Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1997 23:38:47 -0000
From: Muhammed Suleiman xtr08[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]DIAL.PIPEX.COM
Subject: Re: of(t)en and "is all"
it has to be remembered that Britain was, and to a large extent still is, a
class society, and therefore we should think in terms of class-graded as
well as age-graded distinctions.The Upper Classes for instance used to
pronounce the initial o of the word as a long (back) vowel, a
pronunciation which is still relatively common among them but which is
certainly dying out ; the middle and lower classes would invariably find
With regard to the presence or absence of t in the word _often_, however,
people seem less critical.I think you are right in suggesting that the t
is basically a spelling pronunciation.
Dr M. Suleiman
BTW, a visiting colleague (about 64) from London via Africa also says
'often' with a /t/. He claims he speaks not RP ("oh heavens no") but
Educated Standard (London) English--learned in school, not in his
London home neighborhood. How does this jibe with Mr. Suleiman's
observation? Is it age-graded?