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- Pronunciation of the English alphabet 6 answers
I don't know too many languages, but the ones I know have more elaborate names for their letters than the monosyllabicity of names for English letters. (E.g. - I'll pick on Greek here - ay instead of alpha, bee for beta, etc.) How did these short names evolve, and when?
Further, why do nine of the letter-names (B, C, D, E, G, P, T, V, Z) end with "ee" (as in "bee"), while six others (F, L, M, N, S, X) begin with "eh" (as in "ef")? And why do (H, K, Q, R, W, sometimes Z) have less orthodox names? (Is "ar" for "R" a corruption of "ehr", perhaps?) "J" needs to be different, so as not to be confused with "G". The remaining ones (vowels, incidentally: A, I, O, U, Y) I understand as not possible to fit into any regular pattern.
Maybe the answer is simply that letter-names, like the language, are not logically created; rather evolved erratically. But I want to make sure. Does anyone have any answers?