Talk:H

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T(h)ee and Thron are no native German words. Thron is a loan from Ancient Greek and Tee is a loan from Malay. 84.193.165.47 16:34, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the convertIPA template and tidied up somewhat. The wording could still however do with a bit more work. rossb 00:15, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Pronunication[edit]

In Australia, the 'haitch' is generally considered incorrect; however, it is not uncommon and is predominant among the less educated. <<<< Trolling much?

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's true. Why don't you add it to the article? - Joshua368 19:30, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

As a half Australian, with a particularly pedantic grandmother, 'aitch' is considered the standard, or correct, pronunication while the 'haitch' is adopted by the less well educated or, at the risk of sounding snobbish, lower classes. I believe Catholic schools also teach the 'haitch' pronounciation. It has been suggested that this is a result of Irish Catholics setting up schools when they settled. Hence the proliferation of the non-standard pronounciation. Sam H 8 May 2006

Aussie here... aitch is the correct pronounciation, but it is not uncommon to hear haitch... regardless of socioeconomic group.210.23.151.140 (talk) 00:05, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

I recently went on a guided tour of Uluru (Ayers Rock), the only Aussie on the tour. Somehow the conversation came around to this, and one of the European girls said, "you Australians say haitch, don't you?" They all looked to me, and all appeared to be in agreement. I said no, we say aitch. They looked at me as if I were a liar. "No, everywhere we've been in this country we've heard haitch." Several others nodded. "That's because they're mispronouncing it," I said. They looked at me a little strangely, as if I were a liar. I'd hazard a guess and say that haitch is more common in Oz than aitch!210.23.151.140 (talk) 00:06, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

I am curious to know how the contributors above determined that 'aitch' is the 'correct' pronunciation of the letter 'H' in Australia. Who has authority to establish such rules? I suggest that this 'convention' is the product of aitchers' efforts to police Australian speech, and to portray haitchers as 'less educated'. This issue is only significant because certain aitchers believe themselves to be socially superior to haitchers, and because the former use pronunciation to belittle the latter.

I presume the last contributor is a haitcher rather than an aitcher. These people seem to be trying to take over the world and rather than following the established conventions (rules) set out in most respected dictionaries, they feign misunderstanding of aitch and even feel the need to correct the speaker. My daughter has even been corrected by her primary school teacher. Regarding the other contributors I also thought it might be an Australianism to say haitch, but could find no record of it in a dictionary.

I'm English (and that makes me british) and as far as I'm aware the correct british pronounciation is also aitch, not haitch (which to my ears sound incredibly vulgar). It is usually the peasant underclasses that pronounce it haitch. I also went to a catholic primary school where we were taught to pronounce it aitch.

I always thought that haitch was the province of character actresses like Irene Handl, who feigned 'poshness' by mispronouncing words without an aitch as though they had one (including the name of the letter itself) in an attempt to compensate for their dropping of aitches where there should be one: "The 'orlicks will be ready when the haitch-two-ho is haitch-ho-tee". But to me, the biggest argument against haitch is surely that it requires a lot more work to say than aitch! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.7.79.83 (talk) 21:02, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

What states are you other Aussies from? I'm from Victoria and I say haitch. Most people I know also say haitch. Perhaps this has something to do with the Australian accent - when I say aitch I pronounce it aych which is almost indistinguishable from haitch. To contrast this with say the Indian accent: they say aitch, but it sounds more like etch which is very different from haitch.

Having worked in a call center that connected with British Indians or Indians who regularly did business selling to British people, I can tell you they universally pronounce it "ah-sh," as the French do. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.73.70.113 (talk) 23:37, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Hard to argue 'Aitch' is correct - language is simply how we communicate. Once enough people say something one way it becomes official. --40010 (talk) 10:37, 6 October 2008 (UTC)


It's generally the same in the UK when it comes to the less educated pronouncing it as haitch! It makes me want to scream!!!!


