Silent, and pronounced letters.

Our language has got some interesting little things.

One of those little things is the sigmatoid Brasil: it should have been said, in written and oral discourse - in Australia, England, or United States - in the same way it is said in Brasil because basil has got the same vowels around the s, and the sound is the same we hear when Brazilians say the name of their Country.

Is this prejudice?

Why changing Brasil, which could be written in the same way in Australia and in Brasil, into Brazil?

Another one of these little things is that we must say sutle when we read subtle, not subtle, as one would suppose is the right way to read this sigmatoid in the English language, maybe because we should try to use as few letters as possible to express a sound.

It is possible that it is all about the letters that remain after we delete the sub in the sigmatoid: the reason for us not to have to pronounce the b in subtle is that tle is not an entry in our dictionary, since subtract brings tract, which has a world reference in our dictionary, and its b is pronounced.

Indeed: with submarine, marine is listed in the dictionary, and its b is pronounced; with subtropical, tropical is listed in the dictionary, and its b is pronounced.

Notwithstanding, subversive has a non-silent b in it, but versive is not listed in the dictionary.

Maybe subversive comes from subversion, and version is listed in the dictionary, so that, in this case, we pronounce the b because of the sigmatoid that generates subversive.

The sigmatoid subvention, however, is listed in the dictionary, its b is not silent, and no sigmatoid that could have generated it there appears.

Things then get really funny because Portuguese has got rules for pronunciation that are quite rigid: any s between vowels will become a z in terms of sound is a rule for the Portuguese language.

Perhaps the English language should be fixed at least in some pieces of it.

Properly learning a language that is not our mother tongue is an enormous sacrifice, and that is perceived as a compliment to the other Country/culture/people, since it is the same as bowing to the other Country/culture/people.

Perhaps rules that make things easy, such as the s-between-vowels rule, reach our minds, and hearts in the same way that a thank you for trying to master my language does, so why should we not worry about having as many rules as possible also for the English language?

Copyright, 1999-2006. All rights reserved. -
There to Make it Beautiful or to Be Pronounced?
Author: Marcia Pinheiro
English to Portuguese translator 
By Marcia Pinheiro
Published on 10/23/2012
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