If there’s one thing guaranteed to light my blue touch paper… okay let me back up here. There are MANY things that light my blue touch paper but in particular, recently, it’s people who say ‘haitch’. I’m not alone in this, which gives me some comfort though not a lot. There’s been quite a correspondence about it in that redoubt of English conservatism, The Daily Telegraph. Still, all very well for Despondent of Virginia Water to complain. I’ll bet he can go an entire week without being ‘haitched’. Where I live, in the Republic of Ireland, ‘haitching’ is a national sport. It goes on in the north too. I’ve heard it suggested that you can tell an Ulsterman’s religion by what he does with the letter H: Prods say ‘aitch’, Catholics say ‘haitch.’
What’s to be done about it? Offhand I can’t think of anything. But isn’t it good to get things off your chest? So while I’m at it let me also condemn The Wandering X. Why is it that people who seem incapable of inserting an x into the word ‘sixth’, (thus rendering it ‘sickth’) insist on using it in ‘espresso.’ Yes ‘espresso’ is an Italian word, but so is ‘pizza’ and you manage to pronounce that. All together now, ‘I’d like a double eSpresso.’
Am I done? Not quite. Might as well do a thorough download while I’m about it. There are two Cs in arctic, there is no ‘aitch’ nor even ‘haitch’ in ‘assume’ and the place you go to borrow books (if they still have any) is called a library. Not a liberry. If you call it a liberry I cannot be answerable for my actions.
I feel so much better now.