ph vs f in English

Question bringer   Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:44 am GMT
why photo, why not foto?
why fine, why not phine?
why fuck, why not phuck?
Paul   Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:54 am GMT
There is no consistent logic behind english orthograPHy...its an unorganized clusterfuck of letters, which even native speakers seldom master. Its best not to try to make sense of it.

Memorize the spelling and don't ask questions.
spiderman   Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:52 am GMT
ph when pronounced as /f/ is usually inherited from Graeco-Latin loanwards with "ph".
eastlander   Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:59 am GMT
Why not "Rudolf","Ralf","Randolf",but "Rudolph","Ralph","Randolph"?These names are of Germanic (Anglo-Saxon) origin,not of Graeco-Latin.
eastlander   Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:59 am GMT
Why not "Rudolf","Ralf","Randolf",but "Rudolph","Ralph","Randolph"?These names are of Germanic (Anglo-Saxon) origin,not of Graeco-Latin.
Vodaphone   Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:33 am GMT
Italian derives from Latin and uses F always, not the PH cluster.
Your message   Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:59 pm GMT
"Why not "Rudolf","Ralf","Randolf",but "Rudolph","Ralph","Randolph"?These names are of Germanic (Anglo-Saxon) origin,not of Graeco-Latin."

People spell their children's names the way they want. At some point they thought a 'ph' made those names more dignified.

French also spells "Rodolphe", "Adolphe".
Phreddie Mac   Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:00 pm GMT
If you really want words to look classy, use the 'gh' from words like 'cough', 'rough', 'laugh', and 'enough', perhaps in combination with 'ph':

- Ralgh
- ghine
- ophghice
- Pghaphgh
Phannee Meigh   Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:44 am GMT
Gho tio
Kutzin   Thu Nov 13, 2008 1:15 am GMT
I need to get a fone(phone),
I phly(fly) away from the State of Filadelfia(Philadelphia)

Skippy   Thu Nov 13, 2008 3:26 pm GMT
Philadelphia isn't a state.

Sorry. It had to be said. :-)
darras   Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:07 pm GMT
Very funny discussion thread!

Actually, I always understood that ph means the word originally derived from Greek. I understand the point about changing spelling for names to make them seem less Germanic, however.

Gh would only confuse a native English speaker like myself. We often use gh to represent the hard German sound /ch/ as in comic strip auggggggh!
(We do make the sound, although we don't know how to spell it since it doesn't occur in any English words.)

Interestingly, the playwright George Bernard Shaw was very interested in changing the English orthography and getting rid of ph, gh and several other inconsistencies. Nothing ever came of it. We are firmly attached to the idea of knowing where our words came from by the way we spell them.
ph hater   Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:34 am GMT


I really doubt why not spelling "Phrance" for France since "ph" is French origin?
red   Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:40 am GMT
Milton   Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:09 pm GMT
English: Fantasy
German: Phantasie

why is that