It’s a small world. When I turn on the radio or television, I hear people from every state and every country in the world. I hear British accents and Australian accents and French or German accents, but as long as the words are pronounced correctly, the accent does not bother me. It doesn’t even bother me when a West Indian or a Scotsman pronounces a word slightly differently to what I was taught. What does irritate me is poor enunciation by speakers who are, presumably, native English speakers. I’m referring to lazy speakers.
I remember the many great actors, talk show hosts, and even politicians I have admired. Invariably, they spoke clearly and enunciated their words so that it was a pleasure to listen to them, even if I didn’t like what they were saying. Not only did they pronounce the words correctly, but I could also hear every syllable. Their enunciation was beautiful.
Almost daily, I hear foreign statesmen and business people speaking English so well and so clearly that I have to admire the effort they must have put in to master a difficult language. Although English grammar is no great problem, English words – how they are spelled and how they are pronounced – have frustrated many a foreign student.
The lesson is obvious. If you wish to communicate clearly, open your mouth, break each word into its syllables, move your lips and tongue, and enunciate each one clearly. Not only will this improve your speech, but it will also improve your spelling!