Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Letter Y

A-E-I-O-U and sometimes Y.

When? It has come to my attention that the letter Y is randomly being excluded from the prestigious vowel club. Can't we all just get along? Isn't life difficult enough without another rule no one can remember? Quickly, when exactly is Y a vowel? No, don't get your style manual or handbook. Just tell me. You don't know do you? No one does except English teachers and the other vowels. We need the letter Y. It's a critical letter. I can get along without Q and Z, but imagine a world without Y. If Y wants to be a vowel ALL the time, let it.

This ridiculous rule makes me reflect on a little discussed bit of American History. In 1787, the Three-Fifths Clause proposed by Oliver Ellsworth established that slaves would be counted as 3/5 of a person for purposes of taxation and representation. What? Now, for purposes of picking cotton and plowing fields, slaves were considered 5/5 of a person. Admittedly, around April 15th of every year, I wouldn't mind being 1/4 of a taxpayer, but other than that I'm not in favor of fractional humanity.

But back to the letter Y. This consonant and/or vowel has become the ethnic "Other" of the alphabet. It is simply not fair to subject this letter to an identity crisis and the subsequent emotional trauma. Therefore, because I can, I am making an Official Constitutional Amendment for the letter of Y. I have no idea how many amendments have previously been made to the Constitution, and I don't have time to look it up. So this one goes at the end. Anyway, as of this moment, Y is always a vowel.

A-E-I-O-U-Y. So let it be written. So let it be done.