Forget Swine Flu, "SH" affliction, also known as SHVIRUS" is spreading like a rash through Australian speech. Once the domain of sporting media commentators and heros, "SHVIRUS" can now be heard amongst young Australians, television chefs and even federal politicians.
So what is the SHVIRUS, and how do people catch it?
Put simply it is caught by individuals with an apparent inability to pronounce "STR" effectively. This means words like Australia become Aushtralia. As someone with a slight lisp, I recognise that the "SH" can cover up my impediment. However, the pay off is that I appear lazy and, worse, that I risk association with spin-bowler Shane Warne (one of the serial offenders).
Not only is SHVIRUS affecting phonetic spelling in Australia classrooms, but unionists risk being mistaken for bird enthusiasts as they propose a "shtrike'( a word closely resembling shrike which refers to any of the numerous predacious birds of the family Laniidae of Eurasia or Africa with a strong hooked and toothed bill[Macquarie].
It is, I believe, only a matter of time before those with "SH" affliction drop the T altogether, so that stress becomes "shress", strong becomes shrong, and struggle morphs into a nonchalant "shruggle". Drop both T and R, and straw becomes sure, street becomes sheet and struth becomes shuth. And where would we be then!
So let us rally ye language lovers. Rally against the demise of three-letter-blends. Rise up against those seeking to disguise speech impediments through mispronounciation. The time is now, the cause is just, the likelihood of success - impossible.