Archive for March, 2023

The Dreaded Silent T

Posted in IndyCar on March 24, 2023 by Oilpressure

For the past few years, I have written a sort-of annual offseason post regarding trendy buzzwords and corporate jargon that I find very irritating. It’s not really racing related, but sometimes I use this platform just for venting. I had every intention of doing so this past February, but I never really compiled a list or jotted it down whenever I heard a new phrase that made me cringe.

We are now in what I call a mini-offseason, a four-week stint between the first and second rounds of the NTT IndyCar Series schedule and I do have something remotely related to a trendy fashion that I’d like to get off of my chest. With the season about to pick up again next weekend, I figured I’d better do it now.

A couple of years ago, my local sports-talk radio show that I listen to each morning got a new producer – you know, the person that sits behind the glass but still talks regularly to the point where the two-person show is really a three-person show. This new producer was a 24 year-old girl who had just graduated with a master’s degree in sports broadcasting from Syracuse. So she was quite young, but obviously very intelligent.

She’s actually quite sharp and I enjoy her takes on a variety of sports topics. But she has one annoying trait that alerted me to the fact that many young people share the same trait…the silent T.

As you can imagine, there is usually a lot of time on this show devoted to our local NFL team, the Tennessee Titans. The problem is, every time she pronounces the name of our team – I cringe.

Most people around here are from the south and pronounce the name of the team as TIGHT-uns. A few people go overboard and annunciate each hard T, which sounds like TIGHT-TINS. I had never really noticed that before, until one game we attended and the woman behind us kept yelling “Let’s go, Tight-tins!” It was sort of like when the second-string news anchors of the 90s would try to speak so distinctly, and refer to “President Bill Clint-tin”. It was a little annoying, but I just wrote it off as them trying to sound more sophisticated than they really were.

But until this new young producer uttered her pronunciation of the Titans a couple of years ago, I had never heard anyone say it that way. Since then, I’ve noticed her and a lot of others in her age group have spread this pronunciation rule to other words. When I hear it, I want to go through the roof.

She drops the second T altogether, and puts the emphasis on the second syllable where it comes out as Tie-ENS. It almost sounds like she is trying to talk about a tight-end on the team. The two regular hosts have begun making fun of her on the air, for her pronunciation of Titans. They are both a little older. One is in his thirties and is a Nashville native. The other is near fifty and hails from Michigan. It doesn’t seem to be a regional thing, but I am beginning to think it is an age-related thing.

She thinks that her way of saying it is proper and all of her generation would say it the same way. Both hosts say it like I do…TIGHT-uns, but she thinks that is a redneck southern way to say it.

At first, I was thinking this was just a goofy pronunciation on her part. But the Titans beat writer is on that show a couple of times a week and he says it like she does….Tie-ENS. It’s mind-boggling.

Now, I’ve started paying attention to newscasters and commercial voice-overs, both locally and nationally. I’m finding that it is suddenly becoming a thing to make Ts silent, but it does seem to be from people under the age of thirty. Here are a few examples I’ve heard recently

Important – This is a word I thought only had one possible way to pronounce. Now if I’m being honest, I make the first T a little soft to where it almost sounds like a D, but I make the second T a hard T. It comes off as im-POR-dant. But now I’m hearing a silent T for the first T and either a very soft T or a silent T on the second T. Strangely enough, it comes out as im-POR-an. You think I’m crazy? Start listening and paying close attention. You’ll hear it.

Night Owl – Once again, I always thought the word “night” in this term had one pronunciation, but I’ve heard it where someone is referred to as a nigh owl. Why?

Button/Cotton – We were watching a movie a couple of weeks ago and the female character was trying to button her top, but she claimed she had lost a Bud-in. Likewise, I was watching a You Tube instructional video about how to clean something. He suggested using a Coddin ball. Even people in the comments were asking “what is a coddin ball?”

Tighten – I pronounce this word the same way I do the Nashville NFL team. Unfortunately, in the same You Tube video I referenced above – the guy talking does too. He recommended to Tie-EN the screws when finished.

