Friday, May 22, 2009

"H" . . .

The Mysterious "M" a few posts back was such a success, and elicited such a wide variety of Magnificent responses from Many of you, that I'm going to shift Mental gears Here, and try it again with an "H". . . so, it's time to pull out all the creative stops and submerge the comments box with your ideas about what the "H" here represents, no idea is too hare-brained to print. . . and Have a Happy day now, y'all Hear ?!?
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16 comments:

That is the chicken said...

Fun! I too have a collection of photos of letters though I haven't posted any of them yet!

Laurie said...

David McKie amusingly wrote in the Guardian newspaper how he rang a library to ask if they had any files on William Black?

"Would that be William Haitch Black?" the librarian asked after due investigation. It might, and it might not, I was tempted to say; certainly he himself would have preferred William Aitch. But that would have been insufferably pedantic; so I meekly agreed. Later, on a train down from Scotland, the restaurant car, we kept being told, was located in "Carriage Haitch". And my granddaughter tells me that when she used "aitch" at school, one of her teachers insisted that the right way to say it was "haitch".

All the dictionaries in my house agree that aitch is correct. One authority, bearing the mighty imprimaturs of both Oxford University and the BBC, concedes that haitch is standard practice in Ireland but rules it out on this side of the water. Yet it seems to me, after listening closely over the past month or two, that haitch is on the march and aitch is on the retreat. Just as the pushy aggressive grey squirrel has almost extirpated the timorous red one, so muscular abrasive haitch may have done for poor gentle aitch before long.

Does that matter? Pronunciation, like all departments of language, evolves, and nowhere more so than when you deal with the letter H. In his excellent book The Adventure of English, Melvyn Bragg says there was once a primer called Poor Little H - Its Use and Abuse, which ran to 40 editions. There was a time when sounding the H at the start of some word like Hackney or Hammermith was taken to be the hallmark of education, while dropping it was the 'allmark of the unschooled. Yet even among those who prided themselves on knowing how to talk proper, the correct use of H was debatable. It's customary still to drop the H at the start of words such as honour and hour, and to prefix them with an "an"; a precious few still do the same with hotel. But standard versions of the Bible preface a whole range of words, from habitation, half and hand to husband, hymn and hypocrite, with "an" rather than "a", suggesting that the dropping of H once habitually happened too.

It's notable, though, that even aggressive haitchers will still use the gentler form when it's a middle initial. A former nurse, from Wiltshire, not Ireland, to whom I was talking this week, though in all other senses a committed haitcher, referred throughout to the N Aitch S - or rather, as we all tend to do, to the N A Chess. Long may this reassuring practice continue.

Ho, Ho, Ho!

ladydi said...

Heavens, your hovering cousin hopes you have a happy and harmonious heap of fun this weekend.

Lydia said...

It is no doubt displayed in Homage to these on your blogroll honorarium: At the Hermitage, Halfway to France, Just Hawkweed On the Hill, and Of Heliotropes and Silver Strings.
(and thank you so much for honoring my blog in your list of impressive blogs!)

Jill said...

That H looks very HIGH and mighty!

Bill Evertson said...

I believe you may be at an old power station and the next in the series is z.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Maybe aliens are slowly typing us a message with a giant typewriter (the old type with the big metal keys that slam forward with enough strenght to break a pencil)

Not sure what MH would mean - but if you convert them to numbers then 13, 8 could be galactic co-ordinates?

Or maybe H just means Hey, how YOU doin.

Thanks for the visit - what an unusual, but very interesting blog you have here

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Before the real cause of AIDS was discovered, all people could do was to speculate about the "H" factor. This was because AIDS was linked to Homosexuals, Hemophiliacs, Heroin users and Haitians. And finally it was discovered that the disease was caused by the HIV virus. The "H" factor......you have been warned!

jeff34 said...

Quand je pense qu'ils sont tous entrain de se casser la tronche avec ton énigme...! Tu comptes nous passer tout l'alphabet...?
M puis H... Tu M le H c'est ça ? Ou... attends je retourne le portable... H&M ! Tu fais de la pub now ? tu arrondi les fins de mois ? Sorry ! A l'envers, effectivly ça fait HW High Way !...
Bon ! M onuments H istoriques ?... C'est ça ? Ya quoi a gagner à la fin du jeu ? Un week-end pour ranger la piole que tu as posté dans ton message précédent ? Remarques, j'en profiterais pour récupérer le tambour de machine à laver... parce que j'attends toujours ! Tu m'as bien fait marrer quand même ! ;-D
A plus cher Owen ! 8-)

Cathy said...

Perhaps...Stand Here!

becomingkate said...

Love the H! I was collecting "Ks" for awhile, because my name is Kate.

Have a Happy weekend!

Margaret Pangert said...

THe H is the hallmark of Henri IV, known for hating the Hapsburgs. He is now in the French Hall of Fame.

Steve said...

Happy, High or just a big plain Here (as in you are)!

louciao said...

As expressed by Leonard Cohen,"It's a cold and it's a very lonely 'Hallelujah'."

Owen said...

Heavenly Hallelujahs ; you all are making me Hilariously Happy ! I'm not even going to try to answer everyone individually as I sometimes do, it's late here, and I'm Hobbling off to my Hobbit Hole for a bit of a nap... but you all Hit Home runs, you Hammered the Homonyms and Hoed the Hoopla, you sent me to the Honeymoon suite in the Hummingbird Hotel, and I Humbly THANK YOU, and Hope you will hop along back this way real soon !

Heather Ainsworth said...

H is my FAVORITE letter! Thanks!