Monday, January 28, 2008

The Silent Letters

27 January, 2008
Watched the Australian Open Men's Singles final betweer Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. It was one of the more entertaining grand slam finals with the two players playing with aggresion for the ultimate glory. In the end the "Djoker" prevailed over the Frenchman Tsonga and became the first Serb to win a Grand Slam singles title. The result was good for tennis breaking the monotony of Federer winns.
However this post is not about tennis. Seeing the players' names on the screens, a thought crossed my mind. Why does Djokovic begin with a silent "D" and Tsonga with a silent "T". Why are there silent letters in the English dictionary at all. I mean if one does not pronounce these letters why have them in the spelling. I remember spelling knife as nif when I was small because I wrote it the way it sounded. And who was the persom who introduced this concept of silent letters. Must have been a real sadist to have deviced a way to torture generations of people with this crazy idea.
Then maybe this idiosyncracies give the language its appeal. After all, Amitabh Bachhan did once deliver the famous line "English is a very funny lamguage".