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A “Thorn” In My Side

A “Thorn” In My Side

It always bugs me when people try to be cutesy in an old-town way by putting up signs saying things like “Ye Olde Coffee House” or “Ye Olde Cinema” or something equally silly. For whatever reason, something always seemed wrong about it to me, and now I know why. It’s because… well, it’s because it really is wrong. That “y” is supposed to be the runic letter Thorn — Þ (uppercase)...

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Why “gh” Is Weird In English

Why “gh” Is Weird In English

Holy cow! This has been bugging me for a long time, and for whatever reason, I never bothered to look it up. Why are some words spelled with a “gh” in them, but you rarely pronounce them like they’re spelled? The “gh” is almost always either silent or pronounced like “f”. Does that make any sense? Turns out, and this should’ve been obvious, that “gh” is the English equivalent to...

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