Not long ago, I was on the telephone with a young man who said his last name was (let’s say) Hutton. But he didn’t say the name in a way I recognized. He said /HUH-uhn/. No hint of a /t/ in there anywhere. I had him spell it for me just to remove all doubt. It was a distinctly American accent, so I was curious about how he might have adopted this one Cockney/Scottish speech trait.
“Where are you?” I asked.
/Man-HA-uhn/, came the answer — again without even a scintilla of a /t/ sound.
Hmm. Mr. /HUH-uhn/ from /man-HA-uhn/.
Linguists call this speech …
This article appears as “Stop Those Glottals!” in the September 1, 2021, print edition of National Review.
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