AM in the PM: Open Letter to the Alphabet

Alex M. Hounchell

I would like to make a formal request to remove q from the alphabet. Q is the most unnecessary letter. Q is like different shaped marshmallows in an already sugary cereal. In this sense q is just a Special K.

Back to the marshmallow analogy. It is unnecessary and, by god, it’s a waste of space. Children ultimately only care about the marshmallows being there and half the time they can’t even tell what the marshmallow is supposed to be.

On the same note, aren’t there enough letters with a rotated variant of the lowercase letter b. The alphabet already has b, d and p; do we really need q. All this does is confuse hundreds of children. For the sake of learning English, it would make more sense to lose q.

Even on a keyboard, it is all the way in the corner like the push lawnmower kept in the corner of the garage. It’s like English speakers want to be able to say, “Oh, we have that thing, just in case.” Except, it isn’t necessary.

For the sake of not taking everything away, the symbol doesn’t need to be done away with. The sound and grammatical rules of q can be changed. That way people don’t have to take two tiles out of every scrabble game.

What the English language needs is at least one symbol dedicated to double vowel sounds. Why do we need q when we have no symbols to indicate a “oo” or an “ae” or any long stressed vowel sounds. That way English can keep its malformed o and backwards p.

What will replace q? Interestingly, there isn’t a single word in the English that has q all on its own. Every instance of q is followed by the letter u. Quit, quiet, quill, quarter, quantum and question are all examples of this.

The “qu” can easily be replaced with “kw” since those are both preexisting letters. Take quail as an example. Now replace it with kwail. Now, do the reverse to see how inefficient q look. Kale is an example a k’s versatility. Switching with q makes “qale,” but rules indicate q is always followed by u, so kale becomes quale.

All in all, the symbol of q should not be eliminated. Instead it should be redirected to some other issue in the English language, but maybe I’ll just quit while I’m ahead.

Good luck. This AM in the PM signing off.