Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Silly Factoid by Don McCabe

There's a funny "g" in king but not in kink.

Why is it we always say and hear that funny "g" or "ng" digraph in Bang, ding, king, flung, sling, Ming, ping, ring, sting, sing, and wing? But when we add the /k/ sound to spell these words, we drop that g when we change bang to bank, ding to dink, king to kink, flung to flunk, ping to pink, ring to rink, sting to stink, etc. Note carefully that we don't just add the /k/ to ban to get BAN'k. We say bang'k when we read bank. In the words that have a base of more than one syllable, the nk digraph (which should be a k after the ng digraph) becomes the nc digraph as in Lincoln, uncle, carbuncle, but not ankle.

In ordinary speech the sound "ing" in the word sing is enunciated, but when it comes to the word singing, only the first ing is always enunciated. Most of the time it's pronounced "singin'. The suffix ing is pronounced in speech as "in" more often than not.

Strange. You hear the ng digraph but can't see the g in the word drink. You can always see the ng in the suffix ing but you usually only heard the /in/ when it's spoken as drinkin'.

Read the Rest of the AVKO Blog | Visit the AVKO Website

No comments:

Post a Comment