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Old Mar 21, 2015, 10:33 AM   #1
MatthewLTL
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UK folks lack of pronouncing the letter "H"....

I noticed in movies that have UK actors (Specifically the movie "Non-Stop" starring Liam Neeson)

one of the actors on that movie cannot seem to pronounce the letter H. for example "Hand" sounds like "And" and "Hold" sounds like "Old"

is that just a deviation between the UK vs US english or is it just the accent?
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Old Mar 21, 2015, 10:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by MatthewLTL View Post
I noticed in movies that have UK actors (Specifically the movie "Non-Stop" starring Liam Neeson)

one of the actors on that movie cannot seem to pronounce the letter H. for example "Hand" sounds like "And" and "Hold" sounds like "Old"

is that just a deviation between the UK vs US english or is it just the accent?
The UK has so many accents you need to be more specific as to what region.
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Old Mar 21, 2015, 10:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilamite View Post
The UK has so many accents you need to be more specific as to what region.
London
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Old Mar 21, 2015, 11:11 AM   #4
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Izzard sums it up in the first 60 seconds of this (NSFW) clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IzDbNFDdP4
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Old Mar 21, 2015, 11:21 AM   #5
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Maybe those actors have some French blood.
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Old Mar 22, 2015, 08:04 AM   #6
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UK folks lack of pronouncing the letter "H"....

And how do you Americans pronounce 'herb'

Anyway, the H-dropping is one of the characteristic features of Cockney English dialect/accent.

Last edited by LadyX; Mar 22, 2015 at 08:10 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old Mar 22, 2015, 08:39 AM   #7
jeremy h
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Originally Posted by MatthewLTL View Post
I noticed in movies that have UK actors (Specifically the movie "Non-Stop" starring Liam Neeson)

one of the actors on that movie cannot seem to pronounce the letter H. for example "Hand" sounds like "And" and "Hold" sounds like "Old"

is that just a deviation between the UK vs US english or is it just the accent?
It's generally Mockney* ... there's also Chavspeak**

I'm currently fighting a battle against Chavspeak with the yoof in our household... "Yeh, but no, but yeh, but no ... innit"

* Mockney - fake Cockney

** Chav - my understanding is that it was originally an acronym - Council House and Violent (?) Think burberry caps and fighty bitey dogs on chains ... It seems to have become a lifestyle choice ...

Last edited by jeremy h; Mar 22, 2015 at 08:48 AM.
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Old Mar 22, 2015, 08:44 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jeremy h View Post
It's generally Mockney* ... there's also Chavspeak**

I'm currently fighting a battle against Chavspeak with the yoof in our household... "Yeh, but no, but yeh, but no ... innit"

* Mockney - fake Cockney

** Chav - my understanding is that it was originally an acronym - Council House and Violent (?) It seems to have become a lifestyle choice ...
Nicely said and I am laughing at that. (Hadn't known the etymology of 'chav-speak' - how fascinating).

To the OP: It is only certain specific 'UK folks', those who hail from certain areas and certain social classes, mostly from the areas around London who speak in that manner.

UK regional accents are quite strikingly varied, and - both historically and linguistically - are actually very deeply rooted. Accent serves as both a regional signifier, and, of equal importance, as a signifier of social class.
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Old Mar 22, 2015, 11:13 AM   #9
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It's okay-the folks in Appalachia pick up all the "dropped" ones and insert them in lots of places where they don't belong

Hain't you ever heard about that? Hit's gonna be alright.

Of course, I'll also add that one of my big pet peeves is Americans(who should know better) pronouncing "Hs" where they're actually silent. One of the best examples is the word "Historic" and variations thereof. I had an argument with my advisor when I used the(correct) phrase "an historic finding" in my dissertation

Last edited by bunnspecial; Mar 22, 2015 at 11:19 AM.
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 05:09 AM   #10
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The biggest problem the Brits have is not with the letter "H". Its with the letter "R" - as in Rhotacism, or the complete inability to pronounce this letter at all.

