Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Stubborn? Me?

Yes, I know that there are times when I'm more stubborn than I should be, especially when I feel I am the one whose right. And so, I hold on to old ways of thinking. A while ago it was pointed out to me that I was using an uncommon pronunciation of the word "often". Some folks use "off-en" while others use "off-tin". Both are acceptable, but which is really correct? Oddly enough, this has been nagging at me just a little. (Yes, I realize there are far more important things to worry about in our world right now. Believe me, I am more worried than I care to go into about all the global happenings and the possible consequences.) So, I decided to start reading up on this word.

It seems the "t" was pronounced until the end of the 17th century. According to the Modern English Usage (1926) it was only "the academic speakers who affect a more precise enunciation than their neighbours…& the uneasy half-literates who like to prove that they can spell…." who continued to pronounce it with the "t". Rather an interesting bit of knowledge, if I do say so myself. (I found that on the PBS site.) I also looked on the Merriam-Webster site and found that it rhymes with coffin.

What now? Do I let go of the way I was raised to say the word? Or, do I grow and move forward? I guess time will tell.

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