The Letter “C”

Posted on 18/06/2012

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the letter c alphabet

When I go on vacation, so does my brain. I become (even more) vacant than usual, but in a way I love it. Everyone needs a break and heads need holidays too. One of the things I enjoy most is doing nothing and although I do this back home, it’s twice as nice abroad.

After two weeks in Italy I found this note on my phone. I can vaguely remember writing it, but I’m not sure how or why I decided to…

Across Europe, there are so many ways of pronouncing the letter “C”. In some cases there’s a hard and fast rule, while in others it’s impossible to know – it all depends on the context, the position of the letter in relation to others:

  • Italy: equivalent to the “ch” sound in English
  • Spain, (especially Catalonia): a lisped “th” sound
  • France, UK: it depends… it can be a hard “k”, a soft “ch”, an “s” (e.g. cinnamon) or a “q” (e.g. cuticle, cubisme)

Typographically, the c is a cup shape; it mirrors the position the mouth has to make when pronouncing it. We have the same symbol, the same biology but totally different sounds associated. I think we do it on purpose.

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