Generation Gap: "Offen" or "Off-ten"

OftenA clever piece in The Chronicle analyzes current pronunciation of often. Ben Yagoda questions recent pronunciations with the t

He starts by identifying an example in the podcast "Reply All," hosted by P.J. Vogt: "...Vogt is young (I would judge in his early 30s), and speaks with vocal fry, list lilt, uptalk, and, generally, a pronounced Ira Glass-esque lack of slickness." 

Turns out, the t-pronunciation is a recent phenomenon. Early dictionaries indicate no t, but two 20th-century dictionaries indicate a shift, with one calling the pronunciation "vulgar," "certainly unnecessary," and "an affectation of refinement." Yagoda provides interesting evidence in speech from 12 "My Fair Lady" musical versions. 

Yagoda concludes that younger people pronounce the t. He has seen a shift in pronunciation among his students and increasingly sees-as I do- "oftentimes" appearing in writing assignments. Good grief. 

Image source.

Discussion Starters: 

  • How do you pronounce often? Do you notice a generational difference? 
  • Assess Yagoda's evidence. What would strengthen his argument?