Author Topic: Spelling letters phonetically without using the letter  (Read 304 times)

Offline JackLay

  • New Linguist
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Spelling letters phonetically without using the letter
« on: December 25, 2018, 12:04:12 AM »
Hello,
New to the forum, so i hope i'm posting this in the right place.
Is there a way to manipulate the sounds of the English language in a way to spell letters the way they're called without using them?
The hardest i can think of off the top of my head would be letters like B, N, M, etc.
While Letters like A, C, E, etc are fairly easy to write in this manner.

Offline Daniel

  • Administrator
  • Experienced Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 1801
  • Country: us
    • English
Re: Spelling letters phonetically without using the letter
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2018, 10:16:13 AM »
English spelling really doesn't follow any strict rules, so you can pronounce names however you want. I guess that could apply to naming letters too, so if you want to pronounce the name "Z" as "A" then you can do that. But no, there is no obvious or clear way to spell out some letter names like "B" without using those letters. I don't see why you'd want to do that, though.
Welcome to Linguist Forum! If you have any questions, please ask.

Offline panini

  • Linguist
  • ***
  • Posts: 144
Re: Spelling letters phonetically without using the letter
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2018, 11:00:56 AM »
All I have to add is that you can manipulate sounds, but sounds cannot spell letters. Words are spelled with letters (in some alphabet: there are many alphabets); words typically have some associated sound. Individual letters are self-spelling, for example b is spelled "b", x is spelled "x". In English, k has a name which is pronounced [kɛɪ], and the name of the same letter in Norwegian is pronounced [ko]. You could manipulate letters according to the rules of English spelling and spell the name of k as "kay" or "cay", likewise in Norwegian you could spell the name of the letter "kå". My point is that sounds, letters, names and spelling are different things. If I was forced to spell the name of the letter "b" without using "b", I would write it as "бe", maybe "βe" or "ᛒe" (Fuᚦark is usually considered a different alphabet), and hope that people could figure it out.



Offline JackLay

  • New Linguist
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Spelling letters phonetically without using the letter
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2018, 03:16:07 AM »
But no, there is no obvious or clear way to spell out some letter names like "B" without using those letters. I don't see why you'd want to do that, though.

This is where i hit a wall, letters with names that start with the sound that they make. As to why i'm doing this, i don't really have a reason. It just came into my head a couple days ago and i've been obsessing over it since.

You could manipulate letters according to the rules of English spelling and spell the name of k as "kay" or "cay", likewise in Norwegian you could spell the name of the letter "kå". My point is that sounds, letters, names and spelling are different things. If I was forced to spell the name of the letter "b" without using "b", I would write it as "бe", maybe "βe" or "ᛒe" (Fuᚦark is usually considered a different alphabet), and hope that people could figure it out.

Thanks for clarification. I did mean spelling the name of the letters, but couldn't think of a way to phrase it well at the time. You helped me big time by introducing "βe", "ᛒe", etc. as i never thought to us a foreign alphabet before.