language & grammarThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that the letter “E” shall no longer be spoken as an “A”

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 3421: A, E, I , O, U and sometimes Y. They have their own sounds. They have their own purposes. They are the blood in the veins of every word. It’s them versus twenty-one other letters and they hold their own. Let us not weaken them for the sake of vain affectation. “E” has always been one of our favorite letters. Double it and it can sing butterfly notes, like a mezzo-soprano on her wedding night; or, it can screech madness, like a hawk with flaming feet. Let it sit alone at the end of a word and it exerts force upon the less powerful letters, like a director’s shadow brooding in the wings. It is a strong letter…until some dippy robot comes along and, through yet another in a long line of current puzzling affectations, changes it into an “A”. The woman, for instance, who pronounces her own name of “Emma” as “Amma; “ the announcer, for another instance, who pronounces the call letters to a Philadelphia radio station (WMGK) as AM-GEE-KAY; the person who inadvertently changes the word “ember” to “amber” —  into a different word altogether…  For the love of God we don’t know how it became perceived as stylish to unhinge one’s jaw whilst speaking, but, it shall not continue.

The Punishment: These E-radicators will be taught how to make the proper sound by having their mouths carefully positioned, permanently, by the Imperial Orthodontist (who prefers iron appliances for this sort of obligatory speech therapy).

Have an axcellent day.

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning, whether you like it or not. 

Chris Matarazzo is a writer, composer, musician and teacher of literature and writing on the college and high school levels. His music can be heard on his recent release, Hats and Rabbits, which is currently available. Chris is also the composer of the score to the off-beat independent film Surrender Dorothy and he performs in the Philadelphia area with the King Richard Band. He's also a relatively prolific novelist, even if no one seems to care yet. His blog, also called Hats and Rabbits, is nice, too, if you get a chance...
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