If I know well, 'persons' is wrong.

Chlodwig die Krone   Friday, June 27, 2003, 16:53 GMT
Simon is correct. In British English, the usage should be as such. I, die Krone, hereby endorse his statement.
David Bosch   Friday, June 27, 2003, 21:50 GMT
Thanks Simon.
mike   Sunday, June 29, 2003, 18:51 GMT
And what about the word 'often' . My American teacher would always say that we should not pronounce the word with 't' unless we wanted to sound like we were some pumpkins. Is it true? How do you pronounce the word 'often'?
Jim   Monday, June 30, 2003, 01:44 GMT
I don't know how pumpkins pronounce the word but I'd otherwise agree with your teacher, the "t" is silent for humans.

Then there's "missing persons". This sounds okay. If you said "missing people" it seems like a whole race has dissappeared.
David Bosch   Monday, June 30, 2003, 01:51 GMT
I heard in one film an actor saying 'often' with the t included.
David Bosch   Monday, June 30, 2003, 01:52 GMT
The film was British.
Jim   Monday, June 30, 2003, 03:17 GMT
Are you sure the actor wasn't playing the part of a pumpkin?
Antonio   Monday, June 30, 2003, 12:30 GMT
I would say ´persons´and ´people´ are used somewhat differenty.`

´People´ sounds too colloquial sometimes. I use ´people´when I´m talking about things in general, and ´persons´ when I´m being specific.

´English people...´ not ´English persons´
´A people has the right to decide...´ X ´People have the right to decide... ´

´A person has the right to decide...´

But I would say ´All those people have the right to decide...´; but I think ´persons´ fit as well as.

I think it´s a question of ´English usage´, not grammar.
Antonio   Monday, June 30, 2003, 12:33 GMT
Is it not common amongst the brits to pronounce the ´t´ in ´often´? I hear it some of-TEN... :-)
Fred   Monday, June 30, 2003, 19:16 GMT
My British English teacher told me both are commun in England. "Of-ten" and "of-en".
Bayou Rover   Monday, June 30, 2003, 20:43 GMT
Mike, perhaps you misheard the word “bumpkin” so you thought it is “pumpkin”.
When we say “bumpkin” we mean a country person regarded as unsophisticated.
Clark   Monday, June 30, 2003, 23:40 GMT
Chlodwig die Krone, komm jy uit Neederland of Suid-Afrika?
mike   Wednesday, July 02, 2003, 12:14 GMT
Sorry for the pumpkin-bumpkin mistake but on BBC, for instance, you often get to hear 'often' with distinct 'T' in the middle. I don't think the BBC people want to sound like pumpkins - sorry bumpkins, ,do they?