What is the correct sound of the letter H when reading the alphabet - is it 'aych' or 'Haych' ?
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The Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes has the question, "How do you pronounce the letter 'H'?"
Their current results:
You can see a clearer (and navigable) image of this response map at the link above by registering and taking the survey:
According to the OALD, the standard way to pronounce the H is this one, which is without the "H" sound in its pronunciation.
Although on Wikipedia, it says there is also the other pronunciation (with the "H" sound at the beginning) which, anyway, is considered to be nonstandard.
How can we say one is more correct than another with evolving pronunciations? At which point does haitch become improper and aych is "correct", or vice versa? An article the BBC ran in October 2010 mentions some interesting class separation issues as well.
It depends on the variant of pronuouncing the letter H in the county/culture you live in. There is no single "correct" pronunciation for "H", just as there is no single "correct" pronunciation for "Z". In the case of "Z": in some countries/cultures (like US English) it is "zee", in other countries (like NZ English) it is "zed". With "H" it's similar. It depends on the accepted pronunciation rules for the country. There is no globally correct application. English may be a global language, but "correct" pronunciation of English is far from global. There are so many valid regional variants, that the concept of "global" does not really exist for English pronunciation.
It's not haitch, it's aitch. People who say haitch are just trying to sound posh.
However, language is dynamic and as we are not French the spelling and pronunciation will most likely change to haitch. But for now those who are trully educated, whether informally or formally, use aitch.
So for those pub owners who like a good quiz this is a good question.
protected by tchrist Mar 29 '13 at 11:51
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