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Are the two different pronunciations of the term 'often' (with or withouth an audible 't') regionally characterised? In other words, where in the English-speaking world is it more likely that I hear either?
Thanks a lot,
In BR accents, "often" is pronunced "offen".
but in US both "often" & "offen" are pronunced, concidering that "often" is more popular in USA
Historically, I believe the pronunciation without the "t" was most common in America (I'm not sure about the UK, but I think the same applies there).
In recent years, listening to newscasters and the like, there does seem to be a trend toward pronouncing the "t". The issue has been discussed frequently in various English usage forums; the general consensus is that, for some reason, "of-T-en" is now perceived to be the prestige pronunciation.
Personally, I think "of-T-en" sounds silly. Next, people will be saying "su-B-tle" ...
Could a British man write something? I got confused...
Both "ofTen" and "offen" are heard here in NZ. I think the split would be roughly 85% "offen", 15% "ofTen". I lamost never say "ofTen", but it is sometimes used for emphatic purposes. I don't think there is any perception here that it is somehow a "superior" pronunciation.
It is only in recent years that "often" has become common in the U.S.
It appears now that it has outpaced "offen" which used to be the standard, virtually exclusive, pronunciation.
You have to wonder whether a similar trend will hijack the pronunciation of soften.