Please help me find this rant
February 19, 2020 6:12 PM   Subscribe

I'm pretty sure I remember seeing, several years ago, a rant by Will Smith about people who pronounce the "t" in "often." That's all I got. Halp?
posted by bricoleur to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Not a video, but I know I've heard him talk about this before, and apparently he's been on this topic since 1997, so....
posted by emumimic at 6:25 PM on February 19, 2020

Best answer: "WILL SMITH HAS A DARK, fatal flaw. It's an obsession of sorts, the kind of thing that can drive loved ones crazy and might even, if allowed to run amok, derail and debilitate an otherwise promising career. He hates bad grammar. Pronunciation errors, mistakes of any linguistic sort - they make him nuts. His girlfriend, the actress Jada Pinkett, knows it. His friends, family and close associates know it. Occasionally, in their gentlest, most caring way, they try to caution him about the seriousness of his affliction. Sitting down over breakfast one morning in their Spanish-style villa outside L.A., Pinkett casts a tentative glance in his direction. ""What were you telling me the other day?'' she says. ""That people say the word "often' like "of-fen,' when it's really pronounced "of-ten'?'' Smith, looking sporty and proper in a white Ralph Lauren polo shirt, white sweatpants and Nike Air Uptempos, sets down a platter of banana pancakes with a disapproving thud. ""No, no,'' he says. ""The right way is "offen.' People who pronounce the t are trying to sound sophisticated, but they just sound wrong.'' Pinkett giggles, then affects a Superman tone of voice. ""It's a noun... It's a verb... No, it's Captain Correction!''" Newsweek, 7/6/97.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:26 PM on February 19, 2020 [4 favorites]

Wow, I distinctly remember reading that Newsweek article in the lobby of my mom’s office.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:28 PM on February 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Ahhhh, thank you SO much. I've been looking for a video, but this is definitely the thing I was remembering.
posted by bricoleur at 6:52 PM on February 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

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