1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    W, consonant or double agent vowel?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Wreybies, Jan 30, 2009.

    Ok, fair warning, the following is super geeky. Ready?

    I have never really been convinced of the consonantness of the letter W. I feel it has the same kind of acy-ducy, play-for-both-teams kinda' thing going on as does the letter Y. (There is a word for these kinds of consonants, they are called approximants or semivowels)

    I was scanning through the Picture Wars thread and saw the repeated use of the word pwn(ed).

    Now, many may very well argue whether this word is valid or not, but under the umbrella of applied linguistics, the only test the word needs to pass is whether there is a consensus of agreement on the word's meaning. If there is, then word.

    I offer the following as evidence of consensus of meaning: Pwn

    In the word pwn and its derivatives, pwned, pwnage, etc., there can be no doubt that the letter W is serving as a vowel.

    So, what is it W? Consonant or vowel, or are you going to hang with Y and not decide? It's 2009, bro. Time to come out of the alphabetical closet.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    As far as I know, there are no dictionary words for which W itself, not as part of a dipthong, is used in a vowel context. This differs from Y; there are many words that use standalone Y in a vowel context.
     
  3. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    When learning english, my teacher explained to me that the 'w' was basically the combinations of the vocal 'u' (that's spanish u, not the english u [which is would be an 'iu' sound in spanish]) and whatever vocal goes after. I've heard people pronounce the 'w' harder as in a 'g' (for example, want could be pronounced both uant and gΓΌant). So I kinda consider the 'w' to be an extension of the regular 'u'. Also, see how it matches up callihgraphycally? V->U; W->2V->2U->(elongated U sound or simply U).

    PS:Sorry for the spanish comparisons, I really didn't know how to explain it otherwise :redface:.

    EDIT: Also, how would you pronounce 'pwn'? I've always pronounced it like 'pee-oon' but I've heard powning and simply 'own' when reading pwn.
     
  4. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    Pwn is just the misspelling of pawn. So you say it like you were saying pawn.
     
  5. Plushii
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    Plushii Member

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    Actually, "pwn" is internet slang, it's not really a misspelling of anything in that sense. Pwn means the same thing as "own", as in, like...a really bad defeat in something.

    Like if you where playing baseball or something, and you tripped on the way to home base, basically would you say "Hah! You got pwned/owned!"

    Yes, I spend too much time on the internet. :p
     
  6. zorell
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    zorell Contributing Member

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    I thought it was some kind of L33t reference.
     
  7. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    Yes, it's internet slang but it originated for the common misspelling of own (note the closeness to p), similar in origin to teh, with using !!!11 while being sarcastic, etc.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Etymology notwithstanding, the fact remains that the letter W functions as a vowel in the word.
     
  9. Plushii
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    Plushii Member

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    Hmm that's true. xD I didn't think about that one!
     
  10. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wrey...you must be REEEALLY bored! LOL
     
  11. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    I think I read somewhere he was a translator, and I imagine they think a lot about linguistics.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    When pwn gets accepted in a major dictionary of the English language, then we could legitimately state that W is "sometimes a vowel."

    However, I sincerely hope that day never comes, and pwn fades into obscurity as quickly as it rose into prominence.

    And may it take the majority of netspeak with it.
     
  13. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    Pwn is pretty old. According to wikipedia, it's 20 years old. I agree with Cogito, though, I don't want English to evolve to the one used in A Clockwork Orange.
     

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