I’m amazed by how many times I’ve heard the word “often” pronounced on various radio programs in the past week in which the “t” was heard. It made me wonder if something has changed. Here’s what I found at Your Dictionary:
During the 15th century English experienced a widespread loss of certain consonant sounds within consonant clusters, as the (d) in handsome and handkerchief, the (p) in consumption and raspberry, and the (t) in chestnut and often. In this way the consonant clusters were simplified and made easier to articulate. With the rise of public education and literacy and, consequently, people’s awareness of spelling in the 19th century, sounds that had become silent sometimes were restored, as is the case with the t in often, which is now frequently pronounced. In other similar words, such as soften and listen, the t generally remains silent.
My public education learnt me to not pronounce the t. Was I learnt wrong?