Wednesday, April 21, 2010


We need to fix an anomaly in our alphabet.  Every letter but one has a name of one syllable;  read them off and you will find the guilty party boasting not two, but three syllables to its name.

Yes, it's "double u".  You'd think it would be double-v anyway, but let's not get off topic.  We've let this go on for a long time because W sits so near to the end of the alphabet that we're not thinking of uniformity by the time we get to it, we're just waiting for Z.  Our children's alphabet poem is no help in teaching consistency because it already suffers from such rhythmic irregularities as "elemeno-pee".

Well, the time has come to set things right:

    W, we dub thee "Dub".

Apart form the peace of mind that will come from having an equisyllabic alphabet, think of the savings.  With over a billion Internet users, if each one says "dub dub dub" instead of "double-u double-u double-u" only once a day, it will save us 365 billion seconds each year.  Dude, that's 100 million hours -- more than enough to make up for the time spent building a library for our 43rd president.  Who, by the way, shall henceforth be known simply as "Dub".

Here's a poem to commemorate the event, but I hope someone will do better...

        Friends, though I'd rather not trouble you,
        The time's come to rename our W.
                One syllable per letter
                Would simply be better;
        Let "Dub" be the new name for W

1 comment:

  1. (This is Yoshiki, in case it doesn't show the id...)

    My 2.33 years-old daughter only speaks Japanese but can pick up some sound in English songs and repeat it. Her version of it is still something like "elo-elo-pee" but I look forward hearing her saying it correctly "elemeno-pee"!

    In regards to www, Japanese people are notorious to truncate foreign words, and it is indeed read as "dub dub dub" (or "dabu dabu dabu").

    Italian may think that they are the heir of the inventor of the latin alphabet, and their "W" is indeed "doppia v" (as you know). Their "J" is "i lunga", or "long i"). So somebody messed it up quite badly in the past...