0

We pronounce most of the characters as if they were words and not characters. For example,"C" is pronounced as "See" but when used in a word, we pronounce it as "K". This is the same case with other characters too.

So my question is, why not pronounce single characters the same way as they are pronounced in words?

In this question, it is answered how we started to pronounce single characters differently. Why not pronounce them in a similar way? It's thus easier to learn for children. Also many(or maybe most) languages use similar pronunciation.

Does anyone know why it evolved in such a way?

marked as duplicate by Janus Bahs Jacquet, RegDwigнt Jan 29 '14 at 13:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 2
    Letters of the alphabet have names. The name of the letter k happens to be /kɛɪ/ in English. In French, it happens to be /ka/; in Danish, it happens to be /kɔːˀ/; and in Greek, the corresponding letter, κ, happens to be named /kapa/. K is not pronounced /ka/ in any word in the English language, ever. It is pronounced /k/ in words. I don’t understand what your question actually is, or if there even is one—if anything, it appears to be a mixture of the English language and abugidas such as Devanāgarī. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 29 '14 at 13:08
  • 2
    Language change is a strange thing in that it happens all the time, yet it's next to impossible to force it. We use the strange letter names because that's what everyone else does. It's a Catch-22. No one prevents you from calling an A an "ah", or a 2 a "three", or a cat a "grandma", but you'll need a critical mass of people for it to have any effect whatsoever. Worse still, written language is always an approximation and a compromise, and so would be your new system, so you wouldn't even be gaining as much as you think you would. – RegDwigнt Jan 29 '14 at 13:25
  • 2
    Your example is still incorrect :) The letter C is pronounce as /s/ or as /k/ in a word, never as /see/ or /ka/. In the word "caliber", the letter C only represents the /k/ sound, the letter A cannot be removed, it separately indicates the /a/ vowel. – oerkelens Jan 29 '14 at 13:27
  • 3
    @oerkelens, and then there are the cases, of course, where c is pronounced neither /s/ nor /k/, such as when it’s part of the digraph ‹ch›, which can be pronounced both /t͡ʃ/, /ʃ/ (or to some speakers even /ʤ/ in some words), and /x ~ k/. All of which just goes to show that pronouncing the name of a letter “as it’s pronounced in words” is not realistic in English: there is no letter in the English alphabet that can be pronounced only one way in words. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 29 '14 at 13:34
  • 3
    We can just cut to the chase and sum up Janus's comment and mine to say that letters are not pronounced at all. It is not letters that are pronounced, it is sounds that are written down. Spoken language is primary. So the name of each letter is not its sound by design, by definition, and in all writing systems, not just English. And since the name of the letter A is but a name, it might as well be Susan. All that matters is that when I use the name, you understand which letter I mean. – RegDwigнt Jan 29 '14 at 13:42

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.