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Question #37761 posted on 07/18/2007 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How does werf pronounce 'werf'? I always read it 'wurrf', but I noticed that it possibly came from the Old English. Is it then, 'wehrf' or 'wayrf' or even 'vehrf'? I'm pretty sure OE didn't have the W as a V pronunciation rule like German, but we are Germanic as a language. I know it's not some nailed down word, but what do you think?

With all due respect,

~Conversational Werfist

A: Dear Conversational,

"Werf" is a relatively new word in the English language, having been coined within the past decade by an employee of BYU Independent Study. As such, it is pronounced "wurrf" (roughly).

If "werf" were Old English, I'm thinking it would have been pronounced "wayrf," roughly. (My Old English-speaking source informs me that "w" was prounounced /w/, not /v/.)

- Katya
A: Dear Conversational,

Well, the problem here is that werf, by very definition, is of indeterminate gender. So werf might say it in a high-pitched, giggly, Minnie-mouse-esque sort of way, or a rumbling, James-Earl-Jones-as-Darth-Vader sort of way. That's the thing about quantum physics; you just never can tell. You'll just have to find werf yourself and ask.

(Incidentally, was Schrödinger's gender indeterminate as well?)

P.S. I really wrote all that just to coin the phrase "Schrödinger's Gender."
A: Dear Conversational Werfist~

In spoken English, I always pronounce it "they, er, he or she, uh, it? I hate English!" by which point I've usually forgotten what it was I was talking about that called for the third-person indeterminate gender.