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2019.05.30

English Enigmas #3

Hi everyone, it's Kenn here!

It's time for another entry to English Enigmas! This time we'll be talking about English alphabet letters which seem pointless because they have the same sound as another letter or phonic. I'm talking mainly about the letters X and Q, and also to a lesser extent, C.

X and Q not only lack unique sounds, but they are not even found in very many words. For example, X can just be "ks" and Q can be "kw". Furthermore, Q almost always needs to be followed by U, which makes it seem even more bizarre. No other letter relies on another letter as much as Q does.

C can get a little sympathy from me though. After all, it is necessary to make the "ch" phonic. Still, I wonder why writers in the past couldn't have it be spelled "kh" instead. It just goes to show that English is a messy mixture of so many other languages that got distorted over time and became its own separate thing.

Admittedly though, X, Q and C add a bit of aesthetic beauty to written English. Imagine if "box" was spelled "boks", or how different the ABC song would sound. Even just thinking about that is unsettling. Maybe that's why these seemingly unnecessary letters were introduced, but who really knows?

Thanks for reading as always and keep studying. Hard.

Stay tuned!
Kenn

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