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English has been changing for centuries and will continue to change. the great vowel shift took three hundred years to migrate across the country - now we have saturation media coverage and trends spread in a matter of days. I grew up in east london so many of the changes you mention I have grown up with. As a child the only regional accents on the tv and radio were in gritty dramas, everything else was RP. This has now changed, and although I also hate some of the current pronunciations, I think it's better than the strait-jacket we used to have.My pet bugbears are loss of differentiation of meaning; as an example, I have been told that disinterested and uninterested now mean the same thing. Others worry about different trends in language. There was a middle-class panic a few years ago when children started to use the Australasian false interrogative at the end of every sentence (?). But then neighbours lost its popularity, the kids in high school musical had different linguistic quirks, and the patois moved on. L'Académie française has been trying to hold back the tide for a couple of hundred years - without great success. Better to roll with it and move on - it's a living language.MatthewLatin is a languageas dead as a dead can beit killed the ancient romansand now it's killing me
(Murray writing this):P, t, k, b, d and g (what are called the plosive consonants), especially at the end of words, are probably the consonants that take longest to say. This is less of a problem when the next word starts with a vowel or a non-plosive (consider "can't eat" - you usually pronounce it something like "can' teat"), but if the next word does start with a plosive, it takes more time to say ("can't dance", "can't kick" for instance). It probably started with them being removed at the end of words where the next word begins with a plosive (which is natural for me), and then for some people (not me) migrated to the end of words in general. As for "of", I'm not too sure - it's probably again time-saving (ie, laziness) - fricative consonants also take a reasonable amount of time to say (f, h, s, th), but I don't have a theory for why it's only really happened with "of" and words beginning with "h".Interestingly enough, when you say "lo' of", for example, as I said, it takes the same amount of time as saying "lot of", pretty much. The reason for that is you're actually putting an extra consonant in without realising - one that is quite familiar to English-speakers, but they've never actually thought about it. The consonant is called the glottal stop, and is the same thing as the pause in "uh-oh", or in examples like "lo' of", "bo'le" (instead of "bottle"), etc. So, in fact, this is completely pointless, as you're taking a consonant and replacing it with a different one equally hard to say.