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Also, I have a pressing question. I already tried googling it to no avail, so maybe it’s a figment of my imagination. Why do some women newscasters pronounce their “s” like “sh” I mean, I’m not trying to be mean, but I’m thinking it’s on purpose for some unknown reason and not a speech impediment or certain kind of accent since I hear it so often. I’ve even heard women newscasters  on cartoons say their “s’s” with an “sh” sound. Probably Sponge Bob so it’s totally politically incorrect. But help me understand? Have I just made the world of newscasters mad at me? Are they even called newscasters?

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. I’m shure there’sh a reashon, but it sheemsh kind of shtupid to me! And it’s probably alright to call them newscasters. Just don’t call them a shtewardesh.

    • Hahahahahha! Love your response!

    • Anonymous says:

      Because back in the day, the only woman in television news was Barbara Walters. Professional, yet she also had a speech impediment….the one that you described. Two generations of female broadcasters would unload every evening. “Hello it’s 76 degrees in the shity, and I’m Suzy Cold Dish.” I don’t know why some News Director didn’t stop it. That continued until the last decade when something new known as “swallowing your consonants” took over. Example. Bre UN for Breton. This last deal has to be the most perplexing.

    • Geri Jarvis says:

      Because back in the day, the only woman in television news was Barbara Walters. Professional, yet she also had a speech impediment….the one that you described. Two generations of female broadcasters would unload every evening. “Hello it’s 76 degrees in the shity, and I’m Suzy Cold Dish.” I don’t know why some News Director didn’t stop it. That continued until the last decade when something new known as “swallowing your consonants” took over. Example. Bre UN for Breton. This last deal has to be the most perplexing.

  2. Bahahahahaha. Best.Post.Ever. Yes I’ve heard it, but don’t know why. ;)

  3. Haha! Great google-y moogly – so funny :)

    I have no idea why – but as a former radio news writer, I know that they make you “learn” how to give a radio news report, and they kind of teach you how to talk with a certain tone in your voice – and that SH sound was part of it. I never asked why… I just did it. Not much help, I know.

  4. I think, at least in cartoons, they are trying to poke fun at Barbara Walters. That’s the impression I get.

  5. I would guess it probably has something to do with how the “S” sounds in the mic. Probably easier to mic and mix the sound with a softer “sh”. But that is just guess. :)

    It is pretty funny though.

  6. I only noticed this when Annie Downs posted a video on her blog a long time ago and commented that she didn’t know why she sounded like her s’s were sh’s. I think it’s a microphone thing. Can’t be they are doing it on purpose, could it? Nah.

  7. Anonymous says:

    And oddly enough, when they should use that “SH’ sound they don’t, as in the word “Negotiate,” which I keep hearing spoken on the air as “Nee-go-CEE-ate” instead of “Nee-go-SHE-ate.” I won’t even go into the bad grammar and mixed up pronouns (“Thanks for joining John and I”). It’s best not to look to “news” people for tips on proper English, spoken or written. OK to check for hairstyles and the latest in pushups and Spanx, though.

  8. I’d guess that Casey is correct. Growing up singing in choirs, we always had to be careful of our “s’s” not being too sharp and drawn out because it would sound terrible and sometimes ear-piercing in the mic. We should probably be glad that newscasters pronounce their “s’s” with “sh”. I’d guess we’d want to listen to them a whole lot less is they didn’t!

  9. Ex worship leader here speaking from a singing perspective using mics. It’s so that don’t have Sammy the Snake sounds. Microphones enhance s’s and p’s and f’s in not great ways. Listen carefully and you’ll hear people singing and saying the p’s as so ewhere between a p and a b and the f’s more like v’s. I bet you’re trying it now. ;-)

  10. Maybe they change “s” to “sh” because the “s” causes them to whistle while they work and that would be a “newscaster faux pas”! The news is suppose to be doom and gloom! “No Whistling allowed!”

  11. I’ve noticed that too and it drives me bonkers.

  12. Maybe it’s your TV speakers?

  13. You’re close! Repeat after me…newsh.cash.tersh Good!! You’ve got it!

  14. but only a small percentage of people do it, not all girl newscasters, and in my humble opinion, pronouncing the words incorrect is more annoying than hearing an s sound.

  15. here’s the lady that stopped me in my tracks as I flipped around this morning, yes, I get that it’s a weird recording but you know what I mean. Actresses don’t do this, no one else on TV does this, it’s so weird! http://youtu.be/Flj4pqVovOE

    only a small percentage of people (women) do it, not all girl newscasters, and in my humble opinion, pronouncing the words incorrect is more annoying than hearing an s sound.

