Words With Both ‘C’ Sounds

Unlike most alphabets, the English alphabet is incredibly quirky with plenty of questionable aspects; for example, what is the deal with ‘c’ making both the ‘s’ and ‘k’ sound? Having descended from Latin, English borrowed many of its rules from the language as well as other lingual families. Back in Roman times and even modern Italian, the ‘c’ is usually pronounced hard like ‘k.’ Cicero, the Roman statesman, was even bullied because his name–pronounced key-kuh-row–sounded rather strange. This raises the question: why bother having ‘c’ if there are separate letters that do its job? Well, to make matters worse, a handful of English words contain double c’s that utilize both the hard and the soft sound. Here are a few examples.

(Notice that the hard ‘k’ sound is preceded by the soft ‘s’ sound in each of these words).

Accede (uk-seed)
Accelerate (uk-sel-uh-rayt)
Accent (ak-sent)
Accept (uk-sept)
Accident (ak-sid-ent)
Accessory (ak-sess-uh-ree)
Access (ak-sess)
Coccyx (kok-syks)
Succeed (suk-seed)

Some exceptions (but not limited to):
Succumb (suk-um)
Acclivity (u-kliv-ih-tee)
Acclimate (ak-lih-mayt)

 

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