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I've made several friends along my way.
Some of them I've changed.
I like to think I help them find their voice.

Sally, for instance, had an insulting serpent's tongue.
With my help, she became calming.

William resisted change. However, in some cases,
I was able to influence whomever was near us.

Timothy and I got along quite famously indeed.
When we befriended the popular kid, they wrote an article about it.

Caroline and I are also a power couple.
Trains and even some places of worship have echoed our work.

I tried to make friends with Kevin,
but I may as well have just left him alone.

Paul is consistently useful.
When we go places plus one, we can talk to anybody.

Gabby, it seems, has a mind of her own.
It's tough to predict what we'll end up doing together!

Surely there are cases in which I am unneeded.
I just hope I'm helping them all say what they mean.
Because all alone, I'm just a whisper.


Who am I?

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Cf. lieder.net/get_text.html?TextId=113259 from nearly 200 years ago... $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 20 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan I had no idea this existed. I suppose the last line and the solutions matches up, but I feel that the content is different enough. If I were to look hard enough, I could probably find a riddle like this for every rot13(yrggre) $\endgroup$ – Matt Mar 20 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ Oh yes, I wasn't suggesting this was plagiarism or anything like that! (Though the similarity of the last line did make me wonder whether you might have been inspired by it.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 20 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ haha, I can see why! Thanks for pointing that out. $\endgroup$ – Matt Mar 20 at 18:07
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You are

the letter H

Sally, for instance, had an insulting serpent's tongue. With my help, she became calming.

The sibilant S becomes the shushing SH

William resisted change. However, in some cases, I was able to influence whomever was near us.

W+H - often doesn't change sounds, but sometimes is the difference between, say, wore and whore

Timothy and I got along quite famously indeed. When we befriended the popular kid, they wrote an article about it.

T+H are paired frequently. With the popular kid, E, give the article "the"

Caroline and I are also a power couple. Trains and even some places of worship have echoed our work.

C+H are also coupled often. CHoo-CHoos and CHurches.

I tried to make friends with Kevin, but I may as well have just left him alone.

K+H is not seen all that often, and really doesn't change pronunciation at all.

Paul is consistently useful. When we go places plus one, we can talk to anybody.

P+H are paired frequently. Add ONE and you get "phone".

Gabby, it seems, has a mind of her own. It's tough to predict what we'll end up doing together!

G+H can have different sounds; for example, in "cough" vs "ought" vs "ghost" vs "hiccough" vs "Edinburgh"

Surely there are cases in which I am unneeded. I just hope I'm helping them all say what they mean. Because all alone, I'm just a whisper.

Alone, H is just an exhalation.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Bingo! Glad all the examples all turned out as expected this time $\endgroup$ – Matt Mar 20 at 16:32

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