Funny Language

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Usually on Sundays, I make sure that I spend some of my free time playing along with my daughter, which fully charges me for the coming week. Apart from recharging myself and creating memories to cherish forever, it sometimes rather mostly keeps me busy for the coming days as well 😊😊. During this “we-time,” we play all sort of games like enacting a scene at the airport or at some holiday resort, playing with dolls (her favourite 😊) and many more, where we go into some kind of a fantasy world, off-course completely scripted by her.  

It was one of the lazy Sunday afternoons and as usual I was playing with my daughter. After a while, she asked me to read a book to her. She loves reading and generally this book reading session happens just before she goes to sleep, however, this time it suddenly came during the daytime. I quickly picked up my Kindle and opened a book called “Grandma’s Bag of Stories” by Sudha Murthy, which I had downloaded for her couple of days ago. We both were enjoying simple yet interesting stories from her about princesses, when suddenly my 7-year-old (now 9) asked me a simple but a very tricky question, 

Why do we pronounce Cycle as Cycle?” 

I was like, “what kind of question is that?”  

Then she explained her question,  

The word “Cycle” has two “Cs” and both are pronounced differently. Why?” 

I got really perplexed by the question and by looking at the expressions on my face, she assumed I have not understood her question yet, so she tried to explain herself again. 

She said,  

The word “Cycle” has two “Cs” one of them has a sound of “S” and the other one has a sound of “K.” Why?” 

Since I did not have the answer to her question, I simply and very honestly told her, 

Usually the alphabet “C” has a sound of “K” however in certain words it is pronounced as “S” also nonetheless I will try to find out more regarding this, as to when and why does its pronunciation change.” 

By admitting that I didn’t know the answer, I bought myself some time. I started asking all my colleagues and friends the same question. I checked with lot of people, however, did not get any success cracking it. With days passing and not being able to find out the answer, I felt like getting closer to my annual review without being prepared for a question like, “What were your achievements in the last year?” 😊 😊

After exhausting all the resources within my circle, I sought shelter in internet. I tried lot of websites but to no avail. Finally, after checking on all the sites that I could, I came across “BBC Learning English” where I got the perfect answer to my question. Thanks to BBC people!!! God bless you!!! They gave out a clear rule about it. 

Whenever a “C” is followed by “i,” “e” or “y” it is pronounced with a sound of “S” rest always it is pronounced with a sound “K.”  

I was really relieved to eventually get the answer and very confidently shared the same with my daughter. To confirm whether this rule is correct, she checked it with a couple of words and to my respite it worked out fine.  

It didn’t end there and like I had assumed this was only the beginning. Even before I could enjoy my victory over decoding the mystery behind different sounds of “C,” another question regarding different sounds of “G” was waiting for me and that too the very next day. 

I utterly agree with the statement that “English is a funny language” as it keeps surprising me every other day and off-course keeps me on my toes. 

***

14 comments

  1. She’s growing up to a very curious learner, Amit ! Keep at It and who knows we may all unlearn and re-learn English, thanks to the kids..

    By the way, have you started her on the “hole” books by Duckbill (all Indian authors). She would definitely like them..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such sweet writing …. and indeed English is a funny language …. sometime I wonder why couldnt it be just phonics why alphabets were needed. Unending rules drive me crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

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