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Words With Silent B

The word climb has been sneaking by with that silent b for a while. But speakers of Old English pronounced the b in its predecessor, climban. This is part of a complete episode.

Silent S in Island

If you were stranded on a desert island, wouldn’t you get to thinking how odd it is that we don’t pronounce the s in island? It was added during the Renaissance in an attempt to make the word look more like its Latin source, insula. This...

Silent K

Did we ever pronounce the “k” sound in the words “knot” or “know”? The now-silent k underwent apheresis, from Greek meaning “to take off.” In olden days, the word knight also had an initial-k sound...

Silent E Word Quiz

Our Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a word game about words with a silent “e” and their “e”-sound counterparts. For example, a walking stick and someone good at judging situations might be a canny guy with a cane. Or a guy with a...

box office

box office  n.— «There are swept tip designs that lessen the factors contributing to noise and some noise canceling technology has been tested inside the cockpit (or “box office” if it’s a female crew [g]).» —“Re: Silent...