The creator of English language has fetish for silent letters.

SagaSon   Thursday, August 28, 2003, 04:50 GMT
I've found the most absurd reason for silent letter

CUP doesn't have a silent P
but CUPBOARD does. so you tell me that English has silent silent because of morphology. that's wrong.. it's very easy to see that CUPBOARD is word which doesn't have etmology, it was made with 2 single words joined together, but since the Englsh creator has fetish for silent letters he made the letter P silent without a reason, or maybe there is a reason, to difficult those who wanna learn English language and make natives proud to laugh at ESL because of their mistakes when pronouncing silent letters.
exactly right   Thursday, August 28, 2003, 05:39 GMT
"to difficult those who wanna learn English language and make natives proud to laugh at ESL because of their mistakes when pronouncing silent letters. "

Yes, many a night I laugh at how they say "wallk" and "cup-board."
Kelly   Thursday, August 28, 2003, 06:25 GMT
I think the 'p' is silent only because it's easier to say when talking fast...
Kelly   Thursday, August 28, 2003, 07:06 GMT
I also think you are very paranoid...You know, not everyone who speaks English is out to get you.
I met that guy once   Thursday, August 28, 2003, 15:41 GMT
I met the English creator once. He told me how he wanted the English-speakers to be proud and he laughs every time they make fun of ESL. That's why he put all those silent letters and made each spelling pronounce different ways. HAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHA   Friday, August 29, 2003, 03:43 GMT
nick cox   Friday, August 29, 2003, 08:25 GMT
This debate typifies the pointless twaddle on many of antimoon's discussion fora, since the question assumes that language can be prescribed by an organisation.

There are some examples of this being successful (eg. the abolition of certain letters of the Spanish alphabet ("ch") but in the main those who have sought to dictate how people should use words to communicate have found their efforts wasted. And rightly so. Language is democratic and creative. Provided you can get your message across, you can use which words you want and in what order you want. You can create your own words - how have all words been created? By an individual choosing to invent a new word, how else?

The attempt to define how we should use words by prescription is to ignore the, thankfully, constant evolution of language. Mass communication via the internet was thought by some to signal the ossification of English. The contrary has happened. New abbreviated words and the creative use of punctuation marks have blossomed.

If you want certain words to be spelt in certtain ways then go ahead and do it. That's the best way of changing the language. Don't try to persuade people by argument. Throw a line and see if they take the bait.

Wassup? - a winner from a couple of years back.

Pernam   Friday, August 29, 2003, 20:41 GMT
Silent a: musically, realistically, logically
Silent b: thumb, dumb, climb, debt, doubt, subtle
Silent c: indict, muscle, Tucson, Connecticut
Silent d: handkerchief, sandwich, handsome, Wednesday
Silent e: bridge, serve, clue, many many others
Silent f: halfpenny
Silent g: light, sign, diaphragm
Silent h: hour, honor, heir, exhaust, exhibition, Birmingham
Silent i: business
Silent k: knife, knock, know, knead
Silent l: walk, talk, salmon, almond, calm, yolk
Silent m: mnemonic
Silent n: autumn, solemn, condemn, column, hymn
Silent p: corps, pneumonia, coup, receipt, cupboard, clapboard, Campbell
Silent r: many in non-rhotic English
Silent s: island, aisle, viscount
Silent t: Christmas, whistle, castle, listen, soften, often, rapport, ballet
Silent u: guest, tongue, catalogue, guide, guitar
Silent w: sword, answer, two, write, whole, whore, Greenwich, Norwich
Silent z: rendezvous, chez, laissez-faire
wingyellow   Saturday, August 30, 2003, 01:09 GMT
Actually silent letters are the remain of the language it evolved from.

The silent "e" in make, live was pronounced in older English and in modern German (something like "maken") I believe silent "h" in honest was imported.

About languages, one thing we must bear in mine is that we SPEAK first then come the written words. Words are to reflect what we speak. If our spoken languages have been changed but the written one cannot catch up, then something like silent letters come out. This is the problem of phonetic languages.

And there is no creator of English. English evolved from old German.
wingyellow   Saturday, August 30, 2003, 01:17 GMT
Sometimes the silent letters do serve some functions:

1. the "e" in "make" shows us that the "a" is pronounced like "ate", not "at" or "ah".

2. some help distinguish words with the same pronunciations, like "know" and "no", "hour" and "our", "walk" and "wok"
Lana   Saturday, August 30, 2003, 01:33 GMT
I don't know what accent you speak with but several of those are not silent in any accent I have heard. For example, almond. Who would pronounce it amond/ahmond? The l is definitely not silent. Calm--the l is not strong but it is required. No one says it like com or cahm.

I know some people don't pronounce the d in sandwich but I think most people do. Handsome also-- though the d is not strong, if you don't pronounce it, it would sound like hansom (a hansom cab).

Anyway, your point is correct that there are many many words with silent letters!
ME   Saturday, August 30, 2003, 03:24 GMT
i pronounce the D in sandwich and i am very proud of that. native californian baby!
Pernam   Saturday, August 30, 2003, 04:14 GMT
I am going by what my trusted dictionary says and for "almond" it lists a' muhnd (the uh should be a schwa) as the first pronunciation, al' muhnd as the second. I do not know if the order they are listed has any significance.

"Calm" only has one pronunciation listed: käm. The same with "handsome": haen' suhm. "Sandwich" has two: saend' wich and saen' wich.

My dictionary is the American Heritage Dictionary of English Language. If you are telling me that this is incorrect than what should English learners use as a reference so that we can pronounce words correctly?
Ryan   Saturday, August 30, 2003, 20:45 GMT
The fact is, I don't think it's pronounced with a silent l in Midwestern American English anymore. The teachers in my school definitely did not lecture us to not pronounce the "l." If you look in the Merriam-Webster dictonary, it lists /kAlm/ as a second pronunciation.

Lana   Sunday, August 31, 2003, 04:56 GMT
In my dictionary (Webster's 7th) -- According to the pronunciation guide: the upside-down e is supposed to represent the schwa sound. Parentheses indicate that what is between is present in some utterances but not in others.

almond: 'äm-[upside-down e]nd, 'äl-m[upside-down e]nd
(strange that I have never heard anyone pronounce it without the L)

calm: 'käm. kälm

Don't ask me to translate those symbols into the ones you all use :) But it does list the ones without the L so I guess SOMEONE must say them that way! To me it would sound very strange indeed.

For handsome it has: 'han(t)-s[upside-down e]m
When I say it I realize that I do pronounce that D like a T

For sandwich it has: 'san-(d)wich