Isn’t it……….changing?….and for the worse, I feel.

The spoken word. Especially on radio.

Degeneration. Lack of proper diction. Laziness. The days of extremely well spoken broadcasters in bow ties and with plums in their mouths are long gone – and a good job too as they represented a snobbery, elitist, well-to-do upper and middle classes. But is it too much to ask that at least words are properly pronounced?

The word “matter”, for example, which I heard today spoken by a broadcaster on Radio 6. That word has two “t’s” at it’s heart. They are there to be pronounced. Their existence is pointless unless they are used. Lack of use means they disappear and the word becomes “ma-er”. I cannot find that word in my dictionary.


I give some house room to Radio 4 (it can get on my wick from time to time). There is a sense of preservation of some of the properties of our most beautiful language amongst broadcasters like John Humphreys. Do the BBC producers encourage the laziness in language to emulate the dialect of listeners? Or are they the cause of degeneration in the spoken word? Does their broadcasting style influence and encourage?

The rise and fall of words, their shape remains but the detail is becoming lost. Without the detail speech becomes just a line of undulating noise.


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