It's *aitch* [angry]

(59 Posts)
ohmymimi Sun 17-Nov-13 11:28:36

Justine Greening on 'The Sunday Politics' constantly saying 'haitch' - beyond irritating.

PattyPuddy Sun 17-Nov-13 15:04:54

I agree - drives me mad too.

PearlArgyle Sun 17-Nov-13 15:05:54

It is! Very irritating.

SunnyL Sun 17-Nov-13 15:07:23

It depends where in the country you come from surely? In Scotland most people I know say Haitch.

But then we also know how to pronounce an R properly grin

TheDoctrineOfWho Sun 17-Nov-13 15:41:33

Yes, it is.

ohmymimi Sun 17-Nov-13 22:39:18

Glad to hear you know how to roll your rs , Sunny wink

funnyossity Sun 17-Nov-13 22:57:03

Haitch is the norm in speakers of Irish English.

I've heard Scots pronounce the letter J as "Jai". Widen your horizons OP!wink

FannyFifer Sun 17-Nov-13 22:58:57

Always been aitch here.
aitch, eye, jai, kay

iklboo Sun 17-Nov-13 23:03:39

It's aitch. It's in the dictionary as aitch. There's only one aitch in aitch. smile

BackforGood Sun 17-Nov-13 23:14:59

You are SO right. It is very annoying.

campion Mon 18-Nov-13 13:44:06

It's aitch in the dictionary, but ' because I pronounce it haitch, it's haitch' always seems to win the argument hmm

oldclothcat Mon 18-Nov-13 13:49:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

It's 'haitch' in Ireland and always will be for me!

It's haitch and or. grin

Oh yes! 'Or' not 'arrrrr' like the English say grin

iklboo Mon 18-Nov-13 17:50:54

I'm English. I don't say 'arrrr'. I'm not a pirate grin.

NorthernShores Mon 18-Nov-13 17:53:02

What's the alternative to Jay then?

picnicbasketcase Mon 18-Nov-13 17:54:10

Jai as in rhymes with eye? Mind boggle.

NorthernShores Mon 18-Nov-13 18:31:41

Ah right I see! I'd say jai like Jay. Didn't realise there was any other way!

I do a mix of I
Aitch and haitch!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 18-Nov-13 18:33:56

It's haitch. Because helen begins with a 'heh' not an 'eh'

Maryz Mon 18-Nov-13 18:51:30

It isn't in Ireland.

If you say aitch in Ireland everyone looks at you like hmm

And Jay is of course Jay confused

Or for R always annoys me too.

Littleredsquirrel Mon 18-Nov-13 18:55:56

The name of the letter is aitch not haitch. just because it makes a h sound doesn't mean it has to start with h.

The letter s is pronounced ess not sess
The letter w is pronounced doubleyou not wubbleyou

Please please don't say haitch. It's just wrong.

I work in HR. this drives me mad.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 18-Nov-13 19:01:46

Its still haitch. Unless you're on eastenders.

TheDoctrineOfWho Mon 18-Nov-13 19:04:36

No it isn't.

JoanHunterDunne Mon 18-Nov-13 19:08:13

Our HR dept answer the phone with 'haitch r'.

Then I'm irrationally irritated and forget why I called.

tracypenisbeaker Mon 18-Nov-13 19:10:47

'wubbleyou' grin

TheDoctrineOfWho Mon 18-Nov-13 19:11:14
YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 18-Nov-13 19:11:53


tracypenisbeaker Mon 18-Nov-13 19:13:30

I am so using the 'wubbleyou' argument the next time my OH says 'haitch.' Mind you, he uses the word 'jamp' as the past tense of 'jumped' so I think he's a lost cause.

TheDoctrineOfWho Mon 18-Nov-13 19:23:46

Wiki on H

Apparently aitch/haitch is a Protestant/catholic split in NI!

DoesZingBumpLookBigInThis Mon 18-Nov-13 19:32:37

Haitch is thought in some "English for forriners" classes - eight and aitch are just to similar to the ears of some nationalities, haitch helps to "hear" that it's a "H".

makes more sense practically.

DoesZingBumpLookBigInThis Mon 18-Nov-13 19:33:18

oh and I can say forriners.
I'm Hungarian so have social immunity! grin

YoureBeingASillyBilly Mon 18-Nov-13 19:33:59

Yup doctrine. I was tortured at primary as the only catholic with the haitch/aitch thing and being called helen they used that too so i'll hold on to my haitch now im an adult and cant speak how i choose.

whereisthewitch Mon 18-Nov-13 19:37:01

In Northern Ireland if you say aitch you're Protestant and if you say haitch you're Catholic.

Sad but true.

TheDoctrineOfWho Mon 18-Nov-13 19:42:10

Are you sure you're not 'Ungarian, Zing?


DoesZingBumpLookBigInThis Mon 18-Nov-13 19:42:53


DoesZingBumpLookBigInThis Mon 18-Nov-13 19:43:21

to be perfectly correct?
Magyar vagyok! wink

MrsOakenshield Mon 18-Nov-13 19:52:36

I'm the daughter of a Scottish Catholic and she's never said haitch!

w=wubblyou (genius)

no, all wrong. Except wubbleyou.

It's aitch. One of the peculiarities of English is that the letter H, written as a word, doesn't start with an H!

Beehatch Thu 21-Nov-13 10:07:41

Oh I clicked on this thinking the old-timer Aitch was back with an interesting rant. Where has she gone (apart from writing the round-up)?

skillsandtea Thu 21-Nov-13 10:08:26

Jai is definitely pronounced Jay. It's Indian.

