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  1. #11
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of Often

    British, American, South African, Australian, New Zealand, Indian, Singaporean and many more ..., apart from 'International English'. They all have lots in common, but they all have jealously defended idiosyncrasies.

    b

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of Often

    Thanks for these....... I only consider one and that's ENGLISH!

  3. #13
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of Often

    Quote Originally Posted by Huda-M View Post
    Thanks for these....... I only consider one and that's ENGLISH!
    The problem with that definition is I am in no position to tell speakers of English as a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th...) language what is 'right' in their country. And nor is any other native speaker from an Anglophone country, for that matter.

    b

  4. #14
    JeffM is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of Often

    I think I mentioned this in another post but according to Bryan Garner (A Dictionary of Modern American Usage) the often with the T sound is categorized as being more upper class.

    American and Canadians frequently us the "glottal" T sounds in words that end with the consonant sound "n", compared to the British and Australians

    Words like mountain, button, important (including often) frequently do not have the t sound.

    I live on the west coast of Canada but grew up on the east coast. It is common for Canadians to use the T sound instead of the glottal T as you move from east to west. This is more prominent for particular words such as often and important.

    I have blogged about this before British Columbia Accent Reduction, Canada Accent Reduction, Vancouver Accent Reduction Program - L2 Accent Reduction Centre

  5. #15
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of Often

    I have found the reading of this thread extremelly important and interesting.
    I am deeply grateful to all posters. Before reading it, I could swear the 't' in 'often' could never be pronounced. Unfortunatelly I have just given an English class teaching the so called 'silent letters' - 'often' was an important example, and I told the students not to pronounce the 't'.

    Actually, in that English class there were studied, among others, the following examples:

    often - listen - debt - doubt - subtle - cupboard - sword - knowledge - climb

    In the words above, all the bold letters were teached as examples of 'silent letters'. What is your opinion about it? Besides the 'often' case already discussed, are there other not so silent 'silent letters' above?

  6. #16
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pronunciation of Often

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    I have found the reading of this thread extremelly important and interesting.
    I am deeply grateful to all posters. Before reading it, I could swear the 't' in 'often' could never be pronounced. Unfortunatelly I have just given an English class teaching the so called 'silent letters' - 'often' was an important example, and I told the students not to pronounce the 't'.

    Actually, in that English class there were studied, among others, the following examples:

    often - listen - debt - doubt - subtle - cupboard - sword - knowledge - climb

    In the words above, all the bold letters were teached as examples of 'silent letters'. What is your opinion about it? Besides the 'often' case already discussed, are there other not so silent 'silent letters' above?
    Yes, all those - except the t in 'often' - are always silent.

    It's interesting - but not crucial knowledge for most students - that often different etymological paths result in related words both with and without silent letters. The b in 'climb' is sounded in the related 'clamber' (though not in 'climber'); the b in 'doubt' is sounded in the related 'indubitable'; similarly the b in 'comb' doesn't entirely disappear in 'unkempt'.

    Even less crucial is the knowledge that the b in 'debt' was inserted by prescriptivists who felt that English spelling should reflect Latin roots. Chaucer used the word 'dette', borrowed from French (who had already ironed out the Latin b).

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 19-Sep-2009 at 12:52. Reason: Added to 2d para

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