Class + humour = priceless!

The best-known story of T’s pronunciation involves the British countess and society wit Margot Asquith (1864–1945), wife of Herbert Asquith, who was Britain’s prime minister from 1908 to 1916 and who later became Earl of Oxford. Legend places this razor-minded, aging, titled lady at a 1930s dinner party that included blond American screen siren and bad girl Jean Harlow. (The connection isn’t impossible, as the Asquiths’ son was the movie director Anthony Asquith.) Jean Harlow, recognizing her, asked loudly, “Say, aren’t you Margot Asquith?”—but mispronouncing the name as ‘Mar-got.’ To which her ladyship replied, “Oh, no, dear, the T is silent, as in Harlow.”

David Sacks
Letter Perfect
2003

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3 Comments

  1. Julie
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 09:47 | Permalink

    LOVE IT!

  2. Jessica
    Posted March 3, 2014 at 12:16 | Permalink

    Oh my, that is simply delightful! I admit, it took me a second to get it. I was thinking, “But there’s no T in Har…oh. Right.”

    • Rick
      Posted March 3, 2014 at 12:18 | Permalink

      I had exactly the same reaction. I had to take a short moment to work though it. Then…delightful!

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