White Flag -- "rythm", no vowel in

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Tue Mar 20 01:25:06 UTC 2012

I recall only "y," but Googling shows that some teachers toss the "w" in.

The Grammar Girl covers it at http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/when-is-w-a-vowel.aspx, basically saying that "w" is a vowel when used in a diphthong like in "how" or "show."

In really vowel-y languages, that definition of a vowel will give you trouble (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vowel), but it seems reasonable for English :)

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

On Mar 19, 2012, at 3:01 PM, Larry Sheldon wrote:

> I am really going to have to show my ignorance now.
> When I was little, the officially sanctioned vowels were "AEIOU and
> sometimes W and Y".
> All theses years since I have (when four-leaf clovers are plentiful)
> searched for an occurrence of an English "w" making what seems to me to
> be a vowel sound (what ever THAT turns out to mean), and one of "y" that
> does not.
> (For me, a "vowel sound" is one that allows me to pronounce successive
> sharp-edged consonants.)
> Would somebody pleas point me to an example of each?

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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