Gluten-Free – Yep, you guessed it. The way I’ve heard it recently is glue-IN free, which to me gives it a whole new meaning.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. You probably think I’ve lost my mind to even bring this up, much less to devote an entire post to it. My wife, Susan, sometimes think I’m off my rocker by obsessing about certain things; but on this one she totally agrees with me. While sitting watching television, if we hear a silent T – we will both point it out almost in unison. I’m telling you, start listening for it. You won’t have to listen very long before you’ll realize I’m right.

My question is…when did a hard T become so offensive? Why is it a redneck southern thing to pronounce the word “Titans” as TIGHT-uns instead of Tie-ENS? Do these T-droppers think they sound more educated? I think Tie-ENS sounds absurd and makes you sound like you have a diction problem.

Recently, the new producer (who is no longer that new anymore) has been given her own show on Saturday mornings, in addition to her producer duties on weekday mornings. I listened to her show while in the shower last Saturday. She is now 26 and as I said, I like her and really appreciate most of her takes. But half the show was devoted to discussing the Titans in free-agency. I got so distracted every time she said Tie-ENS, I lost track of what she was talking about.

Before you think I’ve completely lost it in my advancing age, start listening to radio commercials and TV broadcasts. You will be surprised how this new phenomenon of the silent Ts has become so prevalent.

Aren’ you thankful tha the IndyCar season is abou to resume for good nex weekend, so I can stick to racing? Me oo.

George Phillips

In Need of a Quick Turnaround

Posted in IndyCar on March 22, 2023 by Oilpressure

One of the bigger sources of irritation for many fans of the NTT IndyCar Series, is the fact that Linus Lundqvist does not have an IndyCar ride for 2023. Lundqvist won the 2022 Indy Lights championship, but has been on the sidelines while drivers he beat last year obtained seats for 2023.

Continue reading

Who Cares What They Think?

Posted in IndyCar on March 20, 2023 by Oilpressure

I’ve been reading a version of the Racer Mailbag for the past twenty-five years or so, back when the late Robin Miller still worked for The Indianapolis Star. After he moved on, we were blessed to have two mailbags. Curt Cavin took over the mailbag at The Star, while Miller started another at his next destination – When Miller joined, he carried the mailbag concept with him. When took over the Speed website, they incorporated the mailbag into their regular lineup. It has been a Wednesday morning staple ever since.

Continue reading

The Field Grows to Thirty-Three

Posted in IndyCar on March 17, 2023 by Oilpressure

On Wednesday, we got confirmation for the thirty-third car and driver combination for this year’s Indianapolis 500. Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay has been announced in the No. 23 car for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (DRR), teaming up with former Andretti Autosport teammate Stefan Wilson.

Continue reading

A Team on the Rise

Posted in IndyCar on March 15, 2023 by Oilpressure

We have a lot of time to dissect from the season-opening IndyCar race at St. Petersburg, since we still have two and a half weeks until Race Two at Texas Motor Speedway. It will probably be more scrutinized than any non-Indianapolis 500 race in quite a while. When you only have a one-race sample size to analyze for four weeks – that’s what happens.

Continue reading

Make Every Point More Valuable

Posted in IndyCar on March 13, 2023 by Oilpressure

This weekend, Susan and I wrapped up viewing the last few episodes of Formula One: Drive to Survive Season Five. As they focused on the second tier teams and drivers, there was a great deal of importance of finishing “in the points”. In F1, there are only a handful of teams that are realistically capable of actually winning. Yes, it’s possible that a car from Haas or AlphaTauri might somehow pull off a win – but it’s not likely. That’s a stratosphere reserved for Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren. The others are left to be satisfied with points.

Continue reading

How We’ll Spend Our Summer Vacation

Posted in IndyCar on March 10, 2023 by Oilpressure

With one race of the 2023 IndyCar season already in the books, I wanted to explore the remaining schedule and let you know which races we plan to attend in person this year, as if anyone really cares.

Continue reading