Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 year ago

Why is colonel spelled the way it is, yet pronounced kernel?

22 Answers

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  • YKhan
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Due to changes in the way people speak English in different parts of the world, the pronunciation changed. The Brits still pronounce it "colo-nel" (like the first couple of syllables of Colorado). In North America, the second "o" eventually became silent, so it eventually became "col-nel", and then eventually "ker-nel".

  • 1 year ago

    Lots of words end up sounding the way they do because spoken language changes more rapidly than written language does. That phenomenon shows up most strongly in older words and military use tends to be among the most persistent. I like the way the video describes the process.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_enn7NIo-S0

    Youtube thumbnail

  • 1 year ago

    English is replete with instances of words that are not pronounced as a phonetic rendering of their spelling might indicate. My favorite is the name,]

    "Cholmondeley" which the Brits call "Chumley."

  • 1 year ago

    First attested 1548, from Middle French coronnel, from Old Italian colonnello (“the officer of a small company of soldiers (column) that marched at the head of a regiment”), from compagna colonnella (“little column company”), from Latin columna (“pillar”), originally a collateral form of columen, contraction culmen (“a pillar, top, crown, summit”), o-grade form from a Proto-Indo-European *kel- (“to rise, be elevated, be prominent”).

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/colonel

    The French people converted the word to kernel.

    https://www.scienceabc.com/eyeopeners/colonel-pron...

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  • 1 year ago
  • 1 year ago

    Because "colonel" contains a silent, invisible "r." And, when you use a silent, invisible "r," the "c" is pronounced like a "k," the first "o" is pronounced like an "e," and the "l" takes on the sound of the silent, invisible "r," and second "o" becomes a silent "o." I studied word origins at the Tijuana Institute of Technical Studies, attended the French Academic Restoration & Translation Symposium, and I belong to the Association of Symbiotic Studies. So, I should know.

    • All hat
      Lv 7
      1 year agoReport

      You have simply repeated the asker's question. Not answered "why" those letter formations have arbitrarily changed in their pronunciation.

  • 1 year ago

    The word's language source dictates its pronunciation. Check out this site: https://teachinghistory.org/history-content/ask-a-...

  • John P
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    It is a word brought into English from French, spelled "colonel" in French. In the days of the poet Milton, in the mid 1600s, it was pronounced as "coll-on-ell".

    Many military ranks in English have names directly from French, or with only minor changes.

    Note that in Britain "lieutenant" is pronounced as "leff-tenant" but in the USA as "loo-tenant". In the original French it is pronounced as "lee-err-t(uh)-no(r)" - actually hard to render for an English speaker who does not know French.

  • 1 year ago

    Easy to find out. Just put 'pronunciation of colonel' in your search bar and read what you find. No reason for me to repeat information that's already been written about.

  • Logan
    Lv 4
    1 year ago

    Because its french...

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