Awhile back there was a discussion in AUE about whether "rr" had ever been considered a separate letter of the Spanish alphabet.
While going through some books in a storage locker this afternoon, I came across the following text:
Elementary Spanish Grammar, with Practical Exercises for Reading, Conversation, and Composition
By Aurelio M. Espinosa, Ph. D. and
Clifford G. Allen, Docteur de L'Université de Paris Of the Department of Romance Languages Leland Stanford Junior University
American Book Company, New York Cincinnati Chicago Copyright 1915 by A. M. Espinosa and C. G. Allen
All rights reserved
On page 11 it says
The Spanish alphabet has the following thirty signs or characters: a, b, c, ch, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, ll, m, n, n(tilde), o, p, q, r, rr, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z
(A note on the flyleaf says I bought the book in the BB Secondhand Store in Hynes, California price 15 cents. That would have been in 1934.)
I'm fairly certain that a Spanish instructor at a Utah University in 1940 was still saying that "rr" was a separate letter.
A Spanish instructor in a Los Angeles junior college in the 1980s or so was still saying it, but by that time I had read somewhere that it was no longer true. I tried to tell him that, but he didn't want to believe it.
Despite information to the contrary proclaimed in an earlier thread, I continue to believe that "rr" was once a separate character of the Spanish alphabet.
There was much discussion of a relevant statement by the Spanish Royal Academy. Uncertainty was expressed about the exact meaning of the phrase "la rr no se haya considerado nunca una de las letras del alfabeto". It wasn't clear to some people whether it means
'rr' has never been considered one of the letters of the alphabet
or
'rr' is never considered one of the letters of the alphabet
or something else.
The uncertainty was related to doubt about the reason for using the present subjunctive "se haya". The question was asked why the subjunctive? but so far as I know, it was never answered.
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Awhile back there was a discussion in AUE about whether "rr" had ever been considered a separate letter of the ... haya". The question was asked why the subjunctive? but so far as I know, it was never answered.

It was. I answered it and Javi seconded my answer.

To save you hunting, it's basically because the sentence began with something to the effect of "esto explica que ... ", which needs a subjunctive for grammatical reasons. If it had said "esto explica por qué . . ." it would just have been "no se ha considerado . . .". The meaning is exactly the same in both cases, though: "this explains why has not been considered . . ." it's a grammatically mandatory subjunctive, rather than a semantic one expressing any doubt.

I agree with you about the former status of "rr" as a bona fide letter. I mentioned back when the thread was still alive that my (Spanish) wife was also taught to recite the alphabet with "rr" between "r" and "s".
However, I have just had a light-bulb moment. Perhaps the confusion arose over whether "rr" was ever considered a proper letter because, since no words begin with it, it never appeared in alphabetical headers in dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and the like unlike "ch" and "ll", which often still do.

Ross Howard
Awhile back there was a discussion in AUE about whether ... 1940 was still saying that "rr" was a separate letter.

I was taught that too, a couple of years later, say 1983.

...
I agree with you about the former status of "rr" as a bona fide letter. I mentioned back when the ... never appeared in alphabetical headers in dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and the like unlike "ch" and "ll", which often still do.

Is it instructive that my Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish has carro before carta? Were 'rr' a single letter, carta should come before carro. My Spanish and English dictionary by Williams and Holt agrees (though it has a few more words in between).
There are also no words beginning with 'w' and the only one I know which is not a proper name is sandwích (just recalled a PBS documentary called "Sandwiches You Will Like" and there was a scene from Sandwich, Massachusetts where a squad car labeled "Sandwich Police" drove by. I wonder if R F works for them.
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Perhaps the confusion arose over whether "rr" was ever considered a proper letter because, since no words begin with it, it never appeared in alphabetical headers in dictionaries, encyclopaedias, and the like unlike "ch" and "ll", which often still do.

But it would still be apparent from in-depth alphabetization that it was a separate letter. That is, the sequence "pero, perro, persona" would be alphabetized in that order if "rr" was not a letter, but "pero, persona, perro" if it was.
There are also no words beginning with 'w' and the only one I know which =is not a proper name ... from Sandwich, Massachusetts where a squad car labeled "Sandwich Police" drove by. I wonder if R F works for them.

How is/was "Sandwich" pronounced in Massachusetts "Sanditch"?
Perhaps the confusion arose over whether "rr" was ever considered ... like unlike "ch" and "ll", which often still do.

But it would still be apparent from in-depth alphabetization that it was a separate letter. That is, the sequence "pero, perro, persona" would be alphabetized in that order if "rr" was not a letter, but "pero, persona, perro" if it was.

See John Seelinger's post, though.
that "ch" and "ll" are treated as letters but "rr" isn't. The entry for erre* reads: "Nombre de la letra *r cuando su sonido es vibrante múltiple."

Conclusion 1: In theory, it's one letter (r*) with two names (*ere* or *erre) as accredited by the RAE and other lexicographers.

Conclusion 2: In practice (at least up until the Sixties), they're two letters (r* and *rr*) each with its own name (*ere* and *erre) as accredited by anyone ever taught the Spanish alphabet by a nun.

Ross Howard
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How is/was "Sandwich" pronounced in Massachusetts "Sanditch"?

No. "Sandwich". Why do you ask?
-Aaron J. Dinkin
Dr. Whom
How is/was "Sandwich" pronounced in Massachusetts "Sanditch"?

No. "Sandwich". Why do you ask?

Isn't it "Sandidge" OSLT back in the UK?
How's "Ipswich" pronounced in Mass.? At some point these w's got reintroduced, so to say.
Thankfully, "Greenwich" remained w-less in Connecticut and Manhattan.
No. "Sandwich". Why do you ask?

Isn't it "Sandidge" OSLT back in the UK?

Is it? I have no reason to think so. It doesn't say so on the web site of the Town of Sandwich (www.open-sandwich.co.uk), or if it does I can't find it.
How's "Ipswich" pronounced in Mass.? At some point these w's got reintroduced, so to say.

As it's spelled. And I have no reason to suppose these w's were ever disintroduced, so to say.
Massachusetts is pretty conservative with respect to oddly-spelled British place names (Worcester, Gloucester, Leicester, at least, though the Massachusetts Leominster might be difference from the English one); I'd be surprised to find that this was so for some town names byt not others.

-Aaron J. Dinkin
Dr. Whom
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