Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The letter X, it's phonetic trickery...

I've determined that the letter X is the most useless letter of the English alphabet. I have nothing against X. As a matter of fact, I like X…as a symbol. It's intriguing, mysterious,  and sometimes decorative; but I don't think it was ever really meant to be a letter.

I picture the letter X standing alone and crying in the Hooked on Phonics series. X is just a place holder for other sounds. For instance….

There's the "k" sound:
- example = ek-zample
- excellent = ek-se-llent
- box = bocks (like rocks, clocks, docks, mocks; you could probably even eliminate that silly "c")

...or the "z" sound:
xylophone = zylo-phone
Xerxes = Zerk-cees (this is a local ek-zample)

According to the dictionary, X can also have a "g" sound. It has no sound of its own and has the shortest section in the dictionary. It's a wonder non-native English speakers are actually able to learn this language at all.

I just feel sad for the letter X. I'm certain it didn't ask for this role in the English language. It was probably just hanging out on a map, minding its own business when someone thought, 'hey, we should make this part of the alphabet'. So now it sits between W and Y, stealing its sounds from some other letters further up the alphabet.

Phonetic trickery, that's what X is….phonetic trickery.

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