  16. From a Speech Pathology/Phonetic point of view, it seems like she only does it with words at the beginning of the word (/sh/ has a fuller, rounder sound and it’s less likely to whistle) and in medial /s/ sounds (between 2 other sounds) but she uses regular /s/ at the ends of words because they are shorter and less prolonged in speech. The difference between the sounds is tongue placement and lip rounding. Regular /s/ puts the tongue tip on the bottom alveolar ridge (bumps on the gum below the teeth) and the lips aren’t rounded at all. Now say /s/ and slowly move your tongue tip to the top alveolar ridge (bumps on gum at the top) and now round your lips, voila! /sh/. From what I can tell, she’s using a sound in between those two, its a distorted version, not a total /sh/ because her lips aren’t rounded, her tongue is probably somewhere in the middle! Make sense? Chances are, it’s just to prevent a harsh frequency on the mic and provide a little bit fuller tone. Sorry to get so nerdy! I’m a speech pathology major and this stuff fascinates me! Hope that makes some sense to you! :)

  17. You are too funny!!! I have never noticed the “sh” thing, but I don’t watch alot of tv. I will have to pay attention next time I watch the news!

    tina

  18. I don’t watch the newsh. It’sh too depreshing and full of thingsh I don’t need to hear.

    The day I stopped watching the news regularly was the day I stopped being a worrier.

  19. I’ve never noticed it but now I have another reason not to watch the news. My pet peeve is that they now say “yeah” after their fellow anchor reports something. Sounds so “teenagery”! ha!

  20. Roxanne says:

    I never watch televised news, but I do listen to news on the radio. I’ve noticed it on a couple of women radiocasters (is that the word??). I just assumed these women must have recently gotten adult braces and that was causing the mispronunciations. Now I’m guessing they’re trained to speak that way.

  21. I didn’t hear it in every s but I can’t believe you made me listen to Barney frank. was that some kind of mean trick?

  22. Just opened your blog on my email this am and took a quick look and thought “uh oh..someone’s writing on walls again!’. My husband sat across from me and joined me for a cup of coffee. Nice way to start my day right? When he comes back from refilling his coffee, he looks at the computer screen with the handwritten love notes and gives me the strangest look! I had to show him it was just one of the decorating blogs I read. LOL!!!!

  23. I am an s whistler! Its just the way they sound coming out of my mouth. When I was in HS I sang a solo in choir ‘The wordsssss get in the way, (there’ssss sssso much I want to sssssay)remember that one? Guess if I had known the sh trick I wouldn’t have been teased as mercilessly I a was. I’m forever shcarred;)

  24. Um.. Wow, I never noticed. And I tend to think lousy mics hold more responsibility than the news anchors. I worked I tv news for 15 years, and on the production side since then, when I was going through the ropes, they certainly weren’t trying to encourage us to sounds like Barbara Walters! But back then we had had to be trained journalists who also understood grammar. Nowadays they just want coeds with breast implants with blonde hair, and preferably daddy’s money so that they don’t have to pay them a living wage. ( thus the reason I got out)

    On the cartoon side, I think they’re making fun of Barbra Walters.

  25. This whole post and the replies have me laughing and yet… so intrigued (go Kailey!). I’ll admit that I sometimes say “Yesh” instead of “yes”.

    But that’s only when I am imitating Sean Connery.

  26. So I was curious and I found out that a common regional dialect in Philadelphia (according to Wikipedia) often replaces s with sh. Also, another site commented that replacing s with sh could indicate Germanic roots. Additional food for thought…

  27. I notice this all the time. Not just newscasters, (unforgiveable to be in broadcasting and say “shtraight”) but just people I’ve overheard. I took broadcasting and we were never told to pronounce an “s” as “sh”. I do recall being told to say “nyuz” instead of “noos” for “news”.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Oh my word, my girls and I have mocked “Dance Moms” endlessly because they always talk about their cosh-tumes. No idea why, but has made lots of fun for me and my teenagres:-)

  29. Back in the 90′s, I used to work for an NBC News affiliate in Texas. There was one reporter in particular (Crystal Crews) that spoke normally, but get her in front of the camera and it was ALL SSSHHHHH!!! Not a single SSSS to be found! It was really annoying. I never asked her about it, but I assume she thought it sounded more professional. Alot of the news people had little quirks like that. Consultants would be my main guess. They would come in and tell everyone how to speak, how to look, what to wear, etc….

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