An Historic Date

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It was 1957 according to every reference I can find. Now didn’t have a TV then, at least I don’t think we did, but the program has been mentioned every 1/4 (or in USA nomenclature, 4/1) since and repeated many times! So I’ m prepared to believe April 1st 1957.

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‘Hotel’ is of course a special case in that the H was originally silent - the normal modern pronunciation derives from a hypercorrection. Like the L in ‘soldier’, incidentally! :slight_smile:

I only realised on hearing it in today’s Daily Politics, that TM said, “an historic day”! So much for a Grammar School education in Oxfordshire!

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I must admit that I would tend to say “an historic” with a soft (?) h. I think that I sometimes use the long form of A (ai), but I’m not sure about that.

Don’t get me started on an European/ a (Y)uropean. :grinning:

I didn’t know that!

That probably explains the Cornish souder, then!

Hypercorrections are fun.

I wonder whether “debt” will ever get pronounced “dep’t”, the way “waistcoat” and “forehead” are now often “waist-coat” and “fore-head” rather than “weskit” and “forrid”.

Does anyone have an L in “salmon”?

I bet it does, yes!

They certainly are.

I’ve already heard that one on the stupid BBC, I’m afraid - amazing! And of course the spelling itself is a deliberate latinization from when pedants were let loose on English orthography…it used to be spelt as sounded: ‘dette’. Ditto the G in the French word doigt ‘finger’ - never pronounced in any stage of French, old or modern, but put in by pedants simply because of the Latin word it derives from, digitum. Oh dear oh dear… :confused:


I used to know a woman who would pronounce Wednesday not a Wensday or Wensdee like everyone else I knew, but as Wedner’s Day. It’s the price you pay (like fore-head as has already been mentioned) for universal literacy, I suppose. :slight_smile:

On the subject of grammar didn’t the split infinitive rule come from grammar pedants cos of latin?

ridiculous in my book. Language is a living evolving thing surely.

( Well as long as the dreaded “i would of done something” is never allowed!!!)

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You can classify that as a spelling error if it makes you feel better about grammar flexibility.

Noooooo. Its just wrong!!! so wrong!

L in salmon
Sorry Philip but into my head popped, “I prefer sewin myself!” Sewin is sea trout in both languages, I think!

Yeah, I read a book by Lynne Truss years ago which explains this, apparently it’s impossible to split an infinitive in Latin so they declared that you shouldn’t do so in English either. But “to go boldly …” just doesn’t sound correct in an opening sequence, does it. :blush:

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As @garethrking explains there is no real infinitive in English. You need 2 words e.g. to love instead of one infinitive amare!

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Huh. “Fore-head” doesn’t sound odd to me at all, albeit that we say it a little more quickly than the hyphen would imply. But around here I don’t think anyone says “forrid.” Odd.

Pretty much everything else I’ve seen in this thread sounds right, though I agree that “a historic” and “an historic” are somewhat interchangable, with the latter sounding a bit more ‘hoity-toity’ than the former.


Exactly, that was my point. :blush:

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I think in the spirit of friendliness of this forum, it would work better if we didn’t say we ‘cringe’, or call things ‘affectations’, when another forum member has just used them…

I’m sure none of you was intending to comment unkindly on Huw’s usage in the title of the thread, but that is how it looks - and the very LAST impression we want to give on this forum is that it is a place where people’s linguistic choices get pulled to pieces!


Mae’n ddrwg gen i! I didn’t even notice the title! I noticed ‘date’ which I knew was 1/4/17! I saw a comment about an h… and Gareth’s answer and responded to those! I cringe about all sorts of things, mainly incurring the wrath of the Powers of the Forum. No comment was meant to be about any person, just a particular quirk of English usage which reminded me of my snobby mother’s telephone voice! A bone of contention in our house throughout my youth! Hyacinth Bucket could be based on my Mam!
To @hewrop see above to realise my comment didn’t relate to anything you had posted! Crossed wavelengths!


Appreciated, henddraig… :slight_smile:

[And perhaps a ‘sorry, didn’t mean you, Huw!’ note would be a nice addition in there…;-)]

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I wouldn’t wish to offend anyone, but must say i have found the mix of reactions rather interesting.

I guess (maybe subconsciously) that i have heard “an historic” enough times that it is one which would not raise an eyebrow.

Cheers J.P.


My apology issued (post 10) was graciously accepted (post 11). A personal, face to face one will be given at the party.