Do you know what drives me mad?


Do you know what drives me mad?

I’ll tell you, shall I? It’s the mispronunciation the letter ‘h’. What do people keep putting an ‘h’ in front of the word ‘aitch’? Televisions we are told are ‘haitch’ ready; the printer is a haitch p. How do you spell your name, Harry? I spell it like this: haitch … no, no no.

Please say ‘aitch’ not ‘haitch’.


Yes, H is H, X is X, S is S and Z is Z.

Don’t ruin the rules. Abide by it. Value the literature and culture. They are value of mankind.

kind regards.

I don’t hear people saying “haitch”, but I often hear the British pronounce the silent H in the word “herb”, which is quite annoying.

In BrEng there is no silent h in herb. The correct pronunciation is with the sounded aitch.
I find it equally irritating on the ear when I hear the aitch being dropped - however, I don’t find it annoying. I accept the fact that the difference is there.

Now I have to wonder how I actually say “herb”, with or without the h. I don’t actually know since I never thought about it until just now.

Hello Alen,
Thank you so much that you told the correct pronunciation of ‘h’, Though I don’t know if I’ve ever pronounced it ‘haitch’ instead of ‘aitch’ but I want to pronounce it correctly now on.
I’m I pronounced correctly

Hi Bharati,

Thanks for your message. Just make the sound a little longer.



Saying ‘herb’ without pronouncing the ‘h’, would sound weird to me - make me sound a right Herbert.


It’s a French word, so the H is not pronounced. Not every word beginning with an H is pronounced as spelled. This is part of that “Buy-zann-tyne”, “Antig-yoo-ah” pattern I was talking about.

To me saying it with the H makes it sound like the nickname for Herbert.

hi Alan,
I got what you have said. aitch I’m I right?
i have one more question to ask you, How do you pronounce often ?
because I’ve heard people pronouncing it in two different way.


In the United States, we were taught as kids to say “often” without the T, and our teachers would correct us if we said it the other way. However, native speakers say both, and both the Merriam-Webster and the UK Oxford dictionaries give both pronunciations, with a preference for the pronunciation without the T.

If you pronounce it without the T, you’ll never be wrong. If you pronounce it with the T, you’ll be right according to the dictionary, but many people will think you’re pronouncing it wrong.

Now let’s see what Allen says.

It has been assimilated into English.
English Dictionaries are full of words which have an origin in a different language.

The H is pronounced in BrE, just as colour is spelled with a ‘u’ and a sidewalk is a pavement!

Something which is not done ‘the American way’ doesn’t have to be wrong.

Alan, not ‘Allen’.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, talks: Radio news report[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hello Alan,

It is very surprising to hear the English people pronounce H . On the you tube there are about 50 Alphabet songs and I never heard only( éits) without h. I don’t wonder if it drives you mad.
Here is one.Lauren who can be a very good teacher and certainly likes the children she sings it very well.

Kati Svaby


With reference to the above

I would say ‘often’ without pronouncing the ‘t’. Probably I would pronounce the ‘t’ if I wanted to stress the frequency of doing something as in:

A Do you ever have trouble with your computer?

B Oh, yes. Many many times. Why I have often felt like throwing it out of the window.


Sometimes this very same thing happens to me, when I can’t really tell how I’m supposed to pronounce a word in my native language.