FreckledLeopard Thu 21-Nov-13 10:09:17

Of course it's 'aitch'. Does anyone think the Queen or landed gentry would say 'haitch'? Just because people are ignorant/are taught wrongly/are from Ireland, doesn't mean that 'haitch' is right or acceptable.

funnyossity Thu 21-Nov-13 10:29:22

skillsandtea, by "Jai" I was not referring to a name (oh why did I use a capital on a pedants' thread!) but the trying to describe the sound given by many Scots for the letter j. Note how in Fanny Fifer's post "jai, kay" j and k do not rhyme.

Freckled Leopard I don't think linguists would agree with you there!

I like Zing's point on practicality and maybe I'll revert to haitch!

FannyFifer Thu 21-Nov-13 11:12:11

What the hell is wubblyou?

katplva Thu 21-Nov-13 11:52:36

freckledleopard are we all supposed to talk like the queen/landed gentry to be considered "not ignorant"???

I really don't think that anyone speaking with a regional variation of English has been wrongly taught or that their speech is unacceptable...

The (historically) dominant RP culture has imposed it's own linguistic norms on what is acceptable, but I don't think that anything outside of that is automatically wrong. (As an RP speaker I say 'aitch', but my children will say 'haitch' as do most educated, cultured and linguistically acceptable people where we live!)

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 21-Nov-13 11:58:23

It really amuses me how middle-intelligence English people get so wound up about this. grin

It's like if they were taught something at primary school IT MUST BE TRUE!

And anyone who does otherwise IS WRONG AND THUS STUPID.

funnyossity Thu 21-Nov-13 12:00:04

It's hard not to judge! wink

FreckledLeopard Thu 21-Nov-13 13:48:54

I'm sure linguists and lots of others won't agree. However, I am of the belief that RP is the 'correct' way to speak and the pinnacle of perfect speech. Listening to old BBC footage with the wonderful voices makes me smile.

Oh, and katplva - I wouldn't normally comment, but this thread is in Pedants' corner, so should point out that it's ONLY means it is or it has. ITS is the possessive.

JoinYourPlayfellows Thu 21-Nov-13 15:04:05

"However, I am of the belief that RP is the 'correct' way to speak and the pinnacle of perfect speech."



Loving your work on this thread.

"pinnacle of perfect speech" grin grin

funnyossity Thu 21-Nov-13 16:46:35

Yes we all have our preferences. RP is one of my least favourite accents. (I don't like it when the Danish actor in Borgen moves into English RP, when at other times characters sound as if they could be speaking snippets in Irish English or Northern English and I love it!)

iklFaceOfBooe Thu 21-Nov-13 18:42:04

Landed gentry? (Checks date is still 2013).

redshifter Tue 03-Dec-13 16:20:34

I used to have this arguement with my Irish mother, she would say Haitch but then talk about her aitch knit junper she was knitting. So frustrating.

She would also use the "Helen begins with H, so it is Haitch" arguement. I would point out that 'mum' begins with 'em' not 'mem', nan begins with 'en' not 'nen'. She still wouldn't have it. Totally ridiculous arguement.

It was so frustrating.

Helpyourself Tue 03-Dec-13 16:25:36

Of course it's 'aitch'. Does anyone think the Queen or landed gentry would say 'haitch'? Just because people are ignorant/are taught wrongly/are from Ireland, doesn't mean that 'haitch' is right or acceptable.
Why would what the queen says matter to me?

Helpyourself Tue 03-Dec-13 16:26:57

X posted with the world, there.
But really! hmm

redshifter Tue 03-Dec-13 16:50:52

Why would what the queen says matter to me

Exactly. Because the queen says it a certain way does not make any other way wrong.

What annoys me is when I go to Ireland and get told 'aitch' is wrong because 'horse', 'husband' etc. begin in 'H', but then they say "ess", "em" and "why" (Y). Illogical arguement and so frustrating.

holycowwhatnow Tue 24-Dec-13 23:35:29

(Must check with infant teachers after the holidays what name the Jolly Phonics programme gives the letter 'H')

I don't dispute that the correct pronunciation is 'aitch' and consider myself to be a card-carrying pedant but as an Irish person, I couldn't imagine anyone saying 'aitch' without sounding incredibly pretentious. Couldn't bear when one of the retired RTE news presenters said RTE - saying ARE for OR, it just grates and sounds like she was trying to sound English (and there is no greater crime grin )

WMittens Fri 27-Dec-13 11:20:44


It's haitch. Because helen begins with a 'heh' not an 'eh'

It was a long time ago for me, but don't they teach letter names and letter sounds fairly early in primary school?

'Ess' starts with an 'e', but Simon isn't pronounced "Esimon".

RudolphtheRedknowsraindear Thu 02-Jan-14 07:05:37

It is, "aitch," in the Oxford English Dictionary, but many people do use haitch, unconnected to what Christian denomination they are or whether they're Christian at all.
I know that in Welsh the letter is said like highych, with a bit of a throaty ch on the initial part of the letter name, so perhaps the other Celtic languages are similar.
It tends to annoy me when I'm asked to spell my name and I say, "aitch****," and the person says, "do you mean haitch?" That's just bad manners though fwink!

RedactedEdition Thu 02-Jan-14 07:52:07

According to OED
Regional variations are precisely that - variations of the correct pronunciation.


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