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Why is There an R in The Title "Mrs"?

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Miss, Ms., Mrs. These three feminine titles have very different meanings but very close pronunciations and spellings. But while the first two make some sense, what's up with the r in the middle of Mrs. when we pronounce it like "misses"? The answer lies in the history of the word. Find out in the video below.

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Why is There an R in "Mrs" When It's Pronounced "Misses"?

Why Are There Silent Letters In English Words?

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Around 60% of English words contain a silent letter. 00:10

  2. Exocentric letters make sounds unlike the sound of the letter—like the "th" in "then." 00:42

  3. In the Middle Ages, the "k" and the "gh" were pronounced in the word "knight." 01:28

Why Does Q (Almost) Always Go With U?

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Before the Norman Invasion of 1066, English didn't even have a Q. English spelled the sound with a "cw." 00:18

  2. French people later stopped pronouncing the "u" in "qu," but their spelling never caught up. 00:39

  3. The Phoencian ancestor of Q didn't sound like "K." It was a consonant formed in the back of the throat, like one in Arabic. This is why words like "Qatar" and "Iraq" don't have a "u". 01:48

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