Spend more that a few days in modern Britain, and be amazed at the number of people on television and radio, in paid, professional speaking roles, who struggle to say words like "rent" or "reliable" without sounding like a transatlantic Elmer Fudd.
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 05:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by vrDrew View Post
The biggest problem the Brits have is not with the letter "H". Its with the letter "R" - as in Rhotacism, or the complete inability to pronounce this letter at all.
You haven't been to Boston then
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 07:17 AM   #12
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As others have said there are so many regional accents in the UK and pronunciation is very different across the United Kingdom. I am always shocked how many Americans/Australians think we drink tea with our pinkies in the air, smoke pipes, shout 'good shot old boy' and commute to our daily grind in a Spitfire while sporting a moustache. How's that for a generalisation?

There are a few English speaking countries that have a very different grasp on the language too. I can't watch Judge Judy, Jerry Springer, or American reality TV shows because half the time I can't understand what is being said through all the yo's, dogs and man's.. That is after I have got past the false dramatisation, panning shots and repeating of scenes we have seen only seconds earlier on all these shows! I know this is not representative of Americans as a whole but I still don't know why you put up with it!
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 07:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by vrDrew View Post
The biggest problem the Brits have is not with the letter "H". Its with the letter "R" - as in Rhotacism, or the complete inability to pronounce this letter at all.

Spend more that a few days in modern Britain, and be amazed at the number of people on television and radio, in paid, professional speaking roles, who struggle to say words like "rent" or "reliable" without sounding like a transatlantic Elmer Fudd.
eh?

Have you just watched the Johnathan Ross Show and nothing else?
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 07:35 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by MatthewLTL View Post
I noticed in movies that have UK actors (Specifically the movie "Non-Stop" starring Liam Neeson)

one of the actors on that movie cannot seem to pronounce the letter H. for example "Hand" sounds like "And" and "Hold" sounds like "Old"

is that just a deviation between the UK vs US english or is it just the accent?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilamite View Post
The UK has so many accents you need to be more specific as to what region.
Liam Neeson is Irish for a start...
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 07:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by MatthewLTL View Post
London
English then. Interestingly, Liam Neeson is Irish.
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 07:43 AM   #16
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I think the OP said 'one' actor in that movie, not necessarily Liam Neeson. He is British (NI), but I haven't seen the movie, was he playing a cockney? The Northern Irish struggle to pronounce the letter 'H' too it is worth noting. Southern Irish struggle with the letter 'T'. Its all about the region
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 07:48 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by The-Real-Deal82 View Post
As others have said there are so many regional accents in the UK and pronunciation is very different across the United Kingdom. I am always shocked how many Americans/Australians think we drink tea with our pinkies in the air, smoke pipes, shout 'good shot old boy' and commute to our daily grind in a Spitfire while sporting a moustache. How's that for a generalisation?

There are a few English speaking countries that have a very different grasp on the language too. I can't watch Judge Judy, Jerry Springer, or American reality TV shows because half the time I can't understand what is being said through all the yo's, dogs and man's.. That is after I have got past the false dramatisation, panning shots and repeating of scenes we have seen only seconds earlier on all these shows! I know this is not representative of Americans as a whole but I still don't know why you put up with it!
Very well said and beautifully expressed.

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Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
You haven't been to Boston then
Ah, yes, the venerable Boston accent; I remember watching an old clip of JFK speaking - those clipped tones, the treatment of vowels, and the pronunciation of the letter 'R'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Real-Deal82 View Post
I think the OP said 'one' actor in that movie, not necessarily Liam Neeson. He is British (NI), but I haven't seen the movie, was he playing a cockney? The Northern Irish struggle to pronounce the letter 'H' too it is worth noting. Southern Irish struggle with the letter 'T'. Its all about the region
Regions and social class; both influence accent.

Re England, Melvyn Bragg wrote a fascinating book on the story (or history) of the evolution of the English language and he pointed out the at the 'North/South' divide started very early, at least linguistically, with northern speech patterns, and vocabulary far more influenced by the languages of the Norsemen than was the case in the south, patterns which, he argued, can still be observed a thousand years later.
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 07:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by jeremy h View Post
** Chav - my understanding is that it was originally an acronym - Council House and Violent (?) Think burberry caps and fighty bitey dogs on chains ... It seems to have become a lifestyle choice ...
I believe this is correct, used by the police (although not any more since it's in general language) Council Housed and Violent.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by The-Real-Deal82 View Post
I think the OP said 'one' actor in that movie, not necessarily Liam Neeson. He is British (NI), but I haven't seen the movie, was he playing a cockney? The Northern Irish struggle to pronounce the letter 'H' too it is worth noting. Southern Irish struggle with the letter 'T'. Its all about the region
Northern Ireland isn't a part of Britain.
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 08:06 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mildredop View Post
Northern Ireland isn't a part of Britain.
Its not part of Great Britain no, but is part of the United Kingdom and many people from the loyalist parts will claim to be British. My family are Catholic Northern Irish so we would claim to be Irish lol. That's a can of worms and another thread altogether!

