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Thread: Herb

  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    Herb

    An American who is from the capital of California told me he doesn't pronounce [h] in herb.

    Do other native speakers pronounce [h] in herb?

    Thank you!

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Herb

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    An American who is from the capital of California told me he doesn't pronounce [h] in herb.

    Do other native speakers pronounce [h] in herb?

    Thank you!
    Americans say 'erb'. Australians say 'herb'. Not sure about Brits.

  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Herb

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Americans say 'erb'. Australians say 'herb'. Not sure about Brits.
    Thank you for your answer, Raymott. Good to know Australian accent about it.

    I think Britons pronounce herb with [h] which is same as the way you guys pronounce it.

    I just found the difference pronunciations about herb between American accent and British one on an online dictionary.
    Definition of herb noun from Cambridge Dictionary Online: Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus

    I hope any Briton can come confirm it. How do Canadians and New Zealanders pronounce it?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Herb

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    I hope any Briton can come confirm it. How do Canadians and New Zealanders pronounce it?
    NZers pronounce pretty much like Australians except for their bizarre vowels.

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    #5

    Re: Herb

    Both versions are used in Canada, according to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, which lists the one with h first. And here's the forvo page.

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    #6

    Re: Herb

    The Brits do pronounce "herb" with the "h" unless they've been influenced by American TV or are trying to be pretentious.

    Most countries that were once British colonies pronounce the word with the "h". i.e. Aus, NZ, India, South Africa

  5. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Herb

    Quote Originally Posted by Exuberant Verbosity View Post
    The Brits do pronounce "herb" with the "h" unless they've been influenced by American TV or are trying to be pretentious.

    Most countries that were once British colonies pronounce the word with the "h". i.e. Aus, NZ, India, South Africa
    Thank you. But parts of the US were once British colonies too. Why do Americans pronounce the word without [h]?

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    #8

    Re: Herb

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Thank you. But parts of the US were once British colonies too. Why do Americans pronounce the word without [h]?
    The American pronunciation is conservative, preserving the French silent letter. Note that the East-Coast British colonies became independent a long time ago, unlike what we now call the Commonwealth. This made the new British ways have less influence on American English. There are many other examples of conservatism in AmE. "Fall" for autumn has fallen out of use in Great Britain, while it is well in the USA. Some Americans cultivate the /ʍ/ in "which", "what", etc. It's not used in the UK. Most Americans are rhotic, while Britons have become mostly non-rhotic (with the notable exception of the Scottish).

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    #9

    Re: Herb

    On the other hand, in the name Herb (short for Herbert), the 'h' is pronounced even by people who call a herb an erb.

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    #10

    Re: Herb

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Thank you. But parts of the US were once British colonies too. Why do Americans pronounce the word without [h]?
    Let me be glib and say that it all goes back to the War of Independence.

    The Americans have taken the English language and made their own version of it. We can see that in terms of pronunciation (as in herb and adversary) and spelling: AmE color, realize; BrE colour, realise.

    The language has adapted due to needs, etc.

    Yet English has it's greatness and demand due to the Americans as they are the world's political and financial superpower. So they can do to the language what they wish.

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