From age 1 (or whenever I started speaking) to age 18 or so, I pronounced my hometown, Hacienda Heights, with a hard H. I like alliteration, and HH fit. When I got to college, I met people who put the accent on Pérez and wouldn’t stand for mispronunciation of their names. I also met friends who had no clue where I lived even though they grew up just 15 miles west.
“Wait, you mean Hacienda Heights?” they’d ask pronouncing hacienda in Spanish.
“Yeah,” I’d say, annoyed that I was being corrected.
“Where is it?” they’d ask, still confused.
“Northeast of Whittier, a bit east of El Monte [Al Montee] south of La Puente [I know the article for puente should be el, but the city planners felt like doing things their own way], 15 minutes west of Pomona,” I’d answer, trying to situate my little unincorporated section of Los Angeles County.
My new friends would look at my blankly, still confused. It didn’t matter if I pronounced the H or not, no one knew where it was at.
Since then, I’ve ditched the alliterative pronunciation except for when I’m around white people or others I doubt understand Spanish. It’s just easier that way.
Hat tip: Oso