A most regrettable feature of the present day speech is the tendency to mutilate or, to say the least, contract —many words of the English language. In addition to the recognised contrac- tions, "isn't," "don't" "that's," etc., on every side we hear the objec- tionable and wrong "ain't" (I cannot spell this). Then again are heard the almost universal use of "exam." and lately another objectionable expression "this arvo" for this afternoon,"
seems to have taken a firm hold of the
younger members of the community. Not only is this latter expression heard among those who have not had the opportunity of learning, but is noticeable even in the speech of those who have had the benefits of a super- primary education. It is not that the
correct form is not known, but just that careless or wanton habit of mutilation of everyday words, fre- quently from an idea of being smart. Teachers in all schools are at present trying to impress upon their pupils the advantage of correct pronuncia- tion and enunciation, but their efforts are to a great extent nullified by the prevailing tendency towards language mutilation. It seems little use teach- ing children the correct form of the different vowel sounds, when such ex- pressions as "gorn ter," "useter," "oughter," are in common use. Unless a determined effort be made to over- come this modern tendency to contract and mutilate, the criticisms of the Australian use of the Mother tongue will have a great deal more justifica-
tion than has been heretofore bes-
towed upon such as our nasal vowels,