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Posted by Gary on October 22, 2002

In Reply to: Often posted by Luke O'Brien on October 22, 2002

: Is the word 'Often' pronounced with a silent 't'?

Not when my wife in listening (occasionally pronounced lisning). The present sainted Mrs. Martin was brung up proper and can spot my poor pronounciations at a hundred yards.

The OED is happy with either of'n or oft'n. The stem of the word is oft, so I suppose oft'n has a strong case. The English upper classes would go for awf'n. Anyone remember Monty Python's wonderful 'Teach Yourself Heath'? They gave a tutorial on how to adapt vowels to sound like the very plummy Edward Heath. Very funny, and also surprising accurate and easy to learn if my school playground was anything to go by.

I'm sure many of us have words we learnt (sic) in our youth that we continue to mispronounce. My own list includes jewellery (joolry), drawing (drawring) and government (goverment).

My children have taken to the local habit of pronouncing 'have' as 'of'; "Who'd of though it?" etc. Naturally, the more I pick them up on this the more they use it. Whadyagonnado?

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