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But, the current US trend is toward a particular phoneme, a vowel sound like 'ah'
where words that might regionally be pronounced with an 'aw' or 'oh' sound are drifting toward that 'aw' instead. And SELF CONSCIOUSLY so.
As though it's been somehow "decided" that it sounds more educated or classy to use the 'ah' sound.
So cough and stalk and chocolate and office, become Chahcolate and Stahk and Cahff and AHfiss
and if that's your natural accent that's great.
(Although I'm not so sure ALL of those words would be said that way naturally anywhere)
but what is driving me crazy is hearing someone on tv say "so you melt the CHAHcolate in a double boiler, and then you pour the CHOHcolate out onto a cool surface, and then sort of spread that CHAWcolate around until..."
you can HEAR them struggling TRYING to adopt an accent that's clearly not theirs.
And saying the word 3 ways in 30 seconds.
I find it so distracting that I literally lose track of WHAT they are saying
it's making you sound phony and awkward.
Not "classy" or "educated".
Thus endeth the rant