Tag Archives: peter farb

Singer Linger Longer

I’m out of town today for my aunt’s birthday in Tampa, and we’re taking a quick break to enjoy some literary nerdiness and drink hot chocolate.

The hot chocolate comes from Starbucks. The nerdiness comes from Peter Farb. We’re taking a look at a selection from his book, Word Play: What Happens When People Talk, and have found that there is actually a rule in the English language regarding whether the G is pronounced as a hard consonant when it appears in a word that ends with ER.

For instance, Singer.

This is not a word with a hard G.

If I have this correctly, then according to Farb, the reason there is no hard G is that Singer is derived from a verb.

However, neither Linger nor Longer has a verb at its root, and therefore, we pronounce the G as a hard letter.

And there you have it. Birthday fun from my family.