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scepticalscribe View Post
Very well said and beautifully expressed.

Regions and social class; both influence accent.

Re England, Melvyn Bragg wrote a fascinating book on the story (or history) of the evolution of the English language and he pointed out the at the 'North/South' divide started very early, at least linguistically, with northern speech patterns, and vocabulary far more influenced by the languages of the Norsemen than was the case in the south, patterns which, he argued, can still be observed a thousand years later.
Indeed accents are a wonderful and interesting thing.
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 08:48 AM   #20
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and commute to our daily grind in a Spitfire while sporting a moustache. How's that for a generalisation?
Well, old chap, personally I prefer the Hawker Hurricane for everyday use... bigger cockpit so you can smoke a pipe in comfort and also there's a little space for your tin of moustache wax. My man Jeeves finds it a lot easier to maintain (none of those fancy flush rivets) and he also reports the fuel consumption is so much better since I switched after pranging the Spit doing a victory roll after a swift half in the Rose and Crown on my way home one Friday evening.

----

As to regional stuff and accents here in the UK, there's recently been the results of a 20 year genetic origins survey released. There's been quite a few misleading headlines about the extent of germanic origins etc but if you read it carefully one of the most interesting things (and surprises) seems to be how the genetic variations (in long term UK families) of the general population seem to reflect many county borders. (For non UK people - many of our regional accents are very, very regional. For example I can tell if someone is from Bristol or Somerset). It seems to suggest that we're still differentiated along Iron Age (or even Mesolithic) tribal kingdom lines and many of our modern county borders (and mental regions that as British we love to construct) still reflect these long forgotten kingdoms which pre-date the Romans.
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 09:41 AM   #21
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I believe this is correct, used by the police (although not any more since it's in general language) Council Housed and Violent.

----------



Northern Ireland isn't a part of Britain.
A matter of semantics, legalities, or a topic of no small dispute?

The formal name of the state is 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'……….so, while it is not part of Britain, it is (still) a part of the UK……..

Mind you, a degree of strain is being brought to bear on some of those same ties, as recent events (the Scottish referendum, for example) demonstrated, but I don't wish for this thread to end up in the wasteland of PRSI…..

Re British accents, I think it absolutely fascinating that - in the absence of other signifiers (such as, say, colour, or religion, or ethnicity) - that they have become the signifiers of both social class and region.
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 10:41 AM   #22
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The formal name of the state is 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'……….so, while it is not part of Britain, it is (still) a part of the UK……..
So, Northern Island isn't part of Britain. Like I said.
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 11:16 AM   #23
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So, Northern Ireland isn't part of britain. Like i said.
ftfy.
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 11:22 AM   #24
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ftfy.
Ha! Thanks autocorrect. No idea what ftfy means, by the way. Hopefully nothing offensive!
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Old Mar 23, 2015, 11:36 AM   #25
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You folks might find the following interesting.

Survey of English Dialects

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The Survey of English Dialects (SED) was a groundbreaking nationwide survey of the vernacular speech of England, undertaken by researchers based at the University of Leeds under the direction of Harold Orton. From 1950 to 1961 a team of fieldworkers collected data in a network of 313 localities across England, initially in the form of transcribed responses to a questionnaire containing over 1300 items. The informants were mostly farm labourers, predominantly male and generally over 65 years old as the aim of the survey was to capture the most conservative forms of folk-speech. Almost all the sites visited by the researchers were rural locations, as it was felt that traditional dialect was best preserved in isolated areas. It was initially the intention to include urban areas at a later date, but this plan had to be abandoned on economic grounds
Also
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