Moderately long rant below that cites nothing dispositive but just notes a couple of minor data points that fall along with my observation that our culture is in the crapper and on the point of being–rightfully!–flushed.
Read it or don’t.
I’ll cite just one example from several over the past couple of days as demonstration of the steady erosion of Western culture in the US by means of the Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind appealing to the lowest common denominator, roughly analogous to Ortega’s Mass Man. One, of several, instances was contained in a Mass MEdia Podperson’s pompously-intoned “report” on holiday heart attacks. It was the pronunciation of one word that I want to present as one more data point in the steady erosion of our society to the lowest common denominator, nay! to excessive and unwarranted pride in BEING the lowest common denominator. Because, pronounced, roughly, “becuz”–I assume beCAUSE the expected audience is aliterate (not *heh* “alliterate” :-)) and “becuz” has become the vulgar pronunciation among aliterates.
No, I’m not buying “regionalism” as an excuse. The Podperson apparently makes a living parroting what is put in front of her and should at least use standard English pronunciation.
BTW, I hear other evidences of aliterate English even from professionals in other fields where they really ought to at least be literate in the terms of their own field. Medical people stand out here. I have heard–more often than I care for, since the term refers to a physical condition I have–one term in particular that I’ve corrected (gently or not, I frankly DGARA) medical folks’ mispronunciation of from time to time. Not using the term here (for fun; wanna guess in comments? ;-), but I will describe the literacy issue.
The mispronunciation of the term that is lately coming more and more into popular use even among medical people who should KNOW better is a mispronunciation that invokes various inflammation issues/conditions. The condition in question involves inflammation of tissues not at all, except in extremely rare and transient instances. That’s one strike against the literacy of these medical professionals concerning their own terms of art.
But as to literacy in general? The term is DIRECTLY derived from a Latin word, indeed it IS a Latin term that is even spelled differently to terms that refer to various sorts of inflammation conditions. Different spelling, but close enough to an illiterate eye trained to read words as hieroglyphs (Look-Say and all its demonic derivatives) instead of phonetically.
Aliterate, nearly illiterate, bums.