How many syllables are in your name? You probably already know off the top of your head, but count them anyway. Most of us do the same thing when we’re counting. Putting more weight than usual on each beat, we number them off on our fingers.
[…] The syllable is an invisible thing, something that we can only really perceive and count when we say something out loud. It is hard to grasp scientifically and yet the basis for the most elegant things that humans have dreamed up out of the subtle alchemy of language use. Perhaps the elusiveness of the syllable’s true nature only makes our use of it in poetry the more mysterious and lovely. In sonnets or in the simple pulses of speech that make up your own name, we simply know that it’s there.