Are Chrain, Jrain, and Shchrain replacing Train, Drain, and Strain?

Many years ago, the school sent home a worksheet for a phonics exercise. One of our kids had written “jrag” for one of the words. My wife was confused until I pronounced it as written, then she said that was way the teacher would pronounce “drag”.

A British linguist and speech coach has noted that this sort of thing is going on around the English-speaking world. TR is becoming CHR. DR is becoming JR. STR is becoming SHTR or SHCHR.

Similar changes have already occurred with the “ty” and “sy” sound. Statue is pronounced to sta-chew not stat-you and issue is normally pronounced ish-oo, although some Brits still say “iss-you”.

Should English spelling be updated to reflect sound changes such as these?

Or should schools teach that these sound changes are substandard and need to be corrected?

Or is English evolving to the point where any relation between spelling and pronunciation is coincidental?

Modern English is all sorts of messed up. It’s also only a few centuries old.

Actually the problem is that English spelling frequently reflects pronunciations from 500 or 600 years ago, but English has changed tremendously since then.

Many languages have not changed as much as English, or they developed a written form more recently.

My sister majored in that area for one of her degrees. Over the course of a year (she wouldn’t shut up about it lol), I learned a ton from her on how it all came together into the Soup Sandwich we now speak and spell.

For example, “Knight” didn’t used to have three silent letters. :wink:

Language is ever evolving. In a few hundred years time we will speak differently to how we speak today.

In addition population has never been more mobile. Not only moving around the globe but interacting directly via modern communication methods.

100 years ago, if you walked up to any American and asked, “Hey, what’s up??” They would probably look up at the sky, then look at you like you’re the biggest ass they met that day. :wink:


Ha perfect example.

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A one world language, just like in the story of Babel. :smile:

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Yes, some Scottish dialects pronounce letters that have been silent in southern England for several centuries. Straight is STR-EYE-KHT in parts of Scotland.

Perhaps that is why Chaucer’s Middle English sounds like a Scottish dialect.

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Wacha gonna do?

By the way, if you people want someone to blame for how stupidly things are spelled in English, the French are right (ri-ch-t) over there. :wink:

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My favorite word is still queue…which is a q followed by four silent vowels.



“Why” lol

Yes, French spelling is almost as messed up as English spelling.

The difference is that it is usually possible to pronounce a French word correctly as written since there are rules about which letters are silent. The silent letters have not been pronounced for many hundreds of years.

Others are dropped in colloquial speech, but the contractions are rarely recorded in writing. My experience is that my high school French was based on written French, which is based on formal spoken French from hundreds of years ago. There is huge gap between spoken French and written French. “Je ne sais pas” (I do not know) is frequently pronounce “Chai pas” in spoken French.

Language warning:

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I’m re-reading the Canterbury Tales right now.

Although in modern English.

Still, it’s a font of vocabulary that requires looking up.