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When spelling, every letter in the Alphabet is pronounced by a single syllable, with the only exception of W being pronounced "double-U". (Fun fact, in German it's approximately pronounced like the "ve" in very, but in some strike of cosmic justice Y is pronounced "Yps-e-lon") Why is that? Is there any at least semi-officially accepted one-syllable alternative pronunciation of W?

I checked some related post, e.g. this one, but they are more concerned with the "Why?" instead of the "Why not different?"

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I heard many people using the pronunciation of "v" instead whenever the context is clear (like saying vvv instead of www when referring to a URL). –  canpolat Aug 7 '12 at 10:14
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So, um, what is the question we should answer? If it's the one in the title, then WWW is sometimes pronounced dub-dub-dub. If it's the "why is that", the answer can be found in this question, and the one linked from there, and on Wikipedia, too. And if it's "why not different", then I don't know how we can possibly answer that. Why don't we say "car" to mean "generosity"? –  RegDwigнt Aug 7 '12 at 10:14
    
@RegDwightАΑA sorry, I emphasized it now: Is there any single-syllable pronunciation of W that is more or less official? Actually swapping the meaning of car and generosity could make the world a better place - "I need my generosity fueled up, be car about it" :-7 –  Tobias Kienzler Aug 7 '12 at 10:20
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Thanks. "Some [...] shorten the name 'double u' into 'dub' only; for example, [the Universities of Washington, Wyoming and Western Australia] are all known colloquially as 'U Dub', and [VW] is sometimes pronounced 'V-Dub'. Many others, however, prefer to pronounce the w as dub-u, reducing it to two syllables. For example, www would be six syllables rather than nine, being pronounced dub-u dub-u dub-u. George W. Bush has been given the nickname 'Dubya', after the colloquial pronunciation of W in Texas." (Wikipedia) Not much we can add to that, I'm afraid. –  RegDwigнt Aug 7 '12 at 10:24
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@MarkBeadles No offence meant, I'd pronounce Y "why" in German in exchange :-P –  Tobias Kienzler Aug 7 '12 at 18:39
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3 Answers 3

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Sometimes if a university is located in the area which name starts with W, such university is called informally U-Dub.

This is the only case I can recall. But I don't believe that using "dub" instead of "double u" is common (or even exists) in any other context. Though I'm not a native speaker.

Here is quote from Wikipedia:

"Double U" is the only English letter name with more than one syllable, except for the occasionally used, though somewhat archaic, "œ" (its name is pronounced similar to "ethel"), and the archaic pronunciation of Z izzard.

Also, in Wikipedia, in addition to "U-Dub" example, it is mentioned that Volkswagen is also sometimes called "V-Dub".

As for the "but-why?!!" part of the question I guess nobody can answer you anything but: "for historical reasons".

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Some folks say dubdubdub for www, thereby achieving a 3:1 compression of syllables. –  tchrist Aug 7 '12 at 13:38
    
I've heard wahwahwah more frequently than dubdubdub, but neither very much –  jwpat7 Aug 7 '12 at 17:07
    
This is not exactly "semi-official" nor even stanadard. It's highy informal. –  Mark Beadles Aug 7 '12 at 17:18
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It does describe quite accurately what it looks like - a double v or a double u.

I can't find any historical guidance on why another word wasn't used, but it isn't unique: In Spanish it is 'doble-be', where 'v' is 'be'

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That is a bit Latin-American: in Spain it is uve doble, though only used in loanwords. –  Henry Aug 7 '12 at 11:03
    
Ahh - I did learn Spanish in the Falklands, so it probably was heavily biased towards Argentinian :-) –  Rory Alsop Aug 7 '12 at 11:04
    
That shape-description may be true, but you wouldn't call Y "Flux Capacitor Component", would you? :-P But yes, I understand that it's historically like this, I was just wondering if the was no alternative - BE vs AE pronounce Z different as well –  Tobias Kienzler Aug 8 '12 at 10:22
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In Primary School here in england, the kids often say the alpheabet like ah, buh, cuh, duh, eh,fu, guh etc. rather than Ay, Bee, Cee, Dee, Eee, Eff, Gee, following that primary school notation, DoubleU could be shortened to wuh.

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How could 'wuh' be distinguished from 'vuh' in that case? –  canpolat Aug 7 '12 at 16:52
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@canpolat You do know that in English "w" and "v" aren't pronounced the same? "wuh" and "vuh" would be distinguished by their first letter. –  Mark Beadles Aug 7 '12 at 17:20
    
@MarkBeadles Yes, I know they are not pronounced the same, but still the difference doesn't sound to be a significant one to me (I'm not a native English speaker). But if 'muh' and 'nuh' can be distinguished, I guess, it would also be possible for 'vuh' and 'wuh'... –  canpolat Aug 7 '12 at 18:14
    
@canpolat To fluent speakers v and w are entirely distinct, yes. –  Mark Beadles Aug 7 '12 at 18:27
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They are totally different sounds. In England, V is a Vee sound a W is a Wuh sound, so they are not interchangeable here –  David Watts Aug 8 '12 at 9:10
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