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Weird Spellings / Pronunciations


Baburra
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I've always wondered why the word "colonel" is spelled that way when the pronunciation is far different from how it's spelled (Cour-nel). Of course, being used to it, I don't really mind as much, but I can't help but think that it would have been a million times simpler had it been just spelled out the way it is pronounced or vice versa meaning just pronounce it CO-LO-NEL instead.

Any other examples of these? Why do you think colonel was decided on to be spelled like this?

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This got me intrigued and I checked. What I found was this:

Today's word originated in Italian as colonello, the leader of a regiment but perhaps originally the leader of a column, colonna in Italian. When the French borrowed this word, it didn't like so many Ls in the word and so by a process called 'dissimilation', replaced the middle L with an R: coronnel. This occurred around the middle of the 16th century, about the time English borrowed it. Notice the pronunciation is very similar to that of kernel at this point, since the middle unaccented O would be overlooked even in normal speech ('LVS'). By the end of the 16th century, scholars realized that the French were spelling this word incorrectly, and changed the spelling back to colonel. Speakers, however, most of whom could not read, did not get the message and continued to pronounce this word cor'nel.

It all comes down to failed grammar and modern norm lol. Basically the word was misspelled and because of the norm they retained the pronunciation.

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This is a really interesting read. I would like to add on that there are certain languages in the world that do not like to use either the L or the R. Malawi is a country in africa. The name of the country was/is Maravi, but this got lost in translation as it was being written by the british who could not hear the R in their pronunciation and ended up spelling the countries name wrong.

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The word that comes to mind just now is sleigh. There are many words that are not pronounced the way they are spelt :confused:. This is mainly because these words are not originally English words.I think this is one of the reasons why the Enhglish language is so interesting :cool:.

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The word that comes to mind just now is sleigh. There are many words that are not pronounced the way they are spelt :confused:. This is mainly because these words are not originally English words.I think this is one of the reasons why the Enhglish language is so interesting :cool:.

Well the majority of words in English are taken from languages like German, French and Latin.

I've said it many times that in my opinion English is one of the hardest languages. Over the years I've studied many languages including Farsy, Arabic, Japanese, German, Greek and most people might find it surprising, but from all those languages that I mentioned English is probably the hardest. I'm saying this from personal experience :P

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