A few weeks ago, the self-styled English Language tutor on Ghanaweb.com- Madam Lerny Lomotey- who is said to hold a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Ghana, sought to educate Ghanaians on how to correctly pronounce the word ‘herb’ (see https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/entertainment/Learn-English-How-to-pronounce-herb-correctly-Word-of-Week-E5-948526).
According to her the right way of pronouncing the word ‘herb’ was ‘erb’, insisting the letter ‘h’ as silent. What this self-styled English expert forgot to clarify was that the word ‘herb’ has an English pronunciation and an American one (and when I say English here, I mean the language from England- where the language originates).
Her pronunciation of the word as ‘erb’ with the silent ‘H’ was clearly the American version and NOT the English one. And for a country like Ghana, whose heritage is more English than American, it is a bit dubious, if also unnecessary for Miss Lomotey to attempt to re-educate or re-orient us towards the American version of the language.
While this can be ignored if coming from a layman such as myself, an individual claiming to be an expert such as Madam Lomotey cannot be excused. A clarification and an apology are apt!
This is English after all, NOT American!
Bernie Asher (Lecturer in Management, University of Professional Studies, Accra. Email- [email protected])