—Preceding unsigned comment added by 


86.159.97.116 (talk) 07:24, 14 February 2011 (UTC)


Haitch is very funny. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.74.243.2 (talk) 20:34, 16 November 2012 (UTC)


Having a look at the online editions of the Oxford[1], Cambridge[2] and Merriam-Webster[3] dictionaries, all specify the pronunciation of the letter H as 'aitch' (or equivalent). I can't find any reputable source online that suggests the 'Haitch' pronunciation as a correct alternative. The 'Haitch' pronunciation appears to be a colloquial pronunciation used by certain sub groups in England, Ireland and Australia but not generally recognised as correct. Suggest rewording the pronunciation section to reflect this (the 'Haitch' pronunciation is not verifiable as a correct pronunciation). — Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.97.174.226 (talk) 07:56, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

  • Do any of those 3 above mentioned dictionaries even claim that they are authoritative - that they are promulgating rules which they expect everyone to follow? - 101.168.170.161 (talk) 11:09, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/h
  2. ^ http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/h-h
  3. ^ http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/h

Hotel with silent H[edit]

From the article:

Hotel represents the letter H in the NATO phonetic alphabet. To ensure compatibility with those languages that do not pronounce this letter, this word is officially pronounced with the letter H silent.

I didn't see any reference to that in the NATO phonetic alphabet article; on the contrary, unless I'm interpreting the pronunciation information incorrectly, it indicates that, at least in those dialects for which pronunciation is given, the H is pronounced.

I'm planning on removing that from the article unless some confirmation of this can be given. --Cotoco 08:35, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

It should be noted that some English people still do not proounce the aitch in 'hotel' or 'historic'. For example, 'an hotel' and 'an historic'. Sam H 8 May 2006

It's not that unusual in England to hear "an hotel" or "an historic event" with the H pronounced, actually; I've heard both used by newsreaders on BBC TV in the last few months. 86.132.138.18 22:25, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Please merge duplicate entries for music notation[edit]

Someone who feels able should merge the two entries saying that H is sometimes used for B in music notation. — Daniel Brockman 09:12, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I was a little worried about that new addition, too. I'm almost positive it unambiguously refers to B natural. See BACH motif, for example. It clarifies the distinction between H and B in the German system. HorsePunchKid 2005-12-17 09:28:11Z

We don't need anything about the sexual position in this article, I think.

I also just came to this article hoping to find something about the use of H in some European musical notations. Could someone who knows about this either add something here? Jimjamjak (talk) 06:54, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Censoring...[edit]

for the anon censoring words: Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not censored for the protection of minors Sasquatcht|c 05:37, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Name of the Letter[edit]

According to this page,

It is often assumed that the pronunciation /eɪtʃ/ is a result of h-dropping, but in fact the original name of the letter was /aha/; this became /aka/ in Latin, passed into English via Old French /atʃ/, and by Middle English was pronounced /aːtʃ/. The pronunciation /heɪtʃ/ is a hypercorrection formed by analogy with the names of the other letters of the alphabet, most of which include the sound they represent.

And yet according to all my resources (including the American Heritage Dictionary® of the English Language), the letter was spelled as haca or hic in Latin, implying that the adition of an H to aitch is logical (albeit unnecessary). The only sense I can see in this paragraph is the notion that H goes unpronounced in Latin. However, since no one actually knows how Latin was pronounced back in its day, it seems that this is incoclusive evidence that the author has presented as fact.

The OED gives the /aha/ theory. Perhaps we need to mention the AHD theory as well: is there any source that compares and evaluates both theories? BTW people can make a pretty fair stab at reconstructing historic pronunciations. Joestynes 11:04, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

/aha/ is a funny name for the letter, because it sounds like "aha". Voortle 01:47, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

I've taken a shot at incorporating the two theories. Fitzaubrey 17:33, 22 October 2006 (UTC) But even if AHD is right and the French source is hache, is it correct to say this is H-dropping if the "h" in hache was silent as it is now? Does anyone know whether it was? Fitzaubrey 17:42, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the pronunciation in later Latin [aka] is evident. Just look at its name in some Romance languages: Spanish HACHE, French HACHE, Catalan HAC, Portuguese AGÁ, Italian ACCA. According to the regular phonetic evolution, all these forms prove that it was called HACA in Latin. Let's see some more details: 1. Spanish HACHE. The Spanish form is from French, and in French, palatalization of Latin [k] is normal in words before A, like CHANTER [San'te](to sing), Spanish CANTAR, Italian and Latin CANTARE. 2. Catalan HAC. Catalan language lost the last vowel of Latin words ending in a vowel, and kept the original consonant at the end of the words (between vowels it became voiced). 3. Portuguese AGÁ. It's just a normal phonetics evolution in Portuguese which proves that in Latin there was a single C between vowels which became voiced in Portuguese. 4. Italian ACCA. In Italian, it is very characteristic to double single Latin unvoiced consonants between vowels: AQUA ['akwa] > Italian ACQUA ['ak:wa]. That's all. Zoltan 21:50, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Note on the hypercorrection theory mentioned - this may be due to the phonic spelling learning system in british schools, where for young children (approx. 4-7 years old) the letters are learnt, not by their names (ay, bee, see, dee), but their sounds (ah, buh, kuh, duh). The transition from this to the names of letters would present a problem with h - aitch doesn't sound like the letter does in words, so it may have been pronouncede haitch by teachers to aid children. Just a theory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 194.81.36.61 (talk) 12:10, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Romanian /h/[edit]

