What Is A Diphthong?
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What Is A Diphthong?

This evening in class a student asked me, “What is a diphthong?” I didn’t have a clue. I did not know if it was some form of phoneme or morpheme so I did what any wise man would do. I asked my wife. She was teaching in the classroom next door to my room. My students, 23 women out of 26 students, cheered when they realized where I was going. It was a great moment for feminism. My wife and I figure between the two of us we have one good brain. Genesis 2:24 says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” In this particular incident it is one brain.

She told me a diphthong was a complex speech sound that begins with one vowel and gradually changes to another vowel within the same syllable, as (oi) in oil. Returning to class I realized we were like a diphthong. We combine to produce a unique one out of two. Together we are not what we would be if we each stood alone.

Via the Holy Spirit Jesus desires to live in us. That union produces a new creature capable of doing things and being something far beyond our learned expectations of ourselves. The old U.S. Army slogan was, “Be all you can be.” This really is true when one becomes a diphthong with Christ.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

Written by Roger Bothwell on July 24, 2003
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453