They drive me batty. That goes for my mom, sister. . . even Peanut!*
So when I noticed NASCAR Nut pronouncing 'with' as 'wif', I had tried to let it go, but it's really hard when it's such a simple word and it was being abused so badly.
I asked him if he had noticed he said it that way to which he replied no. I then asked him if he could stop saying it that way and he said sure, he'd try.
Let me just add here first, that my sister constantly and consistently says 'expecially,' 'excessory' and so on. It drives me bonkers. When I've corrected her the few times, she just snarled at me and told me to shut up.
When she actually spelled 'accessory' as 'excesory' I pounced, telling her she'd have spelled it right if she were saying it right, too. Again I got the glare.
Back to the issue of 'wif.'
I haven't corrected NASCAR Nut when in public, but waited until later while on the phone or im'ing each other. I may cringe everytime a word is mispronounced, but I'm not totally rude.
Anyway, when I asked him Saturday evening if he'd noticed his misuse of the very word I had asked him about, he said sorry and that he'd try harder next time. I told him that he should be trying not to say it that way regardless of me being in earshot since it's a mispronunciation and his habit is due to pure laziness.
He then asked how come the mispronunciation has to be fixed and why can't it just be accepted as part of him.
My reponse was, "Because it's driving me nuts." And well, it is.
I then told him that character flaws or eating meat I can accept as part of him, but lazy speech I cannot. My feeling is, friends or not, you don't have to love every single part of them.
His next question is where this irkiness is coming from as he asked if I would correct a black man saying 'ax' instead of 'ask' and so on.
"Do I look like a freakin' bigot to you?" I wanted to ax. Yes, I love hearing 'ax' or hearing 'r's' added to words where there shouldn't be any but only correct white guys. Give me a fucking break.
Instead, I politely said, "Uh, no, lazy speech is lazy speech and it all drives me nuts equally. It's just depending on how well I know you is when you get corrected."
Because seriously, the white guy that sells me car parts in town isn't the best talker, but I hardly know him so his speech gets by me. I know I get to leave the situation soon so I can usually deal with it.
A little anecdotal evidence as background.
In 2004, Tropical Storm Gaston blew through here, stalling right over Richmond and dumping 12" of rain in 1 hour. We flooded. Everywhere. It took me 3 hours alone just to creep the distance that usually takes me 15 min. In that span of time, I was listening to a local radio station here that had begun to broadcast a local news station, allowing those of us stuck in our cars to keep up with the weather, what was happening around town, etc.
For that entire 3 hours I got to listen to them all pronounce Gaston as Gas-stone. I'm sure imagining me yelling at the radio is hilarious as I'm sure passersby thought so, too. I also asked the radio if they had ever watched Disney's Beauty and the Beast because the narcissitic guy's name was, hold your breath, Gaston.
So no, I will not accept the mispronunciation of 'with' as "part of you." The word has a -th on the end so that means it should be pronounced as such, damnit.
*This goes for me, too. If I fuck up, lemme know! I misspell a lot of things now because I've been relying to heavily on grammar/spell checks. Sue me.