Thursday, April 24, 2014

The silent "b"

Consistency, English ain't got. For example:

sing, sang, sung

ring, rang, rung

bring, brought, brought

Particularly vexing is the "omb" combination.

bomb is a homonym for balm.

comb rhymes with home.

tomb rhymes with zoom.

The "b" plays the role of the ideal child, seen but not heard.  If that starts seeming sensible to you, as the first two are both nouns and verbs consider their present participle and juxtapose that with trombone, where the "b" is blared out.  Apart from the critical role played when in its musical presence, one wonders, is the "b" needed at all?

The answer requires subtlety, no doubt.

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