English Lesson:

I'd like to, at this time, give a slight refresher on how some of the English language works, at least in the United States.

Let us look at the following words: "set", "sell", "sever", "seven". The first two use the vowel "e" pronounced as a "short" vowel, sounding like "eh". In the latter two words, the vowel "e" is used the same way. Therefore we have "seh ver" and "seh vehn". Please remember this last word, "seven", or "seh vehn".

Now, let us look at these words: "vent" "event" "even" "seven". In this group of words, the vowel "e" which occurs after each "v" is used as a "short" e, or "eh" sound. This vowel sound is not effected by the "v" before it, it just happens that these words contain a "v". The pronunciation of these words is then: "vehnt", "ee vehnt", "ee  vehn", and "seh vehn". Once again, please remember this last word, "seven", or "seh vehn".

Finally, let's do a quick review of what each counting numeral sounds like when it is read.  We'll do the first 7.
 1 "one" ("wuhn"); 2 "two" ("too"); 3 "three"; 4 "four" ("fore"); 5 "five" ("f yve"); 6 "six" ("sicks"); and 7 "seven" ("seh vehn").

Now then, with all these rules well in place for years, what is this word supposed to sound like:   "se7en"?

It looks to me like this would sound like "seh seven ehn", which is hard to say, let alone comprehend. Is this some attempt to make someone sound like they are in an echo chamber when they say it?  "See Sehsevenen, it will SHOCK you!!"  What must immigrants to the US, who are trying to learn our language, think when they see this? Imagine trying to sound this word out phonetically.
Maybe someone has come up with some new spelling rules which I don't know about (a distinct possibility); perhaps something like, "7's between e's will make sounds like v's". Does that mean they've redefined the symbol "7"? Is there no longer a numeral between 6 and 8? Or, is it just on sabbatical, and picking up some extra money on its off time? Or, maybe it's moonlighting in its spare time, and stealing work meant for the unassuming "v". (I know how Americans must love petty arguments and gossip injected into completely inane situations. Look at the number of people who watch shows like "Survivor". That last sentence was for them.)
It could make for some interesting new spellings.  Santa Claus will now come on "Christmas E7e", Steven can spell his name "Ste7en".  The Everly brothers are now the "E7erly brothers". However, I'm not sure I'd want to have to teach children the numbers above 10.  I mean, how does one explain "ele7en"?    What the heck is up with *that*? Since it looks like "v" is being downsized and then replaced by the more upright "7", perhaps we could employ it (at a smaller salary, of course) in the spot that "7" used to occupy. Then we'd have "1,2,3,4,5,6,v,8,9". Now, however we are starting to cross into Roman numeral territory, and I don't think I want to go there.  It also brings up the question of whether or not we'd use a capitol "v". And that brings up yet another question. Would we need to capitalize "7"? How would we do it? Since it probably would only occur between 2 "e's", however, that measure probably wouldn't be necessary.

I just thought I'd clear the air a bit on this. I mean, aside from the guesses I make above, the only other explanation that makes sense is that some nitwit came up with the word for a movie title, and that a large number of other people were either too ignorant or too lazy to point out this obvious poor use of language. Of course, we all know that that can't possibly be true.

Copyright (C) 2001, by Richard Dashnau
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