I just used an important but not commonly understood word in a different post: phonemic. A phoneme is a perceptually distinct unit of speech-sound: b, d, p, k … a, o … One can develop symbols, like the IPA, to record speech sounds with great precision, far greater than the normal speaker hears with. But what’s key is phonemic difference! A difference that spells the difference between whether the sounds are understood, are not understood , or are misunderstood. No just sound: crucial sound.

In English all /k/ sounds can pass for one another; ah, but in Arabic! Not so. The French have a bunch of vowel sounds — an, en, in, on … hard for non-natives to master, but essential for meaning: the difference between vu (saw) and vous (you), for example.

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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