June 18, 2019

M. J. Maddox, PhD
is the American English Doctor.
 
Subscribe

.

c, q, x

Here are the “oddball” letters c, q, and x

Shakespeare called z an “unnecessary” letter, but letter c is probably more unnecessary.

C/c can stand for the sound /k/ as in cat and for the sound /s/ as in cent, but it has no sound of its own.

Q/q is another letter that has no sound of its own. In words of foreign origin, q usually occurs at the end of the word and represents the sound /k/, as in Iraq.

To be pronounced in an English word, q has to be followed by u. Qu represents the sound/kw/ as in queen and quick.

Xx
The letter x has no sound of its own.

At the end of a word, x represents the sounds /k/ and /s/ run together:/ks/ as in six.

At the beginning of a word, x represents the sound /z/ as in xylophone. In the constructed word X-ray, x says its name.