Pronounced differences

 

Sir, – Changing vowel sounds have been occurring here for years. Mostly they have been confined to the letter “O” which has been ”slenderised” to such an extent that there is a “U” sound in it. Seldom, in Dublin at least, does one hear a good round “O” sound as in the exclamation “Oh”. The main reason, I believe, is because it is perceived as a less upmarket pronunciation. But there is an element of speech laziness there too. It takes more effort to round the lips to make the “O” sound. Unfortunately, this has spread to other vowel sounds. “Expect” is now often pronounced “axpact” and recently I heard “cool” pronounced “kule”. The practice is now spreading because many of our media presenters – news, weather and entertainment – have adopted it.

In the overall scheme of things does it matter? Probably not, except to older people whose failing hearing requires clear pronunciation for understanding what is being said. – Yours, etc,

ÁILÍN DOYLE,

Dublin 13.