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Some Habits Are Hard To Break

Posted Oct 01 2008 9:17pm
My faithful readers are getting tired of reading about BUGS. I am so behind in my writing and will add something today. There are a lot of thoughts to share in my head but no one benefits from them unless they are written down. I feel like a Gumby doll being pulled in 20 different directions because there is just not enough of me to go around! Some of you may not even know what a Gumby doll is (my age is showing!) but you can see one here. It is a clay figure that can be stretched several times its size. The summer is flying by and I've made two trips in the last two weeks and have two more upcoming ones in the next two weeks. I usually don't travel four weeks in a row (I don't know how my husband does it every week!) The summer has been filled with swimming, weddings, family reunions, homecomings, family time, guests, and so on. Our oldest son moved back home two weeks ago and we are still "adjusting." (Will explain that in another post.)

Anyway, during my therapy sessions, I discovered why I was having trouble distinguishing the "sh" sound. It is because I am not used to hearing it. I have always pronounced a word the way it was spelled unless someone told me otherwise. Early on, my mother was the one who would chuckle at me and correct me gently. For example, I didn't know as a child to pronounce "sugar" like "sh"ugar. Or "flood" and "blood" was a short "u" sound instead of the long "u" sound. Mom corrected me on those and I've known to say them the correct way. My friends and family have been so used to my speech that I was rarely corrected before my implant and even afterwards. But, now I am consciously aware of the way words sound because I can actually hear them, except the "sh" sound. For example, I was trying to order a salad to go for lunch over the phone and the person on the other end kept asking me to repeat was I was saying. After the fourth or fifth time, she finally understood me. After I got off the phone, Kim, my coworker in the next cubicle came over to my desk and said, "Laurie, it's not "ch"ef salad. It is "sh"ef salad! I have always pronounced the word "chef" with the "ch" sound. No wonder the gal on the phone could not understand me. Kim said "That girl was dumb. She should have known what you were trying to say!" About a week later, Kim caught me mispronouncing another word, which was the word, "machine." Again, I've always pronounced it with the "ch" sound, and not the proper "sh" sound because that is the way it looks when it is written. So, I asked Susie, my therapist, to come up with a list of words where the "ch" masquerades as "sh" sound. Here is what we came up with:

chaise, chef, Cher, chargrin, chalet, chamois, charade, Charlene, Charlotte, chartreuse, chateau, chenille, Cheri, Cheryl, chevron, Chevy, Cheyenne, chiffon, chignon, chandelier, chaperone, Chicago, chivalry, machine, nonchalant, parachute, and cache.

This list blew me away because I do say the "ch" sound for most of them and am trying change. But, some habits are hard to break, especially if I've said them incorrectly for over 40 years! If you think of any more, leave me a comment and I'll add it to the list. Sometimes your friends can be your best therapists!
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