It’s a letter. It’s a hard consonant. Off the top of my head it is never a ‘silent’ letter like the p is in ‘ptarmigan’.
So why is it that so few people, commonly Hollyoaks actors, telly presenters and (unbelievably) politicians, seem to be able to pronounce it?
Ed Milliband MP, wanna-be-statesman, once shouted that the Prime Minister hadn’t ‘goh ih’. Dismay!!
It appears that we are being conditioned by the popular media to speak like they do in TV dramas to be hip and/or cool (a 1920’s jazz expression – how trendy is 1929?). In the same vein, and I blame Paul McKenna as my earliest example, it is now de rigeur to wear a suit but no tie when appearing on the gogglebox. I’m sorry – if you’re truly arty that’s okay, but if you’re trying to be an authority on something, wear a tie if you have a suit on, or don’t wear a suit. DO NOT do what the BBC make-up artist tells you – if they had any authority in your field they wouldn’t be make up artists.
From now on, I’ve decided that while accents are acceptable (on the BBC they are now obligatory, and on some channels it HAS to be Geordie), your inability to pronounce this important letter means I cannot hear you. And if you don’t know how to wear a tie, how can I believe your opinion on anything else?