Round Your Mouth: The Trouble with Caribbean English

Last updated: September 7, 2017 at 4:02 am

round mouth photo

When I was in primary school, our grade 4 teacher, Miss Roxanne Pestano, would often upbraid us, “round your mouth and pronounce your words properly.”

That is, the word is “boy,” not “bai,” and “toy,” not “tai.”

“Probably,” not “prabably.”

“Dog,” not “dag.”

This is the problem with Guyanese Creolese: it runs over to the attempts at speaking standard English and contaminates it to the point of misunderstanding.

But don’t worry, we have great, dedicated educators working overtime to help us improve our pronunciation and enunciation.

With constant practice and corrections from great teachers like Miss Roxanne, we can become better English speakers.

The only problem is when there’s an overkill, and it reminds of the saying “you can’t teach a donkey how to blow mouth organ.”

Here’s the deal, I was once accused of being a “sloy fox.”

I was catching up with an old friend from high school, and he said he was sporting and having a “bloss.” Blast maybe?

Hey, don’t laugh, at least the people were “troying” to get it right.

Related: Aunt: the Carribbean mispronunciation fetches some intelligence.

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