Look, Y isn’t a vowel.
No matter how often elementary school teachers get their students to repeat that annoying vowel rallying cry (“a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y”) there’s still no reason to the rhyme. A is a vowel, okay. E is one too, and I can support that. I can support the I and oh boy am I behind the O. And you gotta believe in the U.
But Y? Total vowel wannabe.
You English majors are going to get all up in my face about the definition of a vowel, I know you will. So before we start one of those horrible vowel-rumbles, let’s get clear on what a vowel is. It is:
…a speech sound that is produced by comparatively open configuration of the vocal tract with vibration of the vocal chords but without audible friction.
Now go ahead and say all the vowels and notice how you’re doing just fine with an open vocal tract and a pretty wide open mouth until you get to that silly little faux-grin when you say the letter Y. It just doesn’t fit, does it? It just doesn’t jive with the feeling you get when you go through the five illustrious vowels. Y is like generic peanut butter on a tortilla when the rest of the vowels represent Skippy (Chunky Style) on a nice fluffy piece of 7 Grain wheat bread.
When you go to a car dealership to buy a Ford, let’s say — you’ll notice that the dealership also has a bunch of non-Ford brand cars on the lot that have been traded in by people. You know, there’s a Nissan over there and a Toyota near the back — and they’re previously owned vehicles that you can buy while you’re there. But the thing is, you went to the Ford dealership to get a Ford — you don’t want to buy a car that’s sometimes available for sale like a Nissan or a Toyota. You want a Ford, 100%, no question about it.
So if you want a vowel, why pick up a Y?
Personally, I try to stay away from the Y as often as I can. Simply because the Y is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, trying to get in with the popular crowd like Patrick Dempsey did in Can’t Buy Me Love without actually potentially really belonging… Now, some of you will call me a hypocrite — here I am writing a post about how much I disagree with the Y’s plan for becoming a full-fledged vowel, yet I’m using Y in my writings.
Well, no more. From here forward, I refuse to use the Y as a vowel.
That being said, I think that writing without that letter is not a tough thing to do. I can live a life without ever crossing paths with such a thing. Just having written this last line, without even coming close with the previous-mentioned guilt-ridden individual — I can feel the potential of a world without that letter is something that is well within the reach of each one of us.
So there you go. I’m committed. No more of that letter.
At least not until it apologizes for pretending to be something it isn’t.