I might feel no slight delight if I heard "height" pronounced right.

This drives me a little nuts: it’s length, width, and height. The last one has no “th”, the word is not “heigth”, so it does Not rhyme with lithe, writhe, tithe or scythe. It rhymes with blight, fight, light, might, night, plight, right, sight, tight—you know : a hard “t”, like in byte, cite, kite, mite, rite, site, and white. What is so friggin’ annoying about this is that about 90% of the time I hear it pronounced incorrectly?

It baffles me that so many people screw this up, and I’m not talking just your average Joes, I’m talking scientists, doctors, TV newsmen—yes, TV newsmen, people who get paid for (supposedly) being articulate. But what set off this particular rant on this particular day is a conversation I had moments ago with an architect: he wanted to take advantage of the “ceiling heigth” in the kitchen. Arrrrrrgggghhhh. An architect, someone who you think would have a handle on the three dimensions.

So, to the 90% of you who were absent during 4th Grade, now you know. It’s “Height”. with the hard “t”.


Agreed. Tangentially, I also cringe when someone says “acrosst” (or perhaps “acrossed”), as in “It measures 6 feet acrosst the middle.”

Where? How? Why? I cannot fathom. One never hears “downt.”

Can I “axe” you why people “itch themselves” when they get “stung” by a mosquito?

Sure, let’s discuss it over breafkas.

I can’t recall hearing anyone say height wrong. Granted, I know plenty of people that screw up other words but not that one.


Can I trade ears with you? Wow, I hear it the vast majority of the time.

Wait, technically, isn’t that correct? A mosquito has a needle like proboscis through which the blood is sucked up. Like a thorn or a needle. So maybe “bite” is wrong. No?

Cool, I have some leftover pasketti. Wanna come to Illinoise and share it with me?

(You’d get “scratched” by a thorn or needle, and since the proboscis is a mouth piece, I think “bit” is the best term. A “sting” is from a barb in the butt used for defense, like a wasp, bee or scorpion (OK, tail, but it’s still a posterior thing).)

I’ve never heard the “heighth” pronunciation, either.

Do you live in the south? I hear “heighth” here a lot, and cannot recall hearing it anywhere else.

I remember it from A Clockwork Orange, where they dressed “in the heighth of fashion”. I don’t think I’ve heard it anywhere else.

My dad is an engineer, and I used to have to type up quotations for him when he got a new work order. Although he never pronounced it that way, he would consistently spell it that way. I was forever correcting lists of dimensions that included width, length, and heighth. It peeved me excessively.

Mayber pronouncing it “heighth” is a mid-western/southern USA thing. People on the coasts don’t seem to say it that way, and the Brits never do.

I don’t recall hearing it pronounced with the th but maybe I’m blanking it out. This reminded me of something I heard for the first time recently. My wife and I were reviewing a childbrth video to refresh ourselves and the two nurses teaching the course both continually pronounced centimetre with the cent pronounced as in saunter.

Well, what about measure? I say MEH-zhure, so it peeves me when I hear people say MAY-zhure. Unless they’re Brits, of course, and then I just heave a lovelorn sigh.

The easiest way to mayzhure the heighth of something is to take a pitcher of it.

I enjoy variable pronunciations, and find them interesting. They don’t seem to have anything to do with intelligence that I can tell. But then, neither did 4th Grade.

It’s a very common pronunciation in Ireland. Perhaps this is whence the southern US pronunciation is derived?