Alex (electricdruid) wrote in linguaphiles,
Alex
electricdruid
linguaphiles

Alphabetical Order and the Letter Y

I assume this is okay to post here. If not please let me know.

I have beein thinking about the (English) alphabet. These questions may not have definitive answers, but if y'all would think about them with me, that'd be cool.

First- is there a reason that the letters of the alphabet are in the specific order they are in? How did they get to be in that order? Aside from the fact that it allows us to alphabetize things, why is it important that they always occur in the same order?

Second- I don't know about you but when I learned my alphabet I learned which letters were vowels- "A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes Y." Did you learn this too? Where did you grow up? Why is Y only "sometimes" a vowel? I had always thought, growing up, that it was because one can prounounce the letter Y in different ways, but isn't that true for quite a few letters? Or isn't it at least true for all vowels? Is it still taught this way, or has it been decided that it either is, or isn't, a vowel since I learned my alphabet?

Thanks. Sorry if these questions make me sound like a lunatic :)

Tags: american english, english
Subscribe

  • The Australian Vernacular... Mate

    Here's an article about Australian slang words, tacked onto a story about an ex-pat USA citizen grappling with what looks & sounds to be the base…

  • translations of the Bhagavad Gita

    An old friend was talking with C and me lately, and she expressed an interest in learning more about the ideas behind yoga, and particularly about…

  • Why say Sunday Blues?

    When you can use a German-derived term that Germans speakers themselves probably don't use

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 27 comments

  • The Australian Vernacular... Mate

    Here's an article about Australian slang words, tacked onto a story about an ex-pat USA citizen grappling with what looks & sounds to be the base…

  • translations of the Bhagavad Gita

    An old friend was talking with C and me lately, and she expressed an interest in learning more about the ideas behind yoga, and particularly about…

  • Why say Sunday Blues?

    When you can use a German-derived term that Germans speakers themselves probably don't use