helen-louise (baratron) wrote,
helen-louise
baratron

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A question for the grammar pedants.

Today I was on the bus, and I saw a sign advertising "signwriters". As it was written all as one word, I mentally pronounced it differently, and was confused for a few seconds about what the sign meant. So how come we pronounce "sign" as SINE - but we say SIG-NA-TURE? Why do we elide the gn in "sign" but pronounce both letters in "signature", which is almost the same word and is often found in the same context? e.g. "Sign here with your usual signature"?

Yes, the answer is probably "because English spelling is eclectic, and once upon a time 'knight' was pronounced as keh-nig-huh-tuh", but I just want to know.
Tags: tilting at windmills
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