Half of the letters of the English alphabet require new names: let’s change them to make things easier for everyone!


The English language has 26 letters. You are reading them right now!

The Issue:

Some of the letters of the alphabet are very poorly named.

For example, “W” is pronounced “double-yoo,” which totally lacks the actual “w” sound (e.g. the leading sound in “what”) anywhere in it. Additionally, it’s absurd that the letter W doesn’t even have its own letter in its name.

We would think it absurd if the letter “I” was called “Rotated Hyphen” yet we somehow tolerate style of naming with the W!


Let’s rename the letters so that their names better match their common pronunciations. The emoji indicate the degree to which a letter needs renaming. (See the “conclusions” part for a key to the emoji).

✅ A: Acceptable. The “a” in “able.”

✅ B: Acceptable. The “b” in “bee.”

🔥❌  C: C is an odd letter, since it is replaced by an S or a K in all situations except when it appears with “ch.” Renaming the letter to “choo” to remind all users of this letter that non-“ch” uses of “C” are now deprecated. Wordsmiths should please use “k” or “s” instead of “c” whenever practical. Note that “C” is currently pronounced “see,” which would actually be better suited for the letter S.

✅ D: Acceptable. Example: the “d” in “details.”

✅ E: Acceptable. Example: the “e” in “each.”

⚠️ F: “Ef” has an unnecessary leading “ehh” sound. Renaming to “foo.”

❌ G: “Gee” is a so-called “soft g,” which could also be spelled “jee.” Renaming to “Goo” (“hard g”) to remove the ambiguity.

❌ H: Totally lacks the “h” sound unless you say it with an aspirated “h,” like “hay-ch” (as some regional accents do). Renaming to “hop.”

✅ I: Acceptable. This letter has a lot of pronunciations, but this is the “i” in “ice.”

✅ J: Acceptable. Example: the “j” in “join.”

✅ K: Acceptable. Example: the “k” in “kale.”

⚠️ L: “Ell” has an unnecessary leading “ehh” sound. Renaming to “lee.”

⚠️ M: “Em” has an unnecessary leading “ehh” sound. Renaming to “moo.”

⚠️ N: “En” has an unnecessary leading “ehh” sound. Renaming to “noo.”

✅ O: Acceptable. Example: the “o” in “open.”

✅ P: Acceptable. Example: the “p” in “piece.”

⚠️ Q: “Queue” or “Cue” is not a very accurate sound. Renaming to “quib” to more accurately reflect the letter’s common pronunciation in e.g. “queen / quick / quit.”

⚠️ R: “Arr” has an unnecessary initial “aa” sound. Renaming to “raa.”

⚠️ S: “Ess” has an unnecessary and misleading initial “ehh” sound. Renaming to “snek” (which also better describes the shape of the letter).

✅ T: “Tee” is ok.

✅ U: Acceptable as-is. Example: the “u” in “use.”

✅ V: “Vee” is good and matches the pronunciation in most cases.

🔥❌  W: This letter is the most absurdly named of all: “double yoo” doesn’t have either the letter “w” or the “w” sound in its name. Let’s fix that by renaming it to “wah.” Strangely, the “legacy” letter “Y” (pronounced “why”) would actually have been a better name for the “W.”

🔥❌  X: This one is a total disaster, just like “C.” “X” is an odd letter that can usually be replaced by a “Z” or “KS.” It’s unfortunate that “ks” is a unfamiliar initial sound for English speakers, but we’ll have to make the sacrifice and rename this letter to “xa” (like “ksa”), which is pronounced like middle sound in “exam” or “axon” (and specifically does not sound like “za”).

❌ Y: “Why” has a leading “w” sound, which is very misleading and is not very suitable for the most common applications of the “y.” Renaming to “yak.”

✅ Z: Acceptable as either “zee” or the equivalent “zed.”

Overall Statistics:

  • ✅: 13 letters were in acceptable shape already, and did not require renaming.
  • ⚠️: 7 letters were marginally acceptable, but should still be renamed. These include letters like “L,” where the “ell” sound is clearly present, but the letter should really start with the correct sound, rather than have it be at the end for some reason.
  • ❌: 3 letters would substantially benefit from renaming (G, H, Y).
  • 🔥❌: 3 letters were in dire need of renaming (C, W, X).

PROS: Makes it easier for people to learn the English letters.

CONS: All children’s alphabet books will need to be confiscated and replaced with new ones, to prevent regressive ways of thinking about letters from continuing on into the future.