Thursday, June 07, 2018

Note to Little Jo

Dear Little Jo.

It was so nice to see you last weekend. My how you grow. You are going to be taller than both your mums. You had an audition in Toorak Road for a television show. It sounded interesting but I did not really understand it, although I know Wayne Hope and Robyn Butler are very talented, and they have something to do with it.

I know you love your Uncle R very much, and why not. What a wonderful barbeque he cooked for us and your mums. Thanks for bringing the wine and dessert from some posh place in South Yarra.

Who knows if your acting will become a career or just a pastime. You are pretty smart too, so you could really do anything you want.

We clashed for the third time over a simple matter of words. I didn't think about how to elaborate it at the time, but I have now.

Little Jo, say you become a very successful actor. You are performing in London's West End. At the after party on opening night, you give an audience. Where were you born Little Jo? In Australia at a place called Highton. Can you spell that for us? Haitch, I, G, Haitch, T, O, N.

The room goes silent, then whispers can be heard. Did she really say haitch? Oh dear. Well she is from Australia. She came from a humble background, perhaps Irish.

This silly old pompous and ever so correct pedantic uncle simply won't have it and I will do battle with her again over her pronunciation of aitch to save her from herself.

Ok, don't take this too seriously, but I really wish she would not say haitch.

The H Wars.

34 comments:

  1. Haitch irritates me too. As does filum.

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    1. EC, filum slips out here at times as I think Geordies say it that way. I just glare at him.

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  2. I never noticed people saying Haitch before we moved to Australia.
    Yes it's a very 'catholic' thing (not all Irish are RC).

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    1. Cathy, maybe it one of those things which died out in the UK and Ireland, but continued on here.

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  3. I would be there backing you up, Andrew!

    Silent "H", please Miss Jo!

    (And, yes, Cathy is correct. Not all Irish are Catholics. Protestants make up 48% of the population in Northern Ireland. And in the Republic of Ireland Protestantism is on the increase.)

    Now, I'm the one being pedantic. :)

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    1. Lee, so it is about half in NI, and a good bit less in the Republic, but growing! I rather see both die out.

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  4. Correcting people with grammatical or pronunciation mistakes is unfortunate and unwelcome, but inevitable. If adolescents start their sentences with the word "like" or "so", I am tempted to poke them with my walking stick. If only I had one. You clearly feel as strongly about haitch.

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    1. Hels, yes, and I rarely do it but that one really gets to me. I may at times be guilty of beginning a sentence with 'so'.

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  5. You crack me up Andrew, looooove you 😀😀😀

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  6. “Haitch” (ہیچ ). This is from Farsi, and means “worthless” or “pointless”, with the more general meaning of “insignificant to the point of not existing”.

    haitch
    Noun
    (plural haitches)
    Common misspelling of aitch. This reflects the pronunciation of the letter name in several dialects of English.

    There you go - 2 perfectly unbiased reasons Little Jo should refrain from saying "Haitch" - it is a word that means something other than a mispronunciation of Aitch.
    She can't argue with that!

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  7. I cannot stand this wretched HAITCH business. It is now taught in UK State Schools, in some hope that phonetics will teach the little darlings their alphabet. I correct people whenever I hear it. It's taking over!

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    1. Cro, that is awful. I didn't imagine it extended beyond our shores.

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  8. The 'h' is silent in my book though some people do pronounce the 'h', times are a changing with these younger ones and the language and how we stay things.

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    1. So Margaret, I am fighting against the inevitable?

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  9. Anonymous3:08 pm

    Kate Burridge - a professor of linguistics at Monash University says: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-07/haitch-vs-aitch-its-a-class-war/9845154

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    1. Anon, I know her well from media and I have heard her say the same. I will read the link with interest. I think it was once a class thing, but maybe not anymore. Regardless, aitch is correct and haitch is not.

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    2. I've read it now and I don't agree with the inestimable Kate. Children will learn the alphabet regardless. Thanks for the link.

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  10. It's what she has learned and early learning is hard to eradicate. I think schools no longer care.

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    1. River, she is smart enough to understand pure logic, such as Jayne above described. No, schools don't care much about pronunciation. I was in big trouble one day for saying pichers instead of pictures, and even Mother was angry when I once said two times instead of twice.

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    2. I say pitchers, it's faster than pic-tures, besides a lot of my speech is poor, well lazy at least. But I don't say Haitch.

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    3. River, I think you fib about the way you say pitchers. I've known you way too long to think that. Nothing wrong with lazy speech. I kind of like it, but it must be correct lazy speech.

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  11. I see the boycott spammer is back (*~*)

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    1. Yeah, maybe only the second appearance on my blog. I begoned the comment as soon as I noticed it.

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  12. A most sweet letter to little Jo, Andrew.
    Hope she becomes a great and famous actress.

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    1. Thanks Sami. I doubt she will. Her parents will steer her to more academic areas.

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  13. I don't even bother anymore, correcting the young, on any matter. It's a waste of my time. You are related so maybe you will be heard.

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    1. Strayer, yes, who cares really about how people speak..........unless it is your niece who says haitch. I am determined to win. How do you and your fellow US people pronounce aitch?

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  14. I'm with you on this one Andrew.

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    1. Thank you Ad Rad. For a non Australian born type person, you speak English very well. (Ad Rad will get this. It is a joke Joyce.)

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  15. AdRad stole my comment; word for word.

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