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The Haitch mob
Posted: 22 March 2007 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Why I ate the Haitch mob from the Guardian. I give the opening paragraph:

The other day I rang a public library and asked if they had any files on a man called William Black. “Would that be William Haitch Black?” the librarian asked after due investigation. It might, and it might not, I was tempted to say; certainly he himself would have preferred William Aitch. But that would have been insufferably pedantic; so I meekly agreed. Later, on a train down from Scotland, the restaurant car, we kept being told, was located in “Carriage Haitch”. And my granddaughter tells me that when she used “aitch” at school, one of her teachers insisted that the right way to say it was “haitch”.

The comments on the article are interesting too. I must confess I’d rather hear nails scraping along a blackboard than the pronunciation haitch. Is there a similar trend in the States?

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Posted: 22 March 2007 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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No haitch sightings near me in Texas.
Possibly related ... on a BBC Radio board, I just had to tell someone that one of her favorite actors, James L Jones, is actually James Earl Jones.

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Posted: 22 March 2007 09:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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aldiboronti - 22 March 2007 09:10 AM

...Is there a similar trend in the States?

FWIW, I’ve never heard an American say “haitch.”

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Posted: 22 March 2007 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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aldiboronti - 22 March 2007 09:10 AM

I must confess I’d rather hear nails scraping along a blackboard than the pronunciation haitch. Is there a similar trend in the States?

Can’t speak for any other South Leftpondians, but I would rather hear the pronunciation haitch than the sound of nails scraping along a blackboard.

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Posted: 22 March 2007 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I must confess I’d rather hear nails scraping along a blackboard than the pronunciation haitch. Is there a similar trend in the States?

No, and possibly for that reason it sounds to me charming rather than grating.  Also, it makes sense, since it begins with the sound the letter names, a feature that is notably absent from the standard term.  I may start using it myself.

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Posted: 22 March 2007 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Uh, oh, aldiboronti, looks like you’ve started something…

Mind you, I’ve always thought “haitch” was a feature of Cockney speech.

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Posted: 22 March 2007 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The word pronunciation that rattles me is “idear.” Is this form of “idea” ever heard in Rightpodia?

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Posted: 22 March 2007 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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You’ve probably heard that in the bad old days in Northern Ireland a Catholic and a Protestant could identify each other by means of how they pronounced that letter.
It’s true.
A Catholic education gives rise to an haitch and a Protestant one to an aitch. If you know anyone from the Republic of Ireland ask them how they say it; chances are they’ll say haitch. If they say aitch, either they’re a scholar or a Protestant. All today’s adults from Ireland received an education from a religious school. Irish people might be secular when they grow up, but anyone who’s an adult now is more than likely to have gone to a religious school.

[ Edited: 22 March 2007 02:49 PM by MoMac ]
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Posted: 22 March 2007 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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And me grandmother was a Kennedy from the Cork Kennedys.  I’m likin’ it more and more.  “Haitch… aye… double ar eye… gee aye en spells Harrigan...”

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Posted: 22 March 2007 03:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I know one Irish Catholic who says “aitch”.  But he’s always been a rebel.

“Idear” grates, though we do hear it in the UK.  As does the increasingly common practice of pronouncing an “r” in “saw”.  “I sore him...” Nails on a blackboard.

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Posted: 22 March 2007 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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The word pronunciation that rattles me is “idear.” Is this form of “idea” ever heard in Rightpodia?

Happydog, have you never encountered Daisy Ashford’s immortal masterpiece, The Young Visiters? Go here and read it at once!

But, to answer your question in the present tense; I think every child in SE England instinctively adds an -r- between words that end and begin with a vowel ("the idear of") and unless consistently corrected (and it’s my impression that parents and teachers do a lot less correcting these days) they go on doing it all their lives.

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Posted: 23 March 2007 12:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Whereas a child in Bristol would add an “l"…

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Posted: 23 March 2007 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Here in Devon you frequently get more than one ‘r’ added, and not even in the middle of a phrase - moi dearrr!

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Posted: 23 March 2007 02:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Dear Syntinen Laulu --- thank you! I began reading “The Young Visiters” about half a century ago, and (for reasons i can’t recall) never finished it. Now I can.

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Posted: 23 March 2007 10:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Previous thread.

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Posted: 05 April 2007 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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From Durrell’s Clea (p. 86):

Mind you, I loved dancing, and for years I kept up to date.  I got up as far as the Hootchi-Kootchi—have you ever seen that?  Yes, the haitch is haspirated as in ‘otel.

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