I was given K. If you read the title and are drawn by the topic of sharp things, I’m sorry... but you will be disappointed. This is an attempt by someone who has no linguistics education to post something linguistically related on someone’s blog who is about to receive a bachelor’s degree with a minor in linguisticky things. (Oh, and I’m apt to make up my own words [and I love to make parenthetical statements, too*.])
Instead of shiny sharp subjects, I’d like to talk about the letter ‘K’. It really is an odd letter when you think about it.
C vs. K
If the alphabet were a place of employment, and I were in charge of eliminating a few of the letters (to make a more economical keyboard, dictionary, etc), ‘K’ would definitely have a lot to prove to keep its job, when considering its performance in the workplace. We’ve already got ‘C’ and it seems to be doing quite well. It even picks up some of ‘S’s tasks. ‘K’ seems to shadow ‘C’ around. It’s slacking.
|We aren't really sure what's happening|
in this pic, although it appears to be
Adam and Eve getting kozy with a K.
I dabble in a bit of graphic design. ‘K’ redeems itself in the area of beauty. It’s one of the areas of typography where an artist can really strut their skills with this fun letter.
K is Kool
I’m not sure how ‘K’ sneaks into other words where it doesn’t belong, though. How did it become prominent in replacing the letter ‘C’? Take for example the place that serves lovely warm donuts... Krispy Kremes. What was the motivation of this company to replace ‘C’ with ‘K’... twice? Are ‘K’s really that much more exciting?
We could also gate crash CheekySu’s theme of names: Katherine, Karl, Kris... it seems you just replace ‘C’ for a ‘K’ and you get a unique name that will have everyone questioning the spelling, because of unconventional parents.
How does ‘K’, which seems to stick both arms out for attention like a ADD kid, become silent? Knight, knowledge, knock... I tried Googling™ the term “Silent K”, and only came up with the answer that it comes from some old English which carried over from borrowed Germanic words that we never gave back and kept the pointless ‘K’. Apparently, it was originally pronounced as a voiceless velar plosive (not sure how you achieve such a oral sound), but was dropped like vowels in a teenage text message. You’re all lazy for not pronouncing the ‘K’, young people born after the 1400s with no respect for preserving the beauty of language.
I’d like to hear what you have to say about ‘K’ in the Komments.
*- and a footnote just for fun.