WASHINGTON, D.C.–The U.S. Senate narrowly passed a bill to change the pronunciation of the letter W. Traditionally pronounced ‘double-you’, the new pronunciation, should the president sign the bill into law, will be ‘double-vee’.
Most observers expected the controversial bill to die in committee following a particularly heated battle in the House of Representatives, where it was passed by a single vote.
The bill, authored by Sen. Kelly Ayote (R-NH), has been criticized by some linguists and grammarians who believe it will further muddle an already bloated and confusing English language.
“This was an easy argument to make,” says Ayote in defense of the bill, “All one has to do is look at the way W is written. If that isn’t a pair of vees, then I’m the proverbial monkey’s uncle. Or aunt.”
The bill met resistance in the House of Representatives when minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) argued that if the pronunciation were to be changed, it should be simplified even further into ‘two-vees’.
“What should have been a non-partisan issue devolved into partisan bickering,” Ayote says, “It was starting to look like more classic democrat big government meddling.”
At one point when the bill reached the Senate it was re-drafted with an alternate pronunciation, the more descriptive ‘two upside down A’s with their crossbars removed’, but that pronunciation was ultimately abandoned after no consensus was reached as to whether the word ‘capital’ should appear before ‘A’s’.
“You would have to use the word capital there,” explains Ayote, “If they are lower case a’s, the letter would look like the number eight that fell on its side. With two little tails.”
“Ultimately, we were able to agree that the pronunciation should be double-vee,” Ayote adds, “It’s a major victory for the GOP. Now let’s see if the president is willing to work with us.”