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Kathy and Cathy would enjoy the Cafe

Road Runner

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10 hours ago, jsharr said:

Their seats are too low

Chain on the wrong side on Kathy's bike.

What the hell is up with the pedals to cause their knees and feet to be parallel?

Cathy's forks are badly bent

Okay, Caren!  Or is it Karen?


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The letter c is virtually unnecessary except in phonics digraphs like "ch" - which itself is confusing because there are three sounds it makes: tch, sh, and k. - something a child reads in a brochure at school.

The "Rule of C" is: The letter c represents /s/ before the letters e, i or y; otherwise it represents /k/.

Since "sh" is a different digraph than the "tch" sound of "ch" I guess we're stuck with "c" as a letter, otherwise we could drop it and spell things like Julius Saesar and Kap'n Krunch.

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2 hours ago, MickinMD said:

The letter c is virtually unnecessary…

And here’s why our alphabet includes it…


originally, C spelled the sound /g/. But, with some help from the Etruscans, the Romans got into a bit of a tangle here, and they wound up using C to spell both the sound /g/ and the sound /k/, while they hardly used the letter K at all. Eventually, realizing this was a bad idea, they invented a new letter, G, to spell the sound /g/, and they then used C exclusively to spell the sound /k/.

This was the system borrowed from the Romans by the Anglo-Saxons. Originally C spelled only /k/ in Old English. But then the pronunciation of English changed. (Larry Trask)

Another important consideration

“‘c’ is often used (though not always) for roots whose pronunciation alternates between [s] and [k]. think of ‘public’ vs. ‘publicity’. If we spelled the first ‘publik’ and the second ‘publisity’ we wouldn’t be able to see the relationship between the two words as easily.” (Susan Fisher)

A longer story
(this might make a good children’s book if it had pictures)

“That’s a very good question, and the answer is that it didn’t always make those sounds. See, the language we speak has changed over the centuries, as all languages do. And writing — which is different from talking, changes too, though much more slowly.

The letter C wasn’t invented for English. It was invented several thousand years ago to write down the sounds of Phoenician, a language related to Hebrew and Arabic. At the time, the letter was called “gamel” or something like that, which means ‘camel’ (see the C?). It represented the G sound (the letter G was invented later, by the Romans).

Later on the Greeks started using the Phoenician alphabet and they used the letter to represent the G sound, too. Not having any camels, they called it “gamma”; the K sound was represented by the letter K, called “kappa”. And later still, people in Italy used it, but they didn’t have a G sound, so they used it for the K sound.

The Romans eventually wound up using this alphabet, with the letter C standing for the K sound, but they did have a G sound, so they put a little jot on the C and made it a G (they didn’t use the letter K, except for words they borrowed from Greek).” (John Lawler)

“In the Norman French era, “C” was pronounced “S” before the letters “I,E,(Y)”, and otherwise “K”, After William the Conquerer captured England in 1066, English borrowed a lot of French words with French spellings, so “C” became a letter with two sounds. English also had words like “king, keep” where /k/ was pronounced before /e,i/, so the Greek letter “K” was reintroduced to keep things straight (more or less).” (Elizabeth J. Pyatt)

Many thanks to those fine linguists who helped me understand the interesting history of the letter C, and it’s relatives K and G:
Susan Fischer, NTID/RIT
John Lawler, U Michigan Linguistics Dept
Herb Stahlke, Ball State University
Larry Trask, University of Sussex
Mike Hammond
Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D., Penn State University
Anthea Fraser GUPTA,University of Leeds


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