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Pedants' corner

Aitch, NOT Haitch please!!!

(80 Posts)
Trisha57 Mon 02-Mar-20 19:54:15

It always enrages me when people pronouce the letter "H" as Haitch. Petty, I know, but it really gets my goat!

MiniMoon Mon 02-Mar-20 19:59:51

Me too Trisha. I'm always shouting "aitch" at people on the television.

jura2 Mon 02-Mar-20 20:00:37

ah well, life is short ... honestly.

As a native French speaker, I used to put 'h's everywhere they weren't, and none where they should be.

Told future OH I wanted to be a Hairostess. Still laught about it. And spend much of my time correcting my current French students learning English with me. Why on earth get henraged habout hit.

Trisha57 Mon 02-Mar-20 20:05:01

jura2 - not a problem with putting h's in the wrong place (my nan used to do just that when she talked about "hairing the clothes on the clothes line", just the mispronouciation of the letter itself!

Trisha57 Mon 02-Mar-20 20:06:38

MiniMoon - my husband always laughs at me when I do that! grin

sodapop Mon 02-Mar-20 21:06:59

That's what Pedants' Corner is for surely jura2 so we can rage about these things.

LullyDully Tue 03-Mar-20 08:19:04

Is it regional does anyone know?

Marydoll Tue 03-Mar-20 08:33:35

It annoys me too, as the spelling of the letter name H is aitch.

You don't hear it as much in Scotland, but as a teacher, I noticed children were picking up this WRONG pronunciation from watching television.

I have to admit to being an evangelical pedant! grin

varian Tue 03-Mar-20 08:42:24

I think it is an English quirk Marydoll. English folk who have been corrected because they did not pronounce the "h" at the beginning of words, e.g. saying "orse" rather than "horse", then start saying "haitch". Scots folk tend to pronounce words as they spell them.

MaizieD Tue 03-Mar-20 08:50:43

I suppose it's because most letter names do contain the letter, and a 'sound' of the letter they're naming. 'Aitch' doesn't really do that (the 'h' in the 'ch' has no 'h' sound related function) So, people, quite logically, pop in a 'h' sound..

Where did the name 'aitch' come from? Does anyone on here know?

I have to say it annoys me to death, too. My DD says it because it's commonly used in our part of the NE and common usage overrides that of her southern born parents. As she's well into her 30s I don't think I've any chance of stopping her now 😀

jura2 Tue 03-Mar-20 08:57:54

LOL in my part of NE, it isn't ahahah (NE is the official short form for the town and Canton of Neuchâtel - Newcastle to you and me).

Sodapop- of course. But fair enough for me to say I don't get how such things can 'enrage' people, in the world we currently live.

Hellsgrandad Tue 03-Mar-20 10:29:44

The mis-pronunciation of the letter aitch annoys me too but after one prolonged discussion (argument) I looked it up in the Oxford Dictionary to prove my point. Sadly, haitch is given as an alternative spelling and pronunciation so now I have to grit my teeth and shut up!

HannahLoisLuke Tue 03-Mar-20 10:33:12

Oh Trisha I so agree! Every time I hear it I cringe and it seems to be spreading everywhere, even BBC presenters are sometimes guilty.
Hate it.

Maremia Tue 03-Mar-20 10:33:46

Just having a go at my ABCs, and because H is just after G and tends to roll onto it, I now don't know how I do it without prompting!!!!! If it's regional, then fair do's. Are you planning to start a Pedants' Revolt?

Mollygo Tue 03-Mar-20 10:34:40

It annoys me too. When we learnt foreign languages the alphabet was always written out phonetically. I still remember chanting Ah, Bay, Say, Day, Eu, Eff in French, but we never see the English alphabet written like that in school so few people have seen Aitch as it is spelt, so how would they know. The use of ‘an’ and a silent h in words has almost vanished from our language too.

LovelyLady Tue 03-Mar-20 10:36:58

It’s poor teaching.
When good teachers correct this, the ‘haitch’ disappears.

fluff Tue 03-Mar-20 10:39:00

Seriously, with all that is going on in the world this is what occupies your thoughts?

trisher Tue 03-Mar-20 10:44:38

Children do learn the phonetic alphabet first now. and its A (as in apple) not Ah and B (as in bed) not bay. Can't be bothered to do the rest. But possibly why h becomes haitch. Can't see it matters really.
I always like the cockney alphabet
A for 'Orses (Hay for Horses)
B for Mutton (Beef or Mutton)
C for Miles (See for Miles)
D for Ential (Differential)
E for Brick (Heave a Brick)
F for Vessence (Effervescence)
G for Get It (Gee, forget it!)
H for Retirement (Age for Retirement)
I for The Engine (Ivor the Engine)
J for Oranges (Jaffa Oranges)
K for Restaurant (Cafe or Restaurant)
L for Leather (Hell for Leather)
M for Sis (Emphasis)
N for Lope (Envelope)
O for The Garden Wall (Over the Garden Wall)
P for Relief (How do you spell relief)
Q for a Bus (Queue for a Bus)
R for Mo (Half a Moment)
S for As You Go (As Far As You Go)
T for Two (Tea for Two)
U for Me (You for Me)
V for La France (Vive la France)
W for the Winnings (Double you for the Winnings)
X for Breakfast (Eggs for Breakfast)
Y for Husband (Wife or Husband)
Z for Wind (Zephyr Wind)

00mam00 Tue 03-Mar-20 10:46:12

FLUFF, as was said before, this is pedants corner, and this is what we talk about.

If you want to discuss terrible things in the world, it will be on a different thread.

Moggycuddler Tue 03-Mar-20 10:49:35

Does my head in too. And people saying draws for drawers. But I definitely am pedantic. My father in law used to say "Hegs and arm" for eggs and ham. That did my head in too!

bobble5 Tue 03-Mar-20 10:57:27

My children were taught aitch for H in early primary school years, then about P4 time my eldest had a teacher who pronounced it haitch and it’s stuck with him.

Craftycat Tue 03-Mar-20 11:14:54

As my name starts with an aitch I get called Aitch a lot. Why is it that if your name starts with any letter except H you get called by your name but us Aitches get called by our initial all the time!

Bathsheba Tue 03-Mar-20 11:19:40

Seriously, with all that is going on in the world this is what occupies your thoughts?

This is Pedants' Corner. It is what this forum is for. I am quite sure anyone whose thoughts are occupied with the aitch/haitch issue have other thoughts, on other fora. But this particular forum is for pedantry. <sigh>

GigiA Tue 03-Mar-20 11:26:14


That’s ilarious

Bathsheba Tue 03-Mar-20 11:29:21

Craftycat it's not just you Aitches! I'm often called by my initial (not H). Funnily enough we were talking about this at home once, and we all seemed to agree that it works for some initials and not for others. It works for anyone whose name starts with a B, D, T, H, G, for example, but it's unlikely you'd hear anyone saying, e.g. 'Hi F', or N, S, J, R. Unlikely with any of the vowels either - 'Hi I' sounds a bit ridiculous!

No doubt others will disagree with these examples!