I am looking for a word that means "only letters A–Z", sort of like alphanumeric, but not numbers. The closest I got is alphabetic/alphabetical. The context is

Please enter a [word] string:

This is in a program I am making that doesn't work if anything other than A–Z is entered.

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    I think your "alphabetical" is correct. If you don't like that, you might use "Please enter only letters: " – Elliott Frisch Jan 24 '14 at 18:25
  • Alphabetic Union numeric Equals alphanumeric. – John Lawler Jan 24 '14 at 18:31
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    You only need alphabetic, not -tical. – tchrist Jan 31 '14 at 0:26

While the word you are looking for is indeed alphabetical, the only characters you allow are all letters — this excludes numbers, spaces, punctuation and special symbols like &.

Please enter only letters.

You could make it absolutely explicit with

Please enter only alphabetical letters.

Note that some languages include special characters like ß é ð and so on, which some users may well include in the definition of letter or alphabetical. You may need to exclude those explicitly too:

Please enter only unaccented alphabetical letters, A–Z or a–z.

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  • And add Latin as well to the list :) – oerkelens Jan 30 '14 at 18:26
  • Of course, if you want it to be completely and unequivocally foolproof, you’ll have to just list the letters individually. An Icelander, for example, might conceivably (though of course not very likely) be misled by “A–Z or a–z”, since z doesn’t exist in the Icelandic alphabet—and both ð and é come between d and f, so even just adding on z at the end won’t make it completely unambiguous. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 30 '14 at 18:55

An alphabet is a standard set of letters . A true alphabet has letters for the vowels of a language as well as the consonants. The English language, which has 26 letters as goes like this; a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z.

In the program, for validation message, you can write :

Please enter an alphabetical string.

Allow only Alphabets in Textbox.

Please enter only alphabets.

Please input alphabet characters only.

Please enter alphabetical characters.
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    In your examples, the use of alphabet to mean "alphabetical character" will not be easily recognized by many English speakers. It is seen as an India English expression. For most others it would seem you want them to input sets of letters :) – oerkelens Jan 30 '14 at 18:27

For a program it might be more natural to work in reverse:

"Enter text - no numbers, spaces or symbols"

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It depends on your audience, as well. In this case, if you are asking for alphabetical input in a web app or some such thing, "enter characters A-Z" might get the point across.

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