"Romanian later re-borrowed the /h/ phoneme from its neighbouring Slavic languages"

The problem here is, neighbouring Slavic language don't have /h/. Romanian uses /h/ where /x/ is used in Slavic languages. How Romanians borrowed /x/ as /h/ is beyond me. --82.139.47.117 22:49, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Disambig.[edit]

Someone should create H (disambiguation) - there are already four other definitions tacked on the top of this article. Mo-Al 01:51, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Hendrix Road Manager?[edit]

Hi,

I recently saw a documentary about Jimi Hendrix, featureing statements by his former road manager whose Name is given as "H" in the captions. Should he be included or does anybody have any info on that guy? File:H road manager.jpg--Cancun771 10:11, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

It's not always voiceless.[edit]

There are several languages that have voiced H. Examples include Czech, Slovak, Sorbian (either Lower or Upper, i can't remember now), Ukrainian, Hungarian and Finnish. Ideas, anyone? Jancikotuc 18:46, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Incorrect, eh?[edit]

That's a rather contentious claim. 'H' was most likely present in Latin, and it was present in French and the other Romance languages before a round of H-dropping. Haitsch for 'aitch' is more likely a bout of historical preservation rather than a hypercorrection, and it would be more fairly described as a regional variation (particularly Hibernian) than an error. --It's-is-not-a-genitive 18:23, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Nowhere in any English dictionary in the world does the word "haitch" appear. It makes me wince when people say it as it is simply the wrong way to pronounce it. If people carry on saying "haitch", "aitch" will become archaic due to the general ignorance of the public.--81.159.225.63 20:52, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I wince whenever I hear anyone speaking Modern English. The correct way to speak is Middle English, yet, because of the ignorant public, this has become archaic. - 101.168.170.161 (talk) 11:17, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

This article suggests that the pronunciation of H as 'haitch' is a dialectual matter. In actual fact it's really nothing more than a mispronunciation that's gotten out of control. 'Aitch' is correct and has been for centuries. Some people belive that all letters start with themselves, and many people who say 'haitch' who I've asked about it believe this is why it should be pronounced that way, and have obviously overlooked the dire consequences such a rule would have for the letters L, M and N. I suggest this article be altered at least to show that 'aitch' is the correct pronunciation (possibly spelt eitch on occasion) and not to suggest that 'haitch' is correct. It isn't correct to say 'haven't done nothing', it isn't correct to say 'go do something' and it definitely isn't correct to say 'hatch'. These are all lazy modern language taking its toll on the English tongue. Tom walker 22:56, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, your view goes against the concensus of the linguistic community. It would be like requesting that the evolution article be changed to say that evolution is a lie and God created everything. However, it should certainly be noted that many people regard it as incorrect, as opposed to simply stating that it is incorrect.
(While we're on the topic of lazy modern language, you misspelled "mispronunciation", "believe", "and", "definitely", and "tongue".) --Ptcamn 23:47, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes I can see your point and I recon it should say that haitch is widely seen as a mispronunciation. Apologies for the typos, some are just bad typing and others lack of thought, they are now corrected. As a little side note, I'm actually an athiest so your evolution analogy there is slightly ironic... Tom walker 20:20, 21 March 2007 (UTC)
Language is dynamic and if a majority or significant minority of speakers consistently use a certain pronunciation then it becomes an accent or dialect in its own right. Analogies with poor grammar do not hold sway, as grammar is more heavily standardised by the written word, whereas pronunciation is not. To deny someone this pronunciation on the grounds of bad English is to deny someone their regional accent. krebbe 21:44, 2 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm cool with that. The letter is spelt "aitch" for crissakes. There isn't an "H" in there. It'd be just as bad to say "wouble-u" for "W". Language is dynamic only because the majority of people are stupid :P (Jest) (128.243.220.21 00:22, 6 June 2007 (UTC)) ==

