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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.

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

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


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!

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".

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 )

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.

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

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

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?

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.

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

Landed gentry? (Checks date is still 2013).

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!)

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

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.

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

It's hard not to judge! wink

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.

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!)

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

What the hell is wubblyou?

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!

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.

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

Jai is definitely pronounced Jay. It's Indian.

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)?

MirandaGoshawk Thu 21-Nov-13 10:04:44

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

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.

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

to be perfectly correct?
Magyar vagyok! wink

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


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

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


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