When people do it, they aren’t just randomly or lazily leaving off a sound. This “h“-dropping occurs in a specific environment—only in words that start with a “hyu.” If they drop it in huge, they also drop it in humor, humid, humiliation, humongous, and Hugh.
Why do some people not pronounce the letter H?
The phoneme /h/ in Ancient Greek, occurring only at the beginnings of words and originally written with the letter H and later as a rough breathing, was lost in the Ionic dialect. It is also not pronounced in Modern Greek. The phoneme /h/ was lost in Late Latin, the ancestor of the modern Romance languages.
Are you supposed to pronounce the h in human?
In standard AE, the “h” in huge, human, etc. is always pronounced. Yes, it can sound much like the ich-Laut, or it can be softer, but these words are always aspirated.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.