Why Do We Read Some Letters Like C and X Differently?

by Ibrokhim

Why do we read some letters like C and X differently?

For example the word "xerox" (a process for producing copies using a special machine). The first letter is X, but we read it like Z.

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Mar 16, 2013
by: Chelsey

There are many letters and letter combinations in the English language that make more than one sound depending on how the word is spelled.

1. The letter "a" in apple makes a short "a" sound.
2. The letter "a" in cake makes a long "a" sound.
3. The letter "c" in circus has two sounds. The first "c" is soft and sounds like an /s/. The second "c" is hard and makes a /ck/ sound.
4. The suffix "ed" in shipped sounds like a /t/.
5. The suffix "ed in rained sounds like a /d/.

There are many exceptions to spelling and phonics rules in English. Some letters, like the vowels, sound different depending on if they are alone or combined with other letters to make blends.

This makes English both interesting and confusing!

Why are there so many differences?

The English language is made up of words that have been borrowed from other languages (Latin, Spanish, French, Native American, British English, and more) as well as original American English words and slang.

Check out this article about the word formation process.

Here's another great article about phonology in the English language that discusses words borrowed from other languages and vowel/consonant sounds.

I hope this helps answer your question!

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