose to pronounce it.

When people say "only in Utah"; it provides a red flag to me indicating that they either hate Utah or have never actually been anywhere else.

Cool Cat Cosmo
Payson, UT

@ Counter Intelligence;

You are absolutely correct. Wherever you go, in the U.S. or elsewhere, you''ll find lots of local dialects, in English as well as other languages. Spanish (or Portuguese), depending on the country you live in, can be quite varied, and within larger single countries, specific regions have unique dialects as well, where they may say words differently, or use different words, etc.

I have learned from experiences, as well as schooling (I am a Social Studies / Spanish Teacher) that language truly is a fluid and changing thing (like Brave Sir Robin stated), and people who like to nail it down as a hard and solid thing are trying to assign inorganic characteristics to an organic thing. Language is alive, it evolves, changes, morphs, etc. Also, having taught history, if you study linguistics you will find many of the "incorrect" things that people say have a basis in history.

For example, "ain't" is something that has been said for centuries, going back to the 1600s and King Charles II (England), yet many consider it "vulgar" or "incorrect." I personally think that such distinctions are simply another way for people to imagine themselves better than others.

Peter Coyotl
West Jordan, UT

I grew up in inner-city Chicago, in a neighborhood of mostly Italian immigrants, and most folks I knew pronounced words like "center" as "cenner." Wilt Chamberlain was a dominant cenner for the Warriors, 76ers, and Lakers.

Colorado Springs, CO

Is this the same as saying and writing "could of" instead of "could have" or "could've"? I see "could of" on these posts all the time!

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