Posted by: Jack Henry | March 19, 2014

Editor’s Corner: Darkness Falls on L and K

I have one more selection for you from 8 Pronunciation Errors That Made the English Language What It Is Today by David Shariatmadari.

When L Goes Dark

A dark "l," in linguistic jargon, is one pronounced with the back of the tongue raised. In English, it is found after vowels, as in the words full or pole. This tongue raising can go so far that the "l" ends up sounding like a "w." People frown on this in non-standard dialects such as cockney ("the ol’ bill"). But the "l" in folk, talk, and walk used to be pronounced. Now almost everyone uses a "w" instead—we effectively say fowk, tawk and wawk. This process is called velarisation.

When K Goes Dark

A dark “k,” in Editor’s Corner jargon, is when I disappear from the face of the earth for a brief amount of time. I could be fulfilling my training requirements for the CIA; perhaps I am spending some much needed time organizing my garage for an upcoming sale; some might even say I am going on sabbatical to research more Editor’s Corner topics. Nobody is quite certain…and that is the mystery of the Editrix.

In the meantime, I hand over my precious contact list to Donna and Jackie and bid you adieu.

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

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