For the last several months I’ve noticed people, usually of a certain age (in their teens and twenties and sometimes beyond) adopting what seems to me to be an odd speech pattern. It is the dropping or swallowing of the second “t” as in butter, letter, and batter. It’s an old announcer’s trick to change the latter “p” to the letter “b” and the like, but this is different. Words sound as if they are being swallowed half-way through. Why is this? From where does this come? I’ve heard it in different parts of the country and I noticed it during the announcements on the fights by flight crews from various parts of the country. Is this a fad? Does it mean anything?