NO one ever pronounces the “t” in listen. LIS-sen. Listen up!
In the same way, these three words observe a silent “t” as well: hasten, chasten, christen. That’s HAY-son, CHAY-son, KRIS-son, where the vowel in “son” is our ubiquitous schwa, the upside down ‘e’ —that symbol |ə| that sounds like ‘uh.’
1. hasten |ˈheɪs(ə)n| (v)
・be quick to do something: he hastened to refute the assertion.
・move or travel hurriedly: we hastened back to Paris.
・cause (something, especially something undesirable) to happen sooner than it otherwise would: this tragedy probably hastened his own death from heart disease.
2. chasten |ˈtʃeɪs(ə)n| (v)
・(of a reproof or misfortune) have a restraining or moderating effect on: the director was somewhat chastened by his recent flops
・(as adj.): a chastening experience.
3. christen |ˈkrɪs(ə)n| (v)
・give (a baby) a Christian name at baptism as a sign of admission to a Christian Church: [ with obj. and complement ]: their second daughter was christened Jeanette.
・give a name to (someone or something) which reflects a notable characteristic: [ with obj. and complement ]: we have christened our regular train home the ghost train.
・(informal) use for the first time: he bought a new pair of boots and christened them with his first goal at the McAlpine Stadium.
I invite you to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any word ideas you’d like to share.