How Do You Pronounce "Often"?

Do you pronounce "often" with the "t"? Boston Globe columnist Jan Freeman noticed that although the "t" fell silent in the 15th century, it appears to be coming back, at least among college students. It may sound pretentious, but she asks us to be kind.
Pretentious pronunciation surely exists -- I sympathize with McIntyre's aversion to "Bach uttered as if the announcer suffered from catarrh, or a Spanish name pronounced as if the studio were in the foothills of Andaluthia." But I think that in general, we're much too eager to label people dimwits or social climbers on the basis of pronunciations they probably acquired in the usual way -- by imitating the people they talk to.

More at the delightfully-named blog Throw Grammar From The Train. Link -via TYWKIWDBI

I've always pronounced it with the T.. never really thought about it. But I've never noticed that other people don't.. maybe it's a Canadian thing to say the T.

@MattG - say bear. Okay, now say hear.. do they sound the same? Just because two words are spelled similarly doesn't mean they get pronounced the same!
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I've always pronounced the T as well. I've never really noticed anyone that does otherwise. I also pronounce the second P in pumpkin too which I do notice a lot of people avoid. Some even go so far as to call them punkins.
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I'm Canadian and I don't say the T.

As for pretentious pronunciations, nothing is more pretentious than the way university professors pronounce the word "processes." They pronounce it "pro-cess-ees."
(That's "pro" rhyming with "no.")
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-> They pronounce it "pro-cess-ees."

I would too. But only because I consider it a prohcess and not a prahcess....

As for the "T" thing. I say it's regional. The local dialect will always influence pronunciation the longer you live there. (Though some folks just never catch on)

Some words do roll off your tongue better if certain letters are dropped, but what I don't understand is why people would rather say "I seen" instead of "I saw".


You seen it, did ya?


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PRO-cess vs PRAH-cess is always a debate for us when we're hiring voice talent.

If it's for a Canadian market, we don't worry about it. If it's for a US market, we argue about whether Americans prefer PRO-cess or PRAH-cess and wonder why they're so picky about it. I hear people using both all the time, and I understand what the person is saying.
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I grew up in Southern Californa not pronouncing the 'T' and I can live with people saying "Off-Ten" way easier that people who say "Aks" for "Ask" or those who pronounce the "L" is "Salmon.
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I find it extremely difficult to believe there was ever a time in the history of the English language when such a large majority of English speakers around the world pronounced 'often' without the -t sound that pronouncing it with the -t sound would be considered incorrect. If the -t sound had been so completely discarded in the usage of the word, then why would the t have been included when spellings were standardized in the 19th Century? This seems like mostly an ignorant Americanism found in some US dictionaries in the 20th Century and repeated as a premise in this case. I feel certain I have seen many movies from the '30s and '40s where the word 'often' is pronounced with a -t sound...... The most common way I have ever heard this word pronounced by anyone includes the -t sound, it is just cut off in the mouth in a way that makes it almost entirely disappear, more of a stop, but if you asked the person to pronounce the word slowly they would say the -t, not say "offffahhhhhnnnn" -- i can't imagine ANYONE except some backwoods hillbillies saying it that way when asked to pronounce the word as slowly as possible...
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My girlfriend and I debate this rather frequently; she pronounces the 't' while I don't. We were both caught off guard once when she was using the phrase, "more often than not" and realized that when she said this specific phrase she said often with a silent 't'. We thought that was very interesting. In my previous searches for the answer to this question, i was really fond of the answer given by the chosen "best answer."
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"i can't imagine ANYONE except some backwoods hillbillies saying it that way when asked to pronounce the word as slowly as possible..."

I guess Australians must be backwards hillbillies then. I never pronounce the 't' sound, nor do I recall any Australians doing so.

Also, we pronounce "processes" as pro-cess-es with an emphasis on the 'cess' part, the 'pro' part rhyming with 'no', and a short 'e' sound at the end.

Despite Australia being such a large country, we generally don't have regional accents. You can't tell where anybody is from by their accent, although there is a sort of continuum from urban to rural that most people's accents lie on. People living in rural Australia tend to have a bit more of what we call a "bogan" (rhymes with Paul Hogan) accent, and say things like "Hows youse gaa'n?"
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I have always pronounced the 't'. I live in Maryland and I think most people here do... If someone says "offen" I usually notice. It just sounds wrong to me somehow. Though it is more like "off-tin" when I saw it aloud.
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Often with a pronounced "t" is grating to my ears. I consider it bad usage. We know the 't' wasn't pronounced in Victorian England, because such pronunciation would have ruined one of W.S. Gilbert's best jokes in "The Pirates of Penzance" -- the scene in which Major General Stanley mishears "often" as "orphan."
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