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Re^4: My favorite silent English letter is:

by gregor42 (Parson)
on Mar 06, 2012 at 15:26 UTC ( #958095=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^3: My favorite silent English letter is:
in thread My favorite silent English letter is:

Concerning "giraffe":

I highlighted the second 'f' to indicate which letter was the silent one. This was an attempt to be consistent with other examples appearing on the list.

Source: "The final ⟨fe⟩ in giraffe gives a clue to the second-syllable stress, where *giraf might suggest initial-stress."

Concerning "halfpenny":

I was, admittedly, referring to the American-English pronunciation wherein I have yet to ever hear "hay-penny" but instead hear something closer to "haff-penny". Based on that experience the 'l' is dubiously silent.

I will not be lured into a test of yellow arcs regarding American vs. British usage of a commonly misunderstood language however. Let us instead both smirk at how odd we appear to each other & move on, enriched by the knowledge.



Wait! This isn't a Parachute, this is a Backpack!


Comment on Re^4: My favorite silent English letter is:
Re^5: My favorite silent English letter is:
by mertserger (Curate) on Mar 06, 2012 at 17:23 UTC

    Sadly the pronunciation I have written as "haypenny" is on its way out in England as we no longer use the coin. It joins other odd pronuciations such as "tuppence" "thrupence" etc as we now use "two pee" and so on. Back in the day, my pocket money was a thruppenny bit, a strange yellowy twelve-sided coin.

    I have just checked with my teen-aged son and he's never heard the "haypenny" pronunciation

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