I have observed a recent trend to pronounce "the" as "thuh" even if it is followed by a vowel (as in "thuh evening.") Is this regional (I live in Alabama) or national? I think it's the latter. And does anyone have an idea about why this has happened? Has the glottal stop become fashionable? Is it typical of an age group?

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    My guess is "Twas ever thus", and that you're just experiencing Blue/red car syndrome Aug 3, 2015 at 15:52
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    I think there were always some people who ignored the thee/thuh distinction in pronouncing "the." But I believe this has become more mainstream. I have been teaching musical theatre for twenty years (first in Indiana, now in Alabama). I think that ten years ago, when reading scripts, my students would usually observe that distinction. Now they usually don't. I might be listening differently, or it might be the move from Indiana to Alabama, or it might be a real shift in pronunciation styles, which I think is most likely. If so, I wonder who or what is the source of this change. Aug 3, 2015 at 16:02
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    – Robusto
    Aug 3, 2015 at 16:02
  • I think the "shift" in observed pronunciation might possibly be attributable to your shift in geography.
    – Robusto
    Aug 3, 2015 at 16:04
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1 Answer 1


It is a world wide, common in all English speaking languages, and it is not new. If I were to give you a reason for it, I would say that it originates from the spelling of the word. It is common for people once they know how to read to replace what they know with what they read. Many people with foreign names experience this daily, when friends and strangers try to pronounce their name, the way it is spelled instead of the way it is supposed to be pronounced.

The phenomenon has a name, although it escapes me at the moment.

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