Colonel, Kernel, Spellings and Pronunciations


English is not normal. Yes, we also think English is a sort of weird language. We know the language is odd that is why people learners think it is quite difficult to learn. Mostly we see kids struggling with different pronunciations of words because spellings depict some other sound. Knife is actually nife, eight is ate, and ate is also ate. The major reason being the unmatching of the spelling and pronunciation.

The countries where there are native English speakers are considered very superior to others. But if you want to become the best version of yourself and learn the language, then nothing is impossible.

With passion and hard work, you can touch any milestone. The maze-like meaning of colonel and kernel will become easy for you.

Many people get confused between the meaning of colonel and its pronunciation. It is not their fault; we believe other languages are quite simpler. So, nothing to worry about, you will come to understand that in the blog.

About Colonel

The colonel came to Oxford English Dictionary in the mid of 16th century. It came from Middle French and there were two forms of words; coronel and colonel. The former is akin to Spanish coronel and the meaning of colonel is column of soldiers that come from Latin columnella meaning small column. The written style reflected the older form and competed it against the spoken form. It was often pronounced as kernel or kernul. It is given the Middle French form to the word and the r sound is not strange.

The common process that is followed is called dissimilation. Here, in this case also, despite the colonel meaning it is sounded as kernel, there are two instances of the same sound that are close to each other. In this situation, people change one of the instances here, then ‘l’ was changed to ‘r’. It resulted in the dissimilation of French coronel and then it was introduced in English. In the late 16th century scholars began to produce English translations of Italian military treatises. As a result, people started spelling it as colonel.

As time changed, in the mid of the 17th century, the ‘r’ version of pronunciation was still popular and the spellings used were with ‘l’ only. Then coronel related to crown in English and it was sometimes translated as crowner in the language of English. The root of the word, Italian for the column, Colonna. The meaning of colonel remained the same.

In the meantime, French then switched to colonel again that too in both pronunciation and spelling. So, in this way, the spelling stuck to colonel and the pronunciation stayed to the kernel. But the colonel meaning being the column of soldiers.

Mysterious Language

Yes, it is a mystery for almost all of the English non-natives. From bizarre spellings to obsolete grammar, you need the patience to continue learning the English language. As discussed above, colonel meaning, eight, etc, are some of the examples that show it. The word queue is pronounced as kyoo, that means it is pronounced majorly according to the first letter only. Q is the first word and others are waiting in queue.

The order of adjectives, same word opposite meaning, same sentence different meanings, these are some tough roads on the path of the journey. Natives don’t find it difficult to have a high hand on their language like Indians have on Hindi, and Islamic countries have on Islam.

Also Read: How To Improve Your Kids’ Writing Skills?