What the fresh hell is this?

You’re probably going to hate me after reading this, so I’ll warn you: maybe don’t go any further.

Why? Because I’m going to give you something new to fret about.

But, here’s the kicker: once you hear it, you’re going to agree with me. Oh, and that’ll piss you off even more since you’ll be compelled to notice it, too, transferring your anger away from me and toward the transgressors of this injustice — and they are legion.

But maybe you’ll still be kinda pissed at me — about five percent, anyway — for bringing this into your purview.

So, look, here’s your second warning: STOP READING!

How bad is it, this wrongdoing?

Oh, it’s bad. It’s really bad. But why add one more thing to your metier of daily proclivities. After all, you’re busy enough already. You’ve got Starbucks to drink, co- workers to gossip about, soccer-mom vans to drive and, oh, 598 other things to do before tearing-up while watching This Is Us on your slightly stained sectional tonight.

But, this. This horrible, awful thing.

First, here’s what it isn’t:

  1. It’s not that we have a petty, insecure child in the White House with his orange trigger-finger on the nuke button.
  2. It’s also not about whether trans-genders should or should not have access to any particular bathroom.
  3. It’s not even about whether Kanye West hates George Bush, loves Donald Trump, is threatening to divorce Kim Kardashian (again) or is planning another mutiny for the next stage Taylor Swift walks onto.

Then what is this thing that’s taken me so, you ask? And, why would it?

Well, okay. Here it is: What’s pissing me off is how people increasingly have forgotten how the letter combination of “S” and “T” should sound when strung together.

Seems simple, right? Apparently, it ain’t. Not anymore.

You see, for some reason, people of all stripes and from all geographies are now adding an “H” into that consonant salad — as in: “Let me see if I’ve got this shtrait, Doug — you’re pissed off at how people enunciate a couple measly letters?”

Well, yes. Yes, in fact, I am.

For the love of all that is holy, people: just stop! Or, better yet: JUST SHTOP!

This altered elocutionary dance between sound and meaning is just awful — worse than the fact that some are now claiming that using the dutiful sentence-ending period shows that you’re oppressive, angry even.

I get that the language, by design, is dynamic. Language changes — at least the words of language change. New words get added and other words fall out of favor over time — purifying the linguistic gene pool to meet the needs of a given epoch. Hell, even Lake Superior State University publishes an annual list of banished words.

That, my language-loving friends — words coming and going — I can get my cognitive arms around. But strung-together letters that today sound differently than they did yesterday? What the fresh elocutionary hell is this?

Oh, and this far-too-often “S-H-T” sound even has started spreading its mispronounced tentacles into words with an “ex” beginning, such as in “exSHTraordinary.”


You were thinking that maybe I was pissed off that the word “like” comprises a full one-quarter of a Millennial’s vocabulary. Or, that the word “manspreading” hasn’t yet been banished from the God’s Green Earth. Or, that “a whole ‘nother'” doesn’t get perpetrators five to ten in solitary. Or Purgatory.

You must have noticed this linguistic S-H-T kerfuffle recently, right? I first started observing it with Michelle Obama; she’s a Power Abuser of this oratorical injustice. Just listen to any of her speeches where the letters S & T come together and tell me she doesn’t add a strong “H” sound into into the mix — Every. Single. Time.

Maybe methinks just a little too much. But, still, I don’t get it.

This is total, etymological bullshit, and I’m on a one-man campaign to rid society of this infliction. And, if you’re a self-respecting lover of language, you should, too. Won’t you join me then, publicly shaming these transgressors into vocabularic submission?

Oh, and if you’re pissed off at me for injecting “another-thing-to-fret-about” exigence into your otherwise peaceful day, then schtick that complaint up your grammar-hating butt.

You were forewarned, after all. Not once, but twishe.


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