Date: Sun, 30 Nov 1997 23:38:47 -0000 From: Muhammed Suleiman Subject: Re: of(t)en and "is all" Dear Beverly, 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 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 this affected. With regard to the presence or absence of in the word _often_, however, people seem less critical.I think you are right in suggesting that the is basically a spelling pronunciation. Regards, 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?