I have a beef with the alphabet. Not all of it, mind you, but there are more than a few things that annoy the heck out of me. Here, I will air my grievances about two letters.
In particular, I present my argument to remove the two letters from the alphabet completely. What letters are they, you ask? Good question!
First On The Chopping Block – The Letter X
It marks the spot. It represents the first unknown number in algebra. It tells you, “YOU ARE WRONG” on a test.
PHOOEY! Who the heck needs that?!? It can easily be replaced with “ks.” Oh, no, wait, it can’t… if it’s at the start of a word. What then? Well, obviously it sounds like… um, well…
THAT’S THE PROBLEM! Nobody can say what the sound should be when X is the first letter of a word! Does is make a “Z” sound? Or do you say the name of the letter, followed by the rest of the word? Case in point:
Xavier: zay-vee-air; or eks-a-vee-air? NO ONE KNOWS!
My proposal: Remove X from the alphabet completely! Replace it with “ks” when it’s at the end of a word; replace it with “z” or “eks” at the beginning. Finally, we will know how to pronounce the damn letter!
Oh, what about in algebra? No problem: use “w” for the new unknown. It is the first letter of “what,” as in “what the heck this this number?”
Next Victim Of The Axe – The Letter Q
That’s right – the letter Q. It’s not fooling me – oh, no, not one bit! It’s in vowel drag, pretending to be an O, but everyone can see the little appendage. Come on, now, Q, you’re not getting away with that!
You can’t even stand on your own. You NEED a vowel after yourself to make any sense at all. Even then, the two of you sound exactly like “kw!” Seriously! You have no unique sound!
What if you go without your little “U” companion? Most of the time, you sound like a “K” anyway! And if anyone is unsure how to pronounce you, they fall back on “U” and say “KW” instead. How lazy can a letter get?!?
Here’s my proposal: Kill Q, and replace it with “KW,” unless it doesn’t have a following “U.” In that case, replace it with “K.” Now we all will know how to pronounce this useless letter.
So, with the well-deserved death of these two useless letters, how does the alphabet benefit?
Well, besides the instant pronunciation clarification, we have the beauty of math. If you stick with this blog, you will eventually see that I am a very mathematical person. But I digress….
We rid the alphabet of two letters. We now have 24 letters. 24 is a more beautiful number, for several practical reasons.
26 can be evenly divided into two pairs of factors: 1×24, and 2×13. It causes problems if you have to divide it further – you’ll always have a few stragglers.
Now 24… THAT is a beautiful number. How would you like to divide it? 1×24? 2×12? 3×8? 4×6? Switch those numbers around for the rest of the options.
I ask you, how many teachers would benefit from this? You can make eight tables of the letters of the alphabet in perfect rectangles! Offices can have filing cabinets or filing systems without having to group letters together. Add to that the confidence one will gain by knowing the proper pronunciation of a new and/or exotic word, and this is a winning proposal!
So, what do you think? Will you join my campaign to remove the letters X and Q from the alphabet? Can I ask for a pledge to write Oxford and Webster? Will you promise to banish the use of these useless letters in your daily spelling?
I leave it to you, dear reader, to answer my kwestions. Think outside the boks, and join me in my noble kwest!
As a lover of math, I am fascinated by prime numbers. Despite the beauty of the number 24, I might be persuaded to go with 23 letters. In that case, I’d have to pick one more letter to kill…
C… I’m looking at you. Make up your mind: are you a “K,” or an “S?”
You just watch yourself, C.
But…but…my first born is named Xander! I like spelling it with an “x” instead of a “z”!
And the whole Q is a vowel in drag thing? Funny, man. Totally HI-larious! 🙂
Thank you for the comment, Kathulhu.
I appreciate the unique nature of your firstborn’s name, but let me ask you this: How may people mispronounce his name upon first encountering it? How many assume it is an abbreviation for Alexander, and place the invisible “E” at the beginning? It surely would be cleared up with the banishment of X, and starting it with the properly pronounced Z. 😀
His name is short for Alexander but most people assume its not & spell it with a z. He gets so mad when people misspell it, too 🙂
That’s freakin’ funny! I’ve had my OWN issues with X and Q too… especially since I’m homeschooling my kindergartener and even HE thinks X and Q are useless since they make the sounds of other letters. And I dig whatcha did the the numbers. 24… I love it. But I don’t like prime numbers. They make me uneasy. Let’s keep C… but change all the “C” words with an “S” sound to S’s.
Thanks for linking up for #SundayFunday!!
Thank you for the comment, Sarah.
As far as the letter C, the only thing saving it from my chopping block is the digraph “CH,” producing the voiceless palatal affricative sound in “cheese,” “charcoal,” and “chariot,” for example. If not for that sound, I’d drop C in an instant.
Sorry for my amateur linguistic digression there. Anyway, the tabular possibilities of 24 letters keeps C fairly safe… for now. 😀
Why not replace CH with Q, and SH with X? It still kind of looks like English, but a little more chaotic, and who doesn’t love a little chaos?
I’m definitely in favor of a little chaos, but then we’re still at 26 letters in the alphabet, which is what I was trying to reduce. I’d consider it if we can find some other letters to rid ourselves of. 🙂
[…] logical, scientific pyramid. Analytic geometry flows naturally from basic arithmetic. In my last post, I mentioned my love of math, in this case of prime numbers and factors of numbers. I expect to […]
Holy crap, dude. I made a post just like this some months ago, I’ll have to try to find it!
Or perhaps it was several posts, during the A to Z challenge… I’ll have to dig.
too funny though!
Cool, Matt. Post the link here when you find it. I’d love to read it!
Thank you for your comments!