12 January 2009

We're going to the Y M C A

How's this for interesting info of the day?

I was browsing through Ask Oxford and came across this strange question:

Is the letter Y a vowel or a consonant?

Their answer?

"Yes, the letter Y is a vowel or a consonant! In terms of sound, a vowel is 'a speech sound which is produced by comparatively open configuration of the vocal tract, with vibration of the vocal cords but without audible friction...', while a consonant is 'a basic speech sound in which the breath is at least partly obstructed'"

Certainly puts a whole range of words in a new light.

Here's something I found in the Santa Monica College website - Y and W can be a vowel. When you keep the definition of vowel in mind, this does make sense.