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  • A feature of RP (Received Pronunciation, AKA Southern Standard British English) where the /æ/ vowel in HAPPY is tensed, pulling it forward and up and sounding more like /ɪ/ in KIT or /ɛ/ in DRESS.

    Used profusely in the Superego sketch "M" (Season 3, Episode 3 from 2011) making fun of the exceedingly British character of M, James Bond's superior officer.

    RP and happy tensing also heard in Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951) when Alice shouts "Mister Rabbit!"

    In summary: it's fun, even just to use in the term happy tensing itself.

    April 13, 2015