Why does Why not begin with a Y? (1 Viewer)

CJ_London

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for the same reason that Exist does not start with an X

These words were invented before the advent of txting
 

Brianwarnock

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Why is not pronounced Y, the wh is pronounced, the difference may be small but is there.

Brian
 

scott-atkinson

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The same reason that You does not start with a 'U'
 

Vassago

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At least a "u" can sound like "you" by itself. i.e. unite

I can't recall a word where a "y" sounds like "why." Anyone else?
 

The_Doc_Man

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Well, I can name a place that starts with a Y and that letter is pronounced like the isolated letter Y.

In south Louisiana you can find the small community called Ycloskey, which is pronounced why-closs'-key. I have to admit, though, that it probably got that way because of linguistic cross-contamination. For a long time Louisiana was a polyglot region with French, Spanish, British, Italian, German, and Choctaw spoken at various times in the same small geographic region. So I have no insight as to where or when that particular pronunciation originated.
 

kevlray

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The English language is a mix of other languages. Even going from country to country we get different ways of pronouncing the same word. It is a wonder that anybody learning English ever figures out how to pronounce a lot of word (opossum, the "o" is silent and I do not know why).
 

The_Doc_Man

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Probably because one day someone pointed out of the window and asked, "What is that animal" and someone said what sounded like, "Oh, possum."
 

Mile-O

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And why isn't queue just Q?
 

The_Doc_Man

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Probably because it was designed by a government contractor for whom the pay was based on volume, not conciseness?

(I can say that because I still am a government contractor!)
 

AnthonyGerrard

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Watching eggheads last night.

ghoti: Pronounced fish.

gh as in enough
o as in women
ti as in national
 

Uncle Gizmo

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Doc Man,

>>>Probably because it was designed by a government contractor for whom the pay was based on volume, not conciseness?<<<

I recon this was tongue in cheek, but you are so right!

With the advent of the printing press contractors were employed in Holland to place the type. They were peace workers and got paid on the number of letters placed so they extended the lengths of the words to increase their earnings!

Hence we have lots of words with double letters unnecessarily.

I find this highly amusing when people criticise others for their spelling mistakes!

I mean people get completely anal about spelling without understanding where the actual spelling came from.
 
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