Friday, May 26, 2006

Vowel movement

We're all familiar with the our English language's vowels, right? Just to recap, "E," "O," "I," I think... "A," I'm sure, sometimes "U," and "Y." Well, I've had to much time to think about other letters of the alphabet that are being snubbed by the vowel junta -- letters that would seem to meet the same phonic criteria to be admitted entry into that hallowed hall of Greco-Roman characters. In particular, I make my case for our friend the "R" today.

What is the criteria for a vowel? No matter -- it doesn't mean much to me, because this is more of an emotional argument. Vowels are categorized as letters whose sound is generated at the back of the throat, and under that criterion, I think that "R" should be allowed to escape the consonant ghetto.

Besides, how long has it been since we've had an alteration to our alphabet? Like, 800 years? We don't let our national monuments fester and putrify with age; why let the building blocks of our English language remain fixed and unchangeable? It's not as if the language is totally rigid -- its metaphorical amino acids shouldn't be either.

While we have the door open for the kindly, benevolent "R," could I possibly offer up the "W" as well? If "Y" gets the "and sometimes" tag, why is its close neighbor the "W" exempt from similar noteworthiness?