We could give the spelling as aitch and the pronunciation as both. Not even the OED has the spelling haitch. (Every letter but aitch and wy has its principal sound in the name; historically, that sound was present in the name of H, but sound-shifted to tch. Through leveling, in some dialects a new /h/ was tacked on to the beginning. If it's incorrect, then all of us use verbs incorrectly too, for paradigmatic leveling is found in every dialect.) kwami 16:02, 2 October 2007 (UTC) Awawawawawawaw —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.99.13.140 (talk) 01:16, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

H aspiré[edit]

From my experience, the h aspiré is sometimes pronounced. The French are perfectly capable of making the sound when not at the front of a word, though it is usually blended (ex. chanteur). Anyway, I've heard it used and said at the beginning of a word, usually in borrowed words like le hamburger. Should this info be added? 69.81.181.107 (talk) 06:54, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Orthography vs. phonetics[edit]

The section on Spanish, among other places, seems to be conflating the letter <h> and the sound /h/, not necessarily spelled with the previous. Yet, this article should only be about the letter, right? Some cleanup would not hurt. --Tropylium (talk) 06:41, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Usage in German[edit]

"Following a vowel, it often silently indicates that the vowel is long: In the word erhöhen "heighten", only the first <h> represents /h/."

I'm sorry, but the given example is completely wrong. The second h only disappears in colloquial German due to a very fast pronunciation. So the word becomes "erhöen". You might compare it to "kind of" which becomes "kind'a" in some colloquial English dialects. In a clear speach, the word will always be pronounced "erhöhen", both times the letter h can be clearly heard.

Good examples would be the words: "Hohn", "hohl", "Bohne", "Bahn", .... Here, the h indicates that the vowel is long. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.53.159.56 (talk) 16:14, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Semi-protection[edit]

I've been watching this page for a while, and there's persistent random anonymous vandalism. A B C and probably a few other alphabet articles are semi-protected alreddy. Would it not be justified wider? --Trɔpʏliʊmblah 12:51, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

honor and other examples vs. american "herb"[edit]

Is it worth mentioning that "herb" functions differently than the other examples of "silent initial h"s? I've had this discussion before and it ended with no conclusion, but it is at least uncontrovercial that in most of the "silent initial h" words, the h and all traces of it have been removed, whereas with "herb" there is still some trace of it's pronunciation, as is shown with the pronunciation of American "an herb", which forces a glottal stop before the vowel, while all other instances (that I can think of) lack this stop. 124.154.253.25 (talk) 06:30, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Okay a bit dated but herb's not a silent word. It's Her-ba not Urb so a herb is correct. ~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.25.1.208 (talk) 03:17, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Spanish Example[edit]

In the article, it gives "hoje" as the spanish word for today, which it isn't. I would change it to "hoy" but I have no clue how to write the ipa squigglies for it, so I'd rather someone else did it. Thanks. 143.215.110.11 (talk) 19:16, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

"hoje" is Portuguese, not Spanish. Anomie 22:36, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

In Polish, both ‹h› and the digraph ‹ch› always represent /x/.[edit]

i removed because it was not true, see the page about polish phonology

Naval Flag[edit]

Isn't the naval flag also a blue circle with a yellow background? In Britain anyway. 89.241.150.117 (talk) 09:47, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

one English word[edit]

For those of us who can't immediately guess: what is the "one native English word" in which ⟨ch⟩ represents /x/? —Tamfang (talk) 20:55, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

I guess it's Loch Ness. --Majesticus12 (talk) 01:37, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
"Loch" is a borrowing from Scottish Gaelic. Rotcaeroib (talk) 20:55, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Voice of the letter H[edit]

Tate Donovan does provited the voice for the letter H in Disney's thirty-fifth animated motion picture Hercules. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.147.198.171 (talk) 22:26, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

