In these lean times, drastic cost-cutting measures are needed on all fronts to improve the bottom line. To this end, I propose the following lay-offs to the English alphabet, which I have outlined below.
First, let me say that all 26 letters have a great deal of seniority, but surely we can all agree that some letters just aren't pulling their weight while others have been real multitaskers.
No one wants to add to the general misery by contributing to the unemployment problem. However, this proposal will reduce the alphabet to a lean and efficient 19 letters. That's close to a 27% reduction in over head! Think about the time savings in singing the alphabet song alone!
Let's begin with the vowels: A E I O U Y. Vowels are already strong players in the alphabet. However, I think we all can agree that Y simply muscled its way into this group to gain legitimacy. There is no work that Y does that I or IE cannot. So Y is out.
Let's take the consonants five at a time in order: B C D F G. Clearly B is doing a bang-up job and is irreplaceable. The same can be said for D and G. C, frankly, has gotten very lazy over the years. Sure in the early days, the dynamism of soft versus hard C sounds capture our collective imagination. But frankly, other more narrowly focused letters now do these sounds even better than C without the ambiguity. See you later, C and take your unitasking friend F with you. If we need an F sound, PH (e.g. phone) or GH (e.g. cough) will do just phine, thanks.
The next group is: H J K L M. I know that many of you will expect me to ax H. It's often silent and sometimes ignored (e.g. herbs), so why bother? I tell you why: H is a TEAM PLAYER, people. He's a company man. H will remain on-board working overtime to help shoulder the burden of replacing sounds from the weaker letters.
From my name, you might expect that J would get a free pass but you would be wrong. J is simply a mutated I and its soft sound can be handled well enough by G. Hit the road, Jack. The zen-like simplisticy of K is needed for hard C sounds, so it stays. L and M are sublimely unique, yet not rarefied. We'd be Lost in a Maze without them.
We come now to: N P Q R S. Is there a replacement for N? No. The same goes for P (who will see a lot more action replacing that lazy F) and R. S, already very popular, will get even more airtime filling in for soft C. Q is out; 'KW' is in.
Lastly we come to what are (for me) the most iconic letters: T V W X Z. T V and W are all Terrific and Very Well appreciated workers. The same cannot be said for X and Z. These low-performers are easily replaced. X comes in two flavors: soft and hard. The hard X sound can be replaced with 'EKS' combo. The soft X sound is the same as Z. We just don't have the resources for both. In truth, Z is pretty much a solution in search of a problem. A Z sound is a kind of grunted and squeezed S sound. Would going to the Soo be so much less fun than the Zoo? Not to me. Akse X and Z.
Let's review the streamed-lined alphabet for 2010:
A B D E G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W
There's no need to thank me, America. I was just doing my job.