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January 10, 2005

C is for Kookie

The letter "C" is stupid.

It feels weird trying to explain to a non-native English speaker that there are rules to explain when a C makes a K sound and when it makes an S sound (having to do with things like whether or not the C is followed by certain vowels, for example). And that you just have to memorize the inevitable irregular cases.

The next question is always, "Then why don't you just use a K when it makes a K sound and an S when it makes an S sound? Why use the C at all?" Why that would be... perfectly logical, come to think of it.

However, there is another weird use for a C -- CH. The CH sound doesn't really have anything to do with the C sound or the H sound. But if we got rid of the letter C, we'd have to do something about the CH. I suppose we could keep the C as long as it's always followed by an H, but hey -- why don't we just use the C by itself for the CH sound! Aha! Let's try a few words:

chop = cop
lunch = lunc
church = curc

It looks weird, but I think we kan handle it. Let's all work together and uses K and S instead of C, and use C for CH. Maybe it'll katc on.

Next week: "ough"

Posted at January 10, 2005 10:52 AM


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