When it comes to the pronunciation of the letter we must look to dictionaries as our best sources. The pronunciation may be changing and these changes may be reported in newspapers but until the change is included in quality dictionaries it should not be in the lead Martin Hogbin (talk) 17:36, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Dictionaries are the sources least likely to accurately mirror the pronunciation of words in a language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.148.212.227 (talk) 05:39, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Further to my comments above, the two sources cited in the lead for 'haitch' were news sources not reference sources. WP does not aim to be prescriptive or descriptive but to follow the appropriate sources, and for a definitive statement these should be reference sources. Although the language may be changing it is not our job to research these changes by reading news articles. At present there are no reference sources giving 'haitch' as correct. Martin Hogbin (talk) 14:45, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

These are the dumbest comments I have ever seen. Wikipedia does aim to be descriptive, in language and everything else. The whole point of an online encyclopedia is to document "changes" in language in real time (this is not even an example of a change in language, this has been around since the Norman conquest, if not earlier). Your other assertion that *no* reference sources give haitch as correct is unproven.
So Michael Rosen writing in The Guardian isn't RS for linguistics, but any cheap dictionary is, just because it has the word "dictionary" on the cover? The OED is pretty much canon for English (I have four foot of the 1933 on my bookshelf for that reason), but it's chronically slow moving. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:17, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Is "zee" a legitimate pronunciation of the letter Z, or should it be ignored too? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 124.148.212.227 (talk) 05:43, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
This is silly. The lede should just list both pronunciations ("aitch" and "haitch") and mention where they are used (i.e. that the latter is common in US English and the former in UK English) without making judgments about either. Looking at instances like this edit... the first sentence obviously should not be removed, and the claim at the end about who considers it "non-standard" obviously should not be included. rʨanaɢ (talk) 08:43, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
Oops, I mixed up my 'latter' and 'former', thanks for catching that. Yes, I've only ever heard "haitch" from UK speakers. rʨanaɢ (talk) 10:37, 28 October 2014 (UTC)
The pronunciation "haitch" is not common in US English; it's virtually unknown there. "Haitch" is common in Ireland (John C. Wells in Accents of English mentions the aitch/haitch distinction as a shibboleth distinguishing Protestants from Catholics in Ireland), and I've also heard it from people from the north of England, but I can't remember ever hearing an American use it. In the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (ISBN 978-1-4058-8117-3), Wells says "The form heɪtʃ is standard in Irish English, but traditionally not in BrE or AmE. It is, however, spreading in BrE. Preference poll, BrE: eɪtʃ 84%, heɪtʃ 16% (born since 1982, 24%)." —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:00, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
I see that a lot of this is already discussed in the article under H#Name in English. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:08, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
The rename the project to us.wikipedia.org and we can delete all mention of haitch. No one is claiming that it's common in US English. It is used in some English-speaking regions, and there are sources to back this up. That's how we work. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:20, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
Rjanag did say it was common in US English in his comment dated 08:43, 27 October 2014 (UTC). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:54, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
'Haitch' is still regarded as incorrect or at least non-standard in the UK. It has been common in some local dialects for some time but it has now spread to dialects where it was generally regarded as incorrect. The purpose of WP is to give accurate information based on what is given in reliable sources. It is not to carry out WP:original research to assess possible language trends based on news sources and to change the language based on the results of that research. That is the job of secondary and reference sources such as dictionaries. As it is today 'haitch' is incorrect in the UK and the US. Martin Hogbin (talk) 19:42, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
The Longman Pronunciation Dictionary is a reliable source; it says that "aitch" is more common in the UK than "haitch" but that "haitch" is more common among people born since 1982 than among the entire population. "Haitch" may not belong to the educated standard, but it's perfectly correct. And in Ireland, it is standard. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:09, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

The lead[edit]

Per WP:LEAD, lead should be "an introduction to the article and a summary of its most important aspects... able to stand alone as a concise overview" While the sentence H (named aitch /ˈeɪtʃ/, plural aitches)[1] is the eighth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet certainly does not fulfill those criteria, an additional minor quibble how its name its pronounced in various corners of English-speaking word certainly does not qualify as a "most important aspect". It is already covered in the body of the article, no need to stress it in the lead. The lead should be tagged with {{lead too short}}, or, better still, expanded with proper history, role and pronunciation summary. Until then, however, the "haitch" sentence just stands out as a Wikipedia:Lead fixation, so I'm going to re-remove it. No such user (talk) 16:13, 31 October 2014 (UTC)