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Lies in education [was Re: The "loop and a half"]

On 10/4/17 11:22 PM, Steve D'Aprano wrote:
> The A and E in the word "are" are not vowels, since they are silent.

The A is clearly not silent, unless you have some strange pronunciation. 
The fact that are is pronounced just like the NAME of the letter R 
doesn't mean it is silent.

Compare the sound of the word are (which begins like the 'pirate' phrase 
arrgh) to me, to a word that begins with a letter R like rat or ring. 
There is a clear aspiration in the former that isn't in the latter.