I know the silent K. My algebra teacher thought he was funny when he pronounced my name “Ka-nox.” The internet tells me that the K used to be pronounced. Well, wasn’t that a pisser of a name then, K-nox, with all those crackling sounds. Like rocks breaking and falling to the ground. I wonder if the propensity for cartoon sounds to start with a K sound—Ka-blam, Ka-blooie—is a remnant of that Olde Englishe desire to chomp words in the mouth, no matter how spitty and messy they might be.
It always perturbed me slightly that my brother and father had the initials KK, yet only one of the K’s was really pronounced. It seemed like cheating. Like you should say “K” then whisper or just mouth the second letter. However, it never bothered me about my own initials—the inconsistency wasn’t as obvious. A double standard, in my child mind, that I’ve never expressed until now.
When my brother’s name appears on the caller ID, I am often taken aback, as if it is a call from beyond, from our dead father of the same name. This is happening less and less, which makes me a little sad. My brain has adjusted to there being only one living Kerro Knox in the world.
Because of my name, I have always felt an affinity with the letter K. It still sometimes surprises me when I am alphabetized under E, though I changed from Knox to Eaton nearly 15 years ago—more cheating, jumping ahead in the alphabet.
The accident of our names throws us in groups not of our choosing. Through junior high and high school I had homeroom with the K girls, and boys too after homerooms went coed. I still feel just the faintest sense of affinity for my K homeroom friends on Facebook.
Even though my K was silent.
(This isn’t my most profound post. I’m just trying to keep up.)