The “Sssshhh” Pandemic

In my best Andy Rooney voice: “Have ya’ ever noticed…” – O.K; enough Andy Rooney already! Never liked the guy myself; couldn’t get by those whisk broom eyebrows, doncha know – SCARY, in a “Carnie” sorta way…

Back on topic: A coupla years ago my tin ears happened to pick up on a linguistic “trend” that had somehow snuck up on me – once I noticed it, I soon realized that it was EVERYWHERE!

I’m referring of course to the “Ssshhh Pandemic”. WTF is THAT?, I hear you asking. Let’s try this pronunciation exercise all together, shall we? Say the word “Strong”. Good!

Now did you say: – or did you say “Ssshhtrong”?

That’s what I was AFRAID of – you’re infected too!

Now switch on your favorite TV or radio talk show, the news, the weather, the crop reports – I GUARANTEE that it won’t take FIVE MINUTES before you hear SOMEbody add an “Ssshhh” to an “St”. And like me, once you NOTICE it, you’re gonna hear it 152 times/day – it’s ubiquitous (not only THAT, but it’s all over the damned place).

One of my neighbors is a speech therapist working with special needs kids – I asked her about it; she hadn’t noticed it ’til *I* said something, but then she reported back to me that virtually ALL the speech therapists are saying it! Shit – what is this – “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”?

Just who SSSHHHTARTED this, and WHEN? My neighbor claims that it’s just “laziness” – she says that for most people, their tongue forms a “ssshhh” sound more easily than a “sssttt” sound – REALLY?! So I guess our 68% obesity rate here in the USA has crept into peoples’ MOUTHS too.

Maybe in some convoluted way this makes sense; after all, the mouth IS “Ground Zero” – the “Point of Entry” for all that fat we’re eating. The fat hits the mouth/tongue, the saliva starts doing its thang – beginning the digestive process and all, and BHAM! – tongue gets a layer of fat!

Next thing ya’ know, you’re trying to say “Hey Stupit, bring me a strumpet to go along with my crumpets”, and it comes out “Hey Ssshhhtupit, bring me a ssshhhtrumpet to go along with my crumpets”; luckily, your pimp will know what you mean…

Now go on your merry way, Boys & Girls – when you’re at the Thanksgiving Day table tomorrow, be sure to ask for an extra helping of apple ssshhhtrudel…


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