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To correct ds when he fails to pronounce the t in water, butter etc?

(97 Posts)
PollyParanoia Thu 03-Sep-09 13:26:59

I just don't know if I'm a snob or a pedant or completely reasonable to find ds aged 5 and his missing Ts in the middle of words really irritating. Typical sentence will be:
"I've lost the bu'on in the wa'er, I'll le'er ge'it for me as she's be'er at swimming."
I correct him and I don't know if that's really bad for his self-expression and a one-way ticket to a therapist in 20 years time. And I don't know whether I'm correcting him because it's sounds common or because it's incorrect. I tell myself that it's because he won't learn to spell properly as he won't be able to sound out words (or le'ers), but am worried I do it in fact because I speak with an RP accent and he goes to an inner city school.
And I don't know whether he does it because it's an "accent" or whether he's just v lazy (which he has always been, speech wise). It might be that it's actually part of a lovely London regional accent that should be nurtured like Geordie.
Am I like horrible parents who used to pay for elocution lessons?

TrillianAstra Thu 03-Sep-09 13:27:38


OrmIrian Thu 03-Sep-09 13:28:59

YANBU. I don't give a flying feck about accent but I do hate lazy speech. DH has a London accent - born in East Ham - but normally he can pronounce his t's perfectly well.

Poledra Thu 03-Sep-09 13:29:08

YANBU, coz if you are, so I am grin

madameDefarge Thu 03-Sep-09 13:30:26

Sigh. I know your pain. But it is better to let them get on with it, otherwise it can mess up their language acquisition. My ds has an inner city accent blended with his father's North American accent, a cause for much hilarity. Not a peep of my nice RP accent. "tis cruel, I tell you.

OrmIrian Thu 03-Sep-09 13:31:42

Well mine are true hybrids madame. My RP, DH's East end and local Summerzet mixed in. Interesting hmm

CantThinkofFunnyName Thu 03-Sep-09 13:34:07

YANBU. Please don't "let them get on with it" sad, do correct him - otherwise how will he ever learn?

I do the same daily btw and it does reap rewards! My children now say to me "x says blah blah, that's wrong isn't it mummy?" Hah - yes, one for the Essex girl made good!!!

MrsSantoslovestheBBC Thu 03-Sep-09 13:34:43

DD does it and she knows it winds me up. so I am trying to ignore it and just making sure that I am really clear waTer "so you'd like some waTer" when she says "I want some wa'er". I bet she does it loads at preschool to fit in with the other kids. She is just at that age when she is really starting to make her own friends and lots of them do that and I am more interested in her being able to socialise than a pronunciation blip which I am sure she'll drop. It's not as if she has always used a glottal stop and we don't do it either. DH is far less relaxed about the whole thing than me but he is an ex-teacher grin

Blackduck Thu 03-Sep-09 13:35:28

Its the 'a' that causes the problem here. I am from the south and we now live in Brum and spend all my time saying 'farst' not 'fast' and I KNOW I shouldn't because it isn't technically wrong, it just grates on my ear......time to more I think

MorningTownRide Thu 03-Sep-09 13:35:38

YANBU - Same here Polly.

DD has a mix of my RP, school chums Essex/ East London and dh's New Zealand twang!

auntyitaly Thu 03-Sep-09 13:37:47

Why is such a teeny thing so wildly irritating? I correct, through thin lips, about once a day - ie not enough.

But it's an affectation that seems to be universally irking, and that's reason enough in itself to mention it.

ErikaMaye Thu 03-Sep-09 13:37:49

I do this to my brother all the time - drives me absolutely round the bend. I get rather irrationally angry about it!!!

hannahsaunt Thu 03-Sep-09 13:39:39

It's not part of a lovely regional accent - happens all over the country - and it's just sloppiness. I am forever correcting it in my boys; it does make a difference in how you think of people later in life as they address you e.g. I find it very off-putting in an interview if they can't be bothered to speak properly i.e. pronounce the 't's in words.

deaddei Thu 03-Sep-09 13:41:33

I hate the word "like" inserted into every sentence at least 4 times "like she was like so not going to go out, like it was so late, like yeah but no.
You get my drift.

Morloth Thu 03-Sep-09 13:44:52

Hah! My kid sounds like a bloody pommy, Ts are the least of his problems!

generalunrest Thu 03-Sep-09 13:47:24

I can understand what you're saying, and despite how I feel I do still correct my DD sometimes, but, I had very pedantic parents who were constantly criticising the way I spoke 'It's not 'y'know' it's 'you know'' springs to mind angry and it didn't do a thing, except annoy the fk out out me!

My parents didn't come from the place I grew up in, they said 'grarse' when everybody here said 'grass', it was like I had to speak two languages, one at home one at school. I understand the two places are different, but to be so formal in an informal home setting, to me, just doesn't make sense.

wasabipeas Thu 03-Sep-09 14:27:17

YANBU - correct away.
DH does it as well and it drives me mad.
He has finally learnt not to drop his ts around me, but he slips back into it when we visit his family in Essex or are out with his mostly East End workmates
Drives me blinkin' MAD

PollyParanoia Thu 03-Sep-09 14:38:28

I'm so glad that I'm not an obsessive snob then, or at least if I am, then lots of others are too. I did genuinely worry as I was correcting him a lot on holiday (all the wa'er for swimming in) and I heard myself and I didn't know what sounded worse: his missing Ts or my whiney posh mum corrections.
It's only going to get worse isn't it? With the "likes" and the "whatevs". I remember endless conversations with my parents with where I'd say "So there was this girl", "a girl", "yeah, this girl, right," etc, etc. And now I'm just like them. Arggggh.

traceybath Thu 03-Sep-09 14:40:34

Yanbu. Am constantly correcting DS1's speech - i want him to speak properly blush how un-mn is that?!

LindenAvery Thu 03-Sep-09 14:40:48

Correct away!

One that I find tips me over the edge is TWENNY - for Twenty!!

Everyone on the television and radio seems to drop the 'T' and it drives me nuts - but then that could also be due to the school holidays! grin

PollyParanoia Thu 03-Sep-09 14:42:03

Twenny one, twenny two, twenny three... oh god even thinking about it.

Overmydeadbody Thu 03-Sep-09 14:42:34


I always correct DS if he drops his Ts.

traceybath Thu 03-Sep-09 14:45:09

Little without the t's is the one thats driving me mad at the moment.

Also 'gunna' rather than 'going to'.

MrsMellowdrummer Thu 03-Sep-09 14:46:00

Personally I would gently correct him if I wasn't able to understand him... otherwise I would completely let him be. I doubt very much whether it will have an impact on his spelling.

And just to correct a widely held view - it takes (minimally!) more energy to produce a glottal stop than a plosive sound, so missing out /t/s in favour of a glottal stop mid-word is definitely not a "lazy" option. It's a habit, no more no less.

Tortington Thu 03-Sep-09 14:47:51

my mother did this to me

she wasn't a tyrant by any means, but it completely undermined my confidence and made my feel inferior

meanwhile i got bullied becuase the other kids thought i thought myself superior

there isn't anything wrong with accents IMO

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