The other day I was walking past a sign which contained the word tragically. I had to stop and look at it, really look at it, because I was convinced that it was misspelled.
Writing yesterday’s post, I came to a point where I wanted to use the phrase racking their brain. A few words before I got to the point where I had to type it though, I paused: was it wracking their brain?
I’ve never been sure how to spell it, and it’s not something I often have to write, so I never had to look it up. At least until yesterday anyway, so to satisfy all our curiosity, here’s the answer…
Have you ever wondered why some words like write and wrong begin with a silent W?
Of course you haven’t, but luckily for you, I have.
Good question, I’m very glad you asked. There are about ten words in English that end in –mb, but have a silent B. Off the top of my head, I can think of:
As you can see, it’s a fairly common phenomenon, but what’s the story behind it?