Mind your X’s and Q’s

Today I would like to direct your attention to my latest article on TheWeek.com:

The perplexing pronunciations of words with X’s and Q’s

Wherein I talk about how and why q and x are pronounced in many different ways in different languages.

3 responses to “Mind your X’s and Q’s

  1. A small addition. My own linguistic research had been based in a village in Austria where they speak a Slovenian dialect in which original /k/ changed to a glottal stop. Right form the start of my work there I used the IPA symbol (the question mark sans period) in linguistic writing but whenever I wrote to villagers (and encouraged them to write) in their own dialect, I used “q” for the glottal stop. I cannot recall whether this was my own idea or some predecessor’s — probably the latter. Anyway, the practice is now quite common in all the villages where they have this sound and wish to type it.

  2. Off topic.
    Your index of words doesn’t have “dildo”.
    I just posted on a funny Elizabethan song that uses the word as a refrain:
    The post also links to a great bawdy poem by Thomas Nash, but I hadn’t done the word justice, so I came here for insight. Any?

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