What is the correct sound of the letter H when reading the alphabet - is it 'aych' or 'Haych' ?
The Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes has the question, "How do you pronounce the letter 'H'?"
Their current results:
I use something else (2%)
You can see a clearer (and navigable) image of this response map at the link above by registering and taking the survey:
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.
OED - entry for "H" (pronounced Brit. /eɪtʃ/, U.S. /eɪtʃ/) has the footnote
The name aitch, which is now so remote from any connection with the sound, goes back through Middle English ache to Old French ache = Spanish ache, Italian acca, pointing to a late Latin *accha, *ahha, or *aha, exemplifying the sound; cf. Italian effe, elle, emme, etc. (The earlier Latin name was ha.) The plural occurs as aitches, aches, hs, h's.
The OED has a β. 18– haitch. but this is entirely a phonetic representation of poor pronunciation. I particularly liked this example:
1939 "Boys' Life" May 33/4 "All the names begin with a haitch. There's 'Orace, 'Erbert, 'Enry, 'Ugh, 'Ubert, 'Arold, 'Arriet, and 'Etty—all hexcept the last one and we 'ad 'er named Halice."
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.