Sound off with the letter “K“. Of the 26 letters in our alphabet the eleventh letter is one of the least used yet one of the strongest pronounced letters. The strong hard sound comes from the throat and is pushed out. This is the same action that is used to dislodge a piece of popcorn stuck in the back of the mouth. Imitating a chicken is another way to make the sound of “K” . Cluck, cluck ,cluck!
Many of the words beginning with the eleventh letter or eighth consonant come from languages other than English. For example the word kayak, a word primarily spoken by Eskimos was adopted into our language. A kayak is a small one man boat. Perhaps you have taken a popular Japanese martial arts class in karate. Or picture a jumping Australian marsupial carry a baby in its pouch. The word kangaroo came to our language from this island continent down under.
Down through history the Egyptian symbol of an open giving hand gave the letter “K” its beginning. The Greeks redrew the open hand symbol, labeled it “k” and called it kappa. We often use this letter today in our everyday ‘slang’ language. “OK” means alright or everything is fine. The boxing term “KO”applies to how a boxer wins a boxing match. A ‘K9’ corp refers to dogs which have undergone special training to help people. Immediately following an earthquake a ‘K9’ corp will come in to search and rescue survivors buried in the rubble of collapsed buildings.
Almost always the letter “k” uses a pronounced hard sound . The letter which is the leader of more than 35 words that begin with ‘ king’ becomes silent when preceding the letter ‘n’! Let’s take a quick comparison of “K” words. King -Knight Kit-Knit Kob-Knob Kick-Knickers. Just for clarification a kob is an orange- red antelope of South Africa. Of course there are many words that we use with ‘kn’. For example one dictionary listed over 90 different words that begin with ‘kn’. Some of the more familiar words are knapsack, knee, know ,knife, and knuckle. Remember that the “k” is silent when written before the letter ‘n’.
As explained previously the letter “K or k”, large or small, is consistent with only one exception . The hard strong sound is in almost every word our language has adopted. The Hindu color khaki refers to casual pants for men and women. Many young children attend kindergarten which is a German word for preschool. A kilt, a plaidskirt worn by men in Scotland can also refer to a women’s skirt in our language. An unusual word from the country of Turkey, kismet has been adopted into our language. It means your destiny.
And so perhaps this is your kismet- to look and to listen for “K” words that have been adopted into our language. Try finding a kraken in a kayak. OK?
STRETCH YOUR BRAIN
- Trivia : What is a kiwi?
- Activity: Draw a picture of a key or a kite.
- Tongue Twister: Kathy kindly keeps King Kappa’s keys. ( repeat 3X)