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The elements of verse are syllables, which grouped together in twos or threes form feet, and these in combination form verses or lines. As verses are made for articulate utterance, their effect on the ear is of the first importance, and to produce a good effect the smallest parts which enter into their com­position should receive attention. The elementary sounds of the language, therefore, claim our first consideration as to whether they are rough or smooth, easy or difficult in utterance, and in combi­nation with other sounds. And thus we are called upon to review in brief the defects and anomalies of our alpliabet.
The spoken alphabet of English consists of forty-five sounds, to represent which we have only twenty-six written characters or letters, and of these three, viz. cy qy and x are redundant. The deficiency is made up by making one letter stand for several different sounds, and by giving combinations of letters only one sound. Without going into details which are foreign to our purpose here, we will reproduce first

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III