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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

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In Living Blogs

To paraphrase The Proclaimers, just "throw the t away."

Where did the "t" come from?


In the most recent past, maybe the last year or so, I have noticed that more and more people are pronouncing the "t" in the word "often."

I understand that English is a living language and constantly adjusts itself to the introduction of new words, like "internet" and "website," but when did it become acceptable to pronounce the "t" in "often"?

It's not that I'm a pronunciation geek or anything, it's just that I have become a stickler for language because I had to say it out loud for so long.

Below is the definition and pronunciation of the word from an online dictionary. ("Online," another new word!) The use of the "t" comes only in the third suggested pronunciation. The first and second are the ones that should be used. I think the third is just there to make all the "t"-sayers happy.

When you look this up in the dictionary, you will also find a little speaker symbol that lets you hear the word pronounced: off-en.

So please, just to make me stop cringing, take the "t" out of your speech and pronounce the word correctly, often.

of·ten
[aw-fuhn, of-uhn; awf-tuhn, ]
adverb

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