I have held a position, or rather an obscure opinion as to the validity of our written alphabet. Not the entire group as a whole, just a single character symbol. This character symbol, or as I prefer to call this letter, the un-consonant letter C. I am convinced the letter C is not a real letter of the alphabet. C has been the third place holder of the written alphabet for centuries. Does this fact make it a real consonant? I think not. This symbol or letter was not included in the first written alphabet known to modern man. It is also the only letter in the American English alphabet that has no true phonetic sound of its own.
The origin of the alphabet itself is a greatly debated topic. I researched this excerpt from History of Writing, titled “Phonetics and the Alphabet: From the 15th Century BC.”
The most significant development in the history of writing, since the first development of a script in about 3100 BC, is the move from pictographic… to a phonetic one, which is based on recording the spoken sound of a word.
The first tentative steps in this direction are taken in the second millennium BC in the trading communities of Phoenicia. Phoenicia is a Semitic language and a new approach to writing and is adopted by the various Semitic groups in Phoenicia and Palestine.”
By the 8th century BC the Greeks adapted the Phonetician system of writing, and made their contribution, they added vowels. For some text they use the names of existing Phonetician letters (alpha for example). For others entirely new signs are added. The result is a Greek alphabet of twenty-four letters. At this period of human history I could find not one C, or a resemblance of a symbol to it. I did however find the source for the naming of the alphabet the following is a quote from History of the World by “The alphabet takes its name from the first two letters in the Phonetician system, alpha and beta, borrowed and adapted by the Greeks.” I always thought that the Greeks were the people who named the alphabet. History is a true mystery that needs to be uncovered by each one of us.
To continue with my konspirasy theory, the consonant letter called C is not real. I can show this fact to be true through the teaching and understanding of Phonetics. Modern phonetics teaches us to hear a sound and associate it with each symbolic letter recognized to be of that particular sound. This C symbol has no phonetic sound of its own. What does this arc shaped symbol sound like? Sounds can be seen as well as heard. To see a sound very specialized equipment is needed. A machine called a sound wave synthesized pictograph is used; it allows us to visualize each sound wave pattern. Every letter creates a wave pattern as individual as a fingerprint. A good friend of mine, Garrett Parris is a professional songwriter/producer and sound engineer. He has a studio in Nashville, Tennessee. I spoke to him about my theory, and asked for his professionals advise and if he would be willing to assist me in proving my theory. At first he laughed, with his southern drawl he sounded like Jed Clampet from the Beverly Hillbillies. But after he experimented with several instruments and his own voice, recording various letters then running them through his high-tech equipment. He contacted me later that same day to report his findings; he spoke with a tone wavering on total confusion and yet excited surprise: “Mark, I honestly can’t find any sound wave or visually acquired wavelength that is totally and uniquely the letter C. I identified all of the other 25 letters, each carrying its own sound. But each time, and I ran the sequence through a lot, there was nothing that I can say is one single sound for the letter C.” I will take Garrett’s professional conclusions to the debate tables and again state with even more confidence than before, “The letter C is not a real letter in the American English alphabet.”
As shown throughout history and with modern phonetics but also through the use of modern scientific equipment, C does not have any sound of its own. Sure it has sounds we associate with the symbol C, those sounds we have been taught to be as the letter C. One example is the soft sound like sssseeee, but this is really the letter S. Even as shown in this excerpt taken from “The History of the Alphabet” in an article titled “Old English Consonants”:
c[k] when contiguous sounds are back vowels—-snaca (snake), facen (deceit).
© when contiguous sounds are front vowels—-pic (pitch), brec (breeches), bece (beech).
sc [s] disc (dish), sci nu (shin), sci ell (shell), and sculdur (shoulder).
The other phonetic sounds we recognize are the hard sound like the first example kkkaaa but that’s the letter K. This symbol has compound sounds too as shown above: ch, sh, and even tch. But nothing I could scientifically identify as its own single sound.
There are many other alphabets and even “syllabaries” that belong in the same family of scripts as our alphabet. Some of these other scripts give clues to the symbol C’s origins no one is sure why a particular sequence of letters was used. Maybe it is some mnemonic device that we no longer understand. We know for sure that by the 1300BC or so these orders of sequence had already arisen. But yet I could find no definite order to which the symbol C fit in itself, or why the third position was chosen. An excellent example of this would be shown in the Neo-Etruscan alphabet from the 4th-3rd centuries BC.
This example was copied from the web site Omniglot The Guide to the Written Word.

The script shown above gives us a glance of one of the first similarities that resembles the letter C. But even then its meaning was not like the C we know. The ancient people who used this as their letters thought of this symbol to be more like the g.

Another specialist in the field of alphabetical research Dr. Laurence K. Lo writes in one of his articles titled The Alphabet Writing Systems, “The earliest example of an abecedary (a list of the letters in an alphabet in the some kind of order) was found in the city of Ugarit. This abecedary shows a total of 30 symbols used in the Ugaritic script… While the letters in this script were made up of wedges and strokes, the forms of the characters were unrelated to any other cuneiform like Sumerian or Akadian. There is some similarity, though, between the Ugaritic signs and linear West Semitic letters.”
One documented true history story that is told by the Etruscan Foundation states,
“ A man named Ulfilas was the first to have undertaken the difficult task of writing down, from scratch, a language which is yet purely oral. At his time, AD c.360 he devised a new alphabet to accurately capture the spoken Gothic sound. He uses a total of twenty-seven letters adapted from both the Greek and Roman alphabets”.
But yet with all 27 letters still nothing similar to what is recognized as a C. This is a quote from a linguistics specialists at Harvard school of Humanities, describing the language of people who lived in Tuscany and Umbra during the 8th century BC and the 1st century AD, “The Etruscan alphabet is thought to have developed from the Greek alphabet by the Greek colonists in Italy. Now, looking down another leg of history, or another geographical path, you would discover the Anglo-Saxons.” And according to Ralph H. Blum, the author of The History of Runes, wrote “the first word writer’s of the past, the Vikings, used what were/are only twenty five sounds that were drawn into symbols. Mr. Blum also states, “Runic symbols were carved into pieces of hardwood or incised on small pieces of metal. They were then used in combination with each other to form sentences”. Mr. Blum also explains, “Later, the Anglo-Saxon alphabet similar to the traditional Germanic Fut hark, was comprised of only twenty four symbols”. But still no letter C. He continues by saying, “The 25th symbol was added some time later. It’s meaning or definition was said to be of the presence of the Divine”.
For the conspiracy theorists out there I believe the answer is with the powers that want to control man in his society. As for me the answer lies not with letters, but with numbers. Originally there were only 24 symbols. The 25th symbol added some time later made the total an odd number yet those in control like things even. Also, the 25th symbol which represents the Divine left the controlling man without a symbol to represent him. Needing an even number and a better grip to control society the 26th letter was created. C, meaning Control, was placed not in the first position, which means the self. The second position means the partnerships between men/women and their Gods. Logically the modern un-sounding Control symbol was placed in the third position, just behind you.
Finally I have come to the conclusion in my theses but not my theory. So again I ask, what does this arc shaped symbol sound like? With no definitive answer to this first question, one must then ask where? Where does the C symbol come from? With enough time and resources one could research the C symbols heritage and could discover with some guarantee as to this so called letter’s validity. But then with enough time I too could prove my heritage to the Stuart kings of England, and demand the thrown.


mark rehburg

Jerome, United States

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