The creator of English language has fetish for silent letters.

Jim   Monday, September 01, 2003, 03:32 GMT
By "the ones you all use" do you mean ?

For me the "l" is silent in "walk", "talk", "salmon", "almond", "calm" and "yolk" ... or perhaps you could say it modifies the vowel. This is how I'd pronounce these words /wo:k/, /to:k/, /s@m..n/, /a:m..nd/, /ka:m/ and /yOuk/.

The /../ does the job of your "upside-down e" alius "schwa".

For me, also, the "d" is silent in "sandwich" and "handsome".

For me "wok" and "walk" sound nothing alike.

There's the fake "magic 'e'" in words like "give" and "have", this is silent. But I wouldn't call the real "magic 'e'" a silent letter, as it does have a function in indicating pronunciation.

Same for the "gh" in words like "light" ... drop the "gh" and you get the word's past tense/participle "lit". The "gh" in "daughter" on the other hand would be silent, not a silent "g" plus a silent "h" though. "gh" is a digraph that once represented a sound no longer found in English (except, maybe, if you look pretty hard for it).

Are these silent letters more trouble than they're worth? Should spelling be reformed?
f   Monday, September 01, 2003, 05:32 GMT