Don’t miss to fail

„Don’t fail to miss tomorrow’s game” was the standard sentence with which Dizzy Dean used to sign off his coverage of baseball games on the radio. The former baseball star turned radio announcer made the public wild with enthusiasm. He and his mangled diction were refreshingly different from the polished speech of former radio announcers. Players swang at pitches, throwed the ball and were in a difficult sityation. And of course there was the notorious ain’t. When somebody made objections, he replied: “I ain’t never met anybody that didn’t know what ain’t means.” The audience figures soared, and so did the sales of the brewery which sponsored the programme. But the English Teachers Association of Missouri had filed a complaint on account of his inappropriate English used in public. Dean became a cause celèbre, and newspapers all over the country milked the controversy. The controversy flared and became fiercer and fiercer. At long last, someone made an official enquiry at the Association. It turned out that no complaint had ever been filed. The whole thing had been a clever publicity stunt. Not even Dean’s English was quite genuine. He put on his speech, and once, when by mistake he said slid correctly, he “corrected” himself saying slud. (O’Conner, Patricia T.: The Origin of the Specious. Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language. New York: Random House, 2010: 46-48)

This entry was posted in Gesellschaft, Sprache, Sprachgebrauch, Sprachvariation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.