Friday, March 28, 2008


And I am wondering why the letter G sometimes sounds like the letter J. We have G and we have J. So why don’t all the J words start with j, like gem, or gymnasium. The G in gymnasium comes from the Greek letter gamma. You may be familiar with the first 4 or 5 letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon. We usually think of these as corresponding to our own. (Our own? We use the Roman alphabet and Arabic numerals.) But gamma, does not correspond to C. Gamma is a chamelian-like letter which sometimes sounds something like our g, but a little softer. Sometimes it sounds more like the y in yellow. So I guess it is similar to our g, in that the letter following it determines the sound.

Gem comes from Latin I bet.

Note: the letter which corresponds to our c is kappa, and when the Greeks want to hear the same sound as the initial sound in gallop, gorgeous or gill, they put the gamma and kappa together. For example, to spell my name in Greek the first 2 letters are gamma kappa, then the equivalent of l-o-r-i-a.

The British are responsible for the way that we convert Greek letters to Roman. So they are responsible for the PH sounding like F. So we use 2 letters, ph, to denote what they have one letter for, and we have one letter, g for the sound they use 2 letters for, gamma kappa.

And while we are at it, what do we need K for? Why can’t C do the job. Well, I guess it’s because we want to have C sometimes sound like s as in citizen.

So let’s just make all j’s start with J, all k’s start with K and all s start with S?
Kan’t we do that? Don’t be supersillious! Are you some kind of jenius?

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