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Recently I've noticed that many people are pronouncing the word 'height' as

/haiθ/

That's right, heigth (pronounced without the 't').

I've only ever heard this pronunciation mistake in the last few years. Maybe it's just an issue in Texas? Has anyone else noticed this?

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It's heighth, not heigth. A declining usage, where Texas seems to be a couple of centuries behind the rest of us. –  FumbleFingers Dec 13 '11 at 23:36
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I don't get it...is it the pronunciation or the spelling that's in question here? And if the pronunciation, what exactly is it? 'hie - t - th' or 'hie - th' or 'hie- th -t' or something else? –  Mitch Dec 13 '11 at 23:49
    
@Mitch Pronounciation (see tag) and 'hie - th' –  Dave Dec 13 '11 at 23:55
    
    
I remember many years ago being told off for criticising my PE teacher's frequent use of heighth, because he is Welsh and that's just how height is pronounced in Wales. I don't know how accurate that is. –  Matt Эллен Dec 14 '11 at 9:02
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Well, it seems that the misconception regarding the spelling/pronunciation is due to some confusion regarding dimension-related words:

  • Depth
  • Width
  • Breadth

And....

  • Height

I have some links that would suggest that this is the reason for the misuse.

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And... Weight. That should counteract it! I don't hear people saying weigth. –  Dave Dec 13 '11 at 23:45
    
@Dave: I think it's because the others are all measurements of length but weight is not. One often talks about height/width/length as a group. –  Lynn Dec 14 '11 at 1:30
    
Height and weight is probably more common –  Dave Dec 14 '11 at 1:43
    
@Dave: Height and weight is more common in terms of human proportions, but I'm not sure it's more common in general. I don't see people saying "Height(h) and weight", but I do see them saying "Length and height(h)." But maybe it's just a regional thing. –  Lynn Dec 14 '11 at 15:39
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A couple of points: why do you assume it to be a mispronunciation? It used to be common in my youth in New Zealand, where we speak British English. It started to fall out of use around the end of World War Two, when American English became popular, due mainly to Hollywood influences. It goes back at least as far as 1588.

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Please qualify your statement with some evidence. See the comments below the question. –  coleopterist Aug 29 '12 at 7:20
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