A couple of weeks’ ago, I was about to start a large volume E-learning voice over narration project for one of my clients. I usually provide clients with a custom sample prior to recording the full script, so that we get the right sound and pace that they’re looking for. So, I picked a passage from the script, which happened to contain the word ‘button’, narrated the sample and sent it off to the client.
The client came back with the go-ahead on the project, with a request to pronounce the word ‘button’ in a different way, by voicing the ‘t’s in the middle, which of course I was happy to do.
You see, there is more than one way to pronounce this lovely word ‘button’ in UK English; with and without the glottal stop* on the ‘t’s. When I was at drama school (Guildford School of Acting/GSA), our voice coach Susan was most insistent that ‘t’s in the middle of words were silent, punctuated using a glottal stop, rather than voicing the ‘t’. Woe betide any of us who didn’t glottal! Using a glottal stop on ‘t’s in the middle of a word like ‘button’ or ‘mutton’, for example, is technically correct in Received Pronunciation. But at the end of the day, it’s personal preference. A bit like ‘Scone’ (as in ‘own’) and ‘Scone'(as in ‘gone’).
Happy ‘button”ing – whichever way you like it!
*[The glottal stop is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages, produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract or, more precisely, the glottis.Wikipedia]