I'm not sure what "heart radio" is, but I think there is value in certain types of programs such as news and children's shows to be very prescriptivist with the way they use language for the sake of those still learning it, be they children, immigrants, or foreigners. Once the language is fully learned, you can worry about the whole "some people say it differently and that's ok" thing.
For what it's worth, I only hear "haich" (or more precisely "hech") from Indians here in the US.
@BZ: And when is a language fully learned? Isn't it better to learn to use one variety (from your parents / friends / language teachers) while learning from the start that there are varieties? Otherwise you will get this "what I say is right and everything else is wrong"; the only way to counter that is to acknowledge from the start that there are options.
As for "haitch", I find it quite useful (e.g. on a crackly phone line) to be able to make a clear initial distinction between H and 8. As an ESL speaker, I can choose how to say H (as long as my wife, native UK, doesn't hear me say "haitch" – she hates it!)
And why doesn't anybody ever query the strange fact that the "correct" pronuciation of H doesn't actually contain the sound of the letter? At least "haitch" is more logical in that respect.
I have heard people question it. And the demand that pronunciations be logical sounds a bit prescriptivist to me. I suspect that this is in fact how the 'haitch' pronunciation started; some people felt that pronunciation should be determined by logic, that than by what people in fact generally say.
Of course, once usages become widespread enough, they are part of the language, even if they have prescriptivist roots.
@Dan Hemmens: C, G and Q most certainly include (one of) their sounds: "see" as in cell, cycle etc; "jee" as in gem, gin etc. Q begins with the k-sound which is always part of its English pronunciation. So the only other exception is W, which has a bit of history to go with it.
And of course my comment was slightly tongue-in-cheek, and slightly just the baffled foreigner in whose language letter names are more closely conncted to their pronunciation…
I didn't read the whole comment series closely, but I was surprised to see no mention of the added-H or initial aspiration (parallelling haitch-dropping) that if we're to believe the writers has been a prominent feature of British English from way back, invariably serving as a marker of class or geographic origin. (I am not a linguist, merely a reader)
No quotations I can come up with out of my head, but I'm certain they're in Austen, Kipling, AC Doyle, Waugh, Wodehouse, Amis, many more.
<blockquote@Dan Hemmens: C, G and Q most certainly include (one of) their sounds: "see" as in cell, cycle etc; "jee" as in gem, gin etc. Q begins with the k-sound which is always part of its English pronunciation.
By which token, H begins with a silent h, like honest or hour.
I appreciate that you were mostly joking, and a big part of the issue is that English letters don't *have* a single sound. It's certainly unintuitive, but the names of most English letters are a bit weird.