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Author Topic: divided by a common language  (Read 179 times)
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« on: September 07, 2017, 11:05:15 AM »

An interesting article, although I think it doesn't take into account the way that American itself is being changed by other languages such as Spanish and Yiddish. These influences are seen, for example, in pop songs which can soon spread around the world.

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~50 miles from Chicago, in the Corn (maize) Belt

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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 12:12:11 PM »

For better or worse, English has no academy controlling the language. So whilst the French ban the word hamburger and the Spanish decree the single letter elle will henceforth be two letters of ele, English just merrily changes every which way. Not content with linguistic piracy from other languages, English constantly neologizes. Some of the neologisms survive; most do not.

I find it interesting that an educated Greek can understand spoken Biblical Greek as well as read it: the Greek language has changed far less in two thousand years than English has changed in half that time.
a non-amos
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 12:44:04 PM »

Wow.  I had no idea that in Spanish the double L  "elle" was no longer considered a single letter.  Call me old school.

I wonder if this is confined to Spain or if it is also true in the New World.  Fodder for further research.  I have to wonder what if anything they will do about the letters "ch" and "rr".

- A

Carpe digitus.
(Roughly translated, this is possibly the world's oldest "pull my finger" joke)
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 04:58:28 PM »

As far as I know, rr and ch have gone the way of ll. My Spanish- English dictionary of 50 years ago has ch after c, and ll after l.

I've just googled...

Ask several Spanish-speakers how many letters there are in the alphabet and you'll get several different answers (with or without a song). Not everyone in the Spanish-speaking world agrees on what the official alphabet should look like. However, the Real Academia Espa˝ola, which is basically in charge of the official Spanish language, says it should look like this:

a, b, c, ch, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, ll, m, n, ˝, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z

Watch: How Spanish got its ˝
So in older Spanish dictionaries words beginning with "ch" are listed in a separate section after the rest of the "c" words, and words beginning with "ll" are listed after the rest of the "l" words. However, in 1994 the Royal Academy stated that for alphabetizing purposes "ch" and "ll" should not be considered distinct letters and so modern dictionaries do not have sections for them.

This brings the Spanish letter total to 29 due to the inclusion of the letters "ch," "ll," and "˝." Other Spanish-language sources will also include "rr" as a separate letter raising the possibility of a 30-letter alphabet. To make matters more confusing, still other sources don't count the "k" or the "w" since they almost always appear in words that originated outside of the Spanish language.

Fun Fact: The letter "e" is the most common letter in both English and Spanish.

Fun Fact: The letter "w" is the least used letter in Spanish.

So how many letters are there? The best answer is somewhere between 25 ("˝," but no "k" or "w") and 30 (the 26 you're used to plus "ch," "ll," "˝," and "rr.") Just to cover all the bases let's work with a 30-letter alphabet.
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