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

3 thoughts to “Class + humour = priceless!”

  1. 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.”

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