[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Penelopognathus

Barry Kazmer (bkazmer1@gmail.com) wrote:

<I always questioned the word Agnostic in school. If a person who knows of the
existence of something is called a Gnostic (Silent G) why are non-cognoscenti
called AG ? nostic with a harsh g sound after the a. I used to argue that we
should be called A - nostic and have the silent G still. Therefore, I think I
agree ? it is the polarity! I am positive and they were negative! In more ways
than one! ; - )>

  I am not sure, but while the Gnostics (those who chose not to believe), who
wrote in Greek as well as Aramaic, would have been familair enough with Greek
to speak it, they were probably GNOS-tiks. English as a force of bad habits
likes to corrupt foreign words, so -gn- was pronounced only when proceeded by a
vowel in which "g" would then end the preceeding syllable and "n" begin the
succeeding syllable. Similarly a silent letter doesn't mean we shouldn't right
with it, wat with all those wales in the see and us without our lafter. Take
the word "knight" with three useless "silent" letters ;); "nit" is no more
elegant (more and words ending in silent, though modifying "e" are further
examples). English has been modified as a spoken tongue not to mention a
written one where letters formerly pronounced even in London are no longer done
so. We retain the silent "e" as enunciated in classical intransitive verbs like
"knighted", or "lame" becomes transitive with "lamed" and was classically
pronounced "laym-ehd".


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page