Friday, March 15, 2013

So...This S'rtiv Annoys Me

A while ago, I wrote a goofy The Emperor Decrees post on this, but it bears repeating here.

I'm not sure why I keep listening to and watching things that anger me. I guess it is the trade-off when you want info.

I listen to NPR every day driving to and home from work. I don't have the same problem with NPR that most do. (Many complain it has a "liberal" bent. It might or not be true; in fact, sometimes I feel it is true and sometimes I think they are pretty objective. Either way, they do reasonably good work in presenting world happenings. I can sort out my own feelings and ideas, wherever theirs may lean.)

No, the real problem I have is what I like to call "NPR-speak." It is not exclusive to NPR, but I think it may spread outward from it...

In the "it-just-gets-under-my-skin" file, I have to mention "s'rtiv." This is a new confrankentraction among NPR-speakers. It means "sort of." It would be merely an annoyance if people threw it in in the right places, but if tends to be used every three words, in places in which it has absolutely no relevance or effect. What really took the cake, for me, was when I heard an interviewer say, yesterday, to her guest: "Now, when you were, s'rtv, growing up..."

SORT OF GROWING UP? I don't know about you, but I actually grew up. What does it mean to "sort of" grow up? Does that mean that you are 55, but you still wear Star Wars pajamas to bed? -- or that you would grow an inch and then shrink two when you were a toddler?

That gets under my skin, but it is nothing compared to the new-ish trend of starting the answer to someone's question with "So..."

Yesterday, I heard a young author (whose responses were replete with all kinds of affectations, including s'rtiv and extending into the common pronunciation trend of saying "skewel" instead of "school" and of stretching the word "to" out to "teeeew") respond to almost every single question the interviewer asked with "So...."

INTERVIEWER: Do you tihink your work was influenced by having grown up in New York City?
GUEST: So, when I was a kid...

That sounds so unbelievably rude to me -- like you are glad the annoying interviewer finally shut up so that the you can finally get on with your story.

And it is getting out of hand. I challenge you to listen to one full interview on NPR without catching either one of these affected annoyances.

So, it s'rtiv drives me nuts. Then again, who am I? Just a frustrated psycho-linguistics minor, I suppose.

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