On Fri, Jan 03, 2014 at 12:29:08PM -0800, Gary Shannon wrote:
> My rules defined a consonant sound as a consonant or cluster of
> consonants (e.g. "s", "st", "str" are all single consonants) and a
> vowel is whatever can follow a consonant. Since "m" is a consonant,
> and since "you" can follow "m" (e.g. "music") then "you" is a vowel.

Really? "m" a consonant? Hmmm... ;-)

You forgot the syllabic consonants. [m=] is actually a *word* in my
native language. Can a single consonant be a syllable, even a full

> True, there is no 1-to-1 mapping of letter to sound, but in all cases
> (I contend) "y" maps to some vowel or another, never to a consonant.

I contest your classifying letters (*ahem* sounds) like "m", "n", "r",
"l", "v", "z", "f", etc., as consonants. There's nothing whatsoever
wrong with the word "hmm", where "m" behaves like a vowel. I declare
that therefore "m" in English can be both a consonant and a vowel. ;-)

And what of "castle"? We all know the final "e" is silent, and thus the
word really should be spelt "castl". That is, I contend, the "l" is a

And if you live in the Northwest, you'd know words like "fatten" are
pronounced without "e" in the second syllable, but it's pronounced more
like "fatn". Therefore, I contend that "n" is also a vowel.

And what of "pfft"? The "f" there is obviously a vowel, according to
your definition. Therefore, "f" should not be called a consonant. ;-)

> Of course, I suppose the word "consonant" could be defined so as to
> include "y" as a consonant, but IMHO that's semantic gerrymandering.

I contend that defining "m", "l", "n", "f" as consonants is also
semantic gerrymandering. Obviously, the word "hmm" has the vowel "m",
the word "castle" has the vowel "l", the word "fatten" has the vowel
"n", and the word "pfft" has the vowel "f". Calling them consonants in
these words is the real semantic gerrymandering, I say. :-P


Mediocrity has been pushed to extremes.