When someone from Britain speaks, Americans hear a "British accent"...

Tom Anderson twic at urchin.earth.li
Thu Jun 30 19:58:20 CEST 2005

On Wed, 29 Jun 2005, Michael Hoffman wrote:

> Steven D'Aprano wrote:
>> Herb starts with H, not E. It isn't "ouse" or "ospital" or "istory". It 
>> isn't "erb" either. You just sound like tossers when you try to 
>> pronounce herb in the original French.

Yes, i find this insanely irritating.

>> And the same with homage.
> Strangely enough there are Brits who pronounce "hotel" without an H at 
> the beginning. And even those who pronounce it with an H sometimes say 
> "an hotel" rather than "a hotel" because it used to be pronounced 
> starting with the vowel!

That's an interesting one. In most English accents, and i think in RP, 
it's "a hotel"; dropping of the aitch and the accompanying shift to 'an', 
as in "an 'otel" is a symptom of Estuary english. However, as you say, 
there is some weird historical precedent for pronouncing the 'h' but also 
using 'an', as in "an hotel", which is practiced only by the 
self-consciously posh (including, often, newsreaders), and sounds 
completely absurd.

> Similarly, the Brits should note that "idea" does not end in an "r" and that 
> "Eleanor" does.

How about carrier?


I know you wanna try and get away, but it's the hardest thing you'll ever know

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