Bryan Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day today looks at often . An excerpt:
The educated pronunciation is /OF-uhn/, but the less adept say /OF-tuhn/. Similar words with a silent -t- are “chasten,” “fasten,” “hasten,” “listen,” “soften,” and “whistle.”Garner’s Language-Change Index puts the /OF-tuhn/ pronunciation at Stage 4: “The form becomes virtually universal but is opposed on cogent grounds by a few linguistic stalwarts (die-hard snoots).”
Our household must be composed of snoots. Outside our household, the /OF-tuhn/ pronunciation seems to be everywhere, these days.
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