Pronouncing 'str' as 'shtr' - Trend or Impediment?

Several years ago, I noticed a few people I worked with pronouncing ‘street’ as ‘shtreet’. I work as a bus driver, so this word got used frequently. Then, I began to notice this same thing in other words as well: ‘Stress’ pronounced as ‘shtress’, ‘steering’ as ‘shteering’, ‘stuck’ as ‘shtuck’, ‘string’ as ‘shtring’, etc.

But lately, I’m hearing a few professional newscasters and celebrities doing it as well, although I cannot find anything on YouTube to use as an example at the moment, which has made me wonder if this has actually become a trend, or if it is a shpeech impediment.

Looking online, I couldn’t find much, but this link addresses it, as does this one:

Oh, and here’s one more:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/gene-weingarten-admits-his-personal-shtruggle/2016/04/27/8ae99776-fcda-11e5-9140-e61d062438bb_story.html

Membership in the Sean Connery Impersonators Society has risen 1200%

I didn’t want to tell it to you but… your whole language is a collection of impediment!

This practice drives me up the wall. I’ve been noticing it for years, now.

The good news is that it’s not really pronouncing “st” as “sht.” It only occurs when there is an “r” following the “t.” Nobody is out there saying “shtop” or “shtand,” but they are using the lazy, alveoplalatal slide whenever there is an “r” in the mix, even in the case of adjacent words. So someone will talk about “thish tree over here.”

The bad news, of course, is that it’s everywhere, and it’s probably not going away.

Language evolves, shrug.

I have never heard this, bizarre. “Language evolves” largely because people are lazy and/or ignorant, is seems.

I think this is one of those things where things are always happening, but usually only linguists are aware of it. Like the Northern Cities Vowel Shift that got press a little while ago.

I think you mean “srug”, you lazy bum.

I think, don’t hold me to the fire, but it’s something to do with moving palatization forward. Look at where the “s” is in your mouth, then say “sh” instead. Notice how it moves forward? Apparently this is a “natural” shift because it’s more effort to use a middle palatization than a forward one.

It’s also why all those English kids are saying “Birfday” instead of “Birthday”. Or why very conservative languages like Icelandic still have lots and lots of “th” sounds.

Thanks. Thread title fixed.
Although I did think about that before originally posting, and I could have sworn there were some words that did not include the R, although I cannot think of one now. You may have already covered what I was thinking about in your last example:

It’s a mutation. It’ll spread unless you can enforce some kind of lockdown…

Sounds like a Long Island accent to me.

Schhhhtrong I’land.

For some reason I do this a lot when speaking German. I replace s with sch on a lot of words.

It’s already spread.
I’m open to ideas. I suppose we could simply slap an offender during a conversation every time they do it.

This person noticed she was doing it only when her viewers commented on it. She then says a couple of words correctly, and claims it sounds forced, but when I listen, those words do not sound forced; they simply sound correct. She seems conclude that the shtr thing is normal and that str sounds forced.

The “shtr” sound is really clear in that video. I wonder if this tracks to age at all, but the woman in the video mentioned that her whole family did it, so maybe not.

Both “shtr” and “str” sound okay to me, but I still use “str” while speaking and I can tell you why. I moved from the Great Lakes region to the south about a decade ago (got out before the Northern City vowel shift could get me!). I adjusted to a southern dialect by shifting from talking in the front of my mouth to the back. I often push my tongue to the bottom of my mouth to manage a long drawl. In that position, it’s easier to move my tongue tip up for a quick “str” than to push the whole thing forward for a “shtr”.

Language is a virus.

Something else that gets me is when aluminum is pronounced “alu-minnie-um”. The Christian kids’ show “McGee and Me” laboriously made fun of a middle school substitute teacher for pronouncing it this way in the 90’s, and now this is how I’ve heard at least one reputable source pronounce it today…

Ugh, I hate it. I’ve never noticed before or heard anyone around here pronounce it that way. Looks like we need a second quarantine.

That’s just the British standard version (they even spell it that way).

Not just the Brits. The International Union Of Pure and Applied Chemistry: