Saturday 29 September 2018

A Landmark Moment for the English Language

In years time will you look back at this moment and remember where you were when you heard the news?


  1. A bit like the BBC continuity announcer who says ‘it’s free firty on Chooseday’.

  2. He's a bit slow to the party isn't he if all he's noticed is the haitch? Aitch itself is probably a mutation from much further back in time.

    On that point, what is Wales doing in the Thames? Oh I see! You meant whales. Why didn't you say so?
    Or should that be wat are wales doing in the Thames? Tems.

  3. I don't think he was on the BBC's Christmas (sorry - Seasonal Festivity) Party list...but this makes it a definite no.

    As I understand it, the "haitch" pronunciation has been a dialectical variant for centuries, so it's nothing new and has some intrinsic sense to it since it references a "h" sound. The BBC has previously avoided it perhaps but I am not too concerned about it...There is far less risk of ambiguity than with "free/three", "four/thaw", "heart/art" etc etc.

  4. I thought perverse cockneys, who invariably drop the 'orrible 'h' but always say 'haitch', pioneered this. No idea why it's seeped onto BBC news.

    1. I think the Beeb's acceptance of 'haitch' was inspired by a Guardian article, a few years ago, which praised the mispronunciation for its 'working-class authenticity' and dismissed 'aitch' as 'posh'. 'Haitch' is, of course, an example of hypercorrection - the speaker is aware that aitch-dropping is a solecism & compensates by inserting them where they are not needed.


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