Originally Posted by caleb72
Going back to vowels vs consonants, I guess we need to take this in the context of the Russian alphabet rather than the English alphabet. In Cyrillic we actually have 11 vowels and 20 consonants but 33 characters because of the existence of two pronunciation signs. I don't know enough about this alphabet to say anything terribly educated about it, but I guess we should consider this when talking about the whole vowel/consonant thing.
Thank you for this. When I looked at proportions, I considered the possibility that the Cyrillic alphabet was sufficiently different from the Roman alphabet to alter my approximation, and stupidly rejected it.
That'll larn me to theorize in the absence of sufficient information. Or not. At two to one, I don't think it matters and the issue is one of the physical significance of the vowels and fantasyfan is persuasive. OTOH, I think Zamyatin goes too far in his representation of the letters; when the author has to spell it out to you it doesn't work, IMO, although I'm grateful to Hamlet and Bookworm_Girl for expanding on it. The work shouldn't need that kind of interpretation. But it's a trivial matter; sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and all that.