In a situation where you want to turn a real English word like "tracker" into a made up word (eg. for business or website name purpose), is there a preferred way of spelling it to ensure readers understand and pronounce it as you intended?

For example, instead of using a the word "tracker", which of the following would be preferred if either?

  • tracka
  • trackka

Or another example would be "clicker":

  • clika
  • clikka

Is there any difference in English language between single or double 'k' in terms of the phonetic pronunciation of words?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Robusto, Jason Bassford, Mark Beadles, Skooba, J. Taylor Nov 10 '18 at 22:56

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Multiple consonants signal that the vowel that precedes them is short. So, with "clika", a person might think it's supposed to be pronounced with a long i, as there is only one consonant between i and a. This is more relevant with "clika" versus "clikka"; in "tracka", there is are already two consonants, so doubling is not necessary. Doubling could make the reader think that it applies to both syllables; "clicker" is often pronounced as "cli-ker", but "clikker" suggest "clik-ker". If you want both the vowel to be clearly perceived as short, and the consonant to belong only to the second syllable, this can be accomplished by including the letter h: "clihka".

Also, in rhotic accents, the last "r" in "tracker" is pronounced, so "tracka" would not be perceived as be suggesting the same pronunciation as "tracker".

  • When you say a person may pronounce "clika" with a long i, do you mean that they might say it like "cli-ka" as in rhyming with "fly-ka"? – Bri Davison Nov 5 '18 at 23:59
  • @BriDavison: yes, exactly – Colin Fine Nov 6 '18 at 1:01
  • @BriDavison I was thinking more "clee-ka", but "cly-ka" is also a possibility. – Acccumulation Nov 6 '18 at 15:30

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