31 Mar 2011

WHY Y ?

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

Mulling over something to write with Y, I realized that I didn't think (I mean with my brain) "why", but Ypsilon because in the German alphabet the Y is pronounced Ypsilon and apparently in this moment I was thinking in German. Suddenly I found out that in other languages it's also pronounced differently. The English "why" Y becomes "I greque" in French. Why do they say I greque the I pronounced E ? Now I became curious and asked Mr. G. how Y is spelled in Italian, because there are not a lot of words starting with a Y in this language. He looked at me as if I had transformed myself into a Yeti and asked me "Why" (Y) ! I told him I just need the pronunciation. After a long explanation starting from Adam and Eve's history he finally came to the conclusion that in Italian the Y is pronounced I (E) greco, nearly the same as in French. I stop here otherwise it gets boring.

There is a whole history about the letter Y. It first appeared as the Greek letter upsilon.The usage of Y in Latin dates back to the first century BC. It was used to transcribe loanwords from Greek. The Roman Emperor Claudius proposed introducing a new letter into the Latin alphabet to transcribe a short vowel before labial consonants and if you want to increase your general knowledge and know why Y only joined rather late our international alphabet just read it here.

I have learned enough.


"Do we have to know all the letters ? I don't use them all when I text"

27 comments:

Jo said...

Thanks for the lesson, you did well!

Jackie said...

yes thank you the letter Y in french is called "Ygreque" . That's how it is said but in words it's pronounced E like in Italian . I hope that didn't just confuse you :p That was interesting .

Kat said...

OOh I love your cartoon! As a teacher I get very upset when my students hand in papers with words spelt as if in text messaging! That really hits the nail right on!

jfb57 said...

Wow! Thank you for telling me about the ketter 'Y'. Didn't realise they all had a story to tell. Cheeky cartoons!

Trotter said...

Hi Gattina! Interesting post, amazing cartoons... ;)

I’ll be out next week, but Blogtrotter Two has something new for you... Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend and week ahead!!

Mara said...

And in Dutch there's another variation: the letter ij! I won't go into it, it might just confuse you more...

hip-chick said...

that is a lot of information about the letter Y. Very interesting.

diane b said...

Y would you want to know?

diane b said...

Y would you want to know?

Maribeth said...

Y Gattina, my head is spinning! lol!
Off to get groceries before another big blizzard! They expect 12+ inches of snow!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love your cartoon choices!

jabblog said...

Very interesting - I enjoyed the cartoons!

Loree said...

LOL those cartoons. Interesting facts about the letter Y.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I am glad to know I am not the only one who dwells of such things as this and pronunciation. I have recently been amusing myself with reviewing the phonetic symbols of sounds. I found this BBC site interesting http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/pron/sounds/vowel_short_5.shtml

It certainly made me aware that Canadians pronounce some words differently. We tend to distinctly pronounce the last letters of a word. The (upside down c sound in the above example is not as often heard at the end of a word.

RedTedArt said...

Now this definitely is an Ode to why! Brilliant!

Sue said...

Interesting stuff...and funny cartoons, too!

=)

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I wonder things like that all the time. The other day, the husband and I were musing about whether crows in other countries (regions of the U.S. for that matter) make the same sound or if they have the same accents as the people of the country. Also, if two crows from different areas can understand themselves.

Linens and Royals said...

"Y is a crooked letter and you cannot make it straight"
This is one of those maddening sayings from childhood told to children who asked 'why' too often.

A Lady's Life said...

Now we know Y lol

Melli said...

LOL! Lord! Now you've made my brain hurt! (and I didn't even find out what I wanted to know!)

Teresa said...

What a brainy Y post! Love the history/linguistics lesson. And that last cartoon just cracked me up!!!

Jenny said...

Informative, interesting and funny!

Love it!

Judie said...

All these Y's! All these languages!
This is an excellent post, Gattina.

Mari's World said...

I loved your post. I was goign to give you the Italian versionif you didn't come up with it :) Thanks for the laughs too via the cartoons :)

claudie said...

I could be the teacher showing the alphabet to the pupil!!!

Jingle said...

love your cartoon humor.
YEAH!
hurray for your Y.

Splendid Little Stars said...

This is really most interesting! --the origin and development of a letter!
The cartoons are great!