Questions tagged [alphabet]

Questions regarding the English alphabet.

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7
votes
1answer
424 views

When did '&' stop being taught alongside the alphabet? [duplicate]

I've just discovered that "&" was considered the 27th letter of the alphabet, being part of alphabet songs. It was easy to discover its history (the information on the website Fast Company is ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

Why is letter “z” the last letter of alphabet? [duplicate]

it's been on my mind for sometime, why is Z last letter of alphabet, why is A the first, why is D the 4th letter, are these letters just based randomly then people agreed on them, therefore creating ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

Why does the Greek letter lambda often get substituted for the letter A? [closed]

It happens a lot with commercial products, for example the car company Kia. Except they spell if Kappa Iota Lambda (KIL). Why? That is just one example among many I see nowadays. Are all these ...
0
votes
1answer
232 views

What is the difference between “Alphabet” and “Alphabets”? [duplicate]

I am just having a debate with one of my friend regarding the use of the word "Alphabet". when I use the word "last alphabet" instead of "last letter of Alphabet" she told me that I used the wrong ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Phoneticised alphabet letters [duplicate]

Do all letters of the English alphabet have phoneticised dictionary entries? I'm thinking of the word Vee for the letter V or Zed for the letter Z? For example is there an entry for H? Aitch?
1
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0answers
129 views

Specific type of abbreviation in textese

I would like to know if there is preexisting metalanguage or a term to describe the following types of abbreviations often present in textese or SMS language: see → c, you → u, are → r, your → ur, ...
91
votes
3answers
15k views

Why are names starting with a “J” common, while words starting with a “J” are uncommon?

There's a reason "J" is worth 10 points in Word feud, it's a quite uncommon letter. According to Lewand, arranged from most to least common in appearance, the letters are: ...
1
vote
0answers
186 views

Numbering of the English phonetic alphabet [closed]

Here is the English alphabet (of letters): 1=a 2=b 3=c 4=d 5=e 6=f 7=g 8=h 9=i 10=j 11=k 12=l 13=m 14=n 15=o 16=p 17=q 18=r 19=s 20=t 21=u 22=v 23=w 24=x 25=y 26=z What is the order/numbering of the ...
0
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0answers
64 views

Do English alphabet come under latin characters? [duplicate]

I haven't been able to infer whether latin characters are different from English alphabet or English alphabet are a subset of latin characters, as I came across several versions of latin. Trying to ...
-2
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2answers
485 views

Languages and their alphabet(s)

Why do we say English language has only one alphabet if English words (and as an extension sentences and phrases as well) can be written in alphabets of many other languages? EDIT Adding the ...
1
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4answers
1k views

Is there a collective word for the different “alphabets” used by different languages?

As I believe "alphabet" refers specifically to the latin a-z, is there a term that collectively refers to all collections of writing characters. ie, if I had a list that contained the entries "Latin, ...
0
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1answer
53 views

I need an alernative to “before” and “after”, which alphabetize with after after before

Some software I use likes to alphabetize things, so I'd like an alternative to before and after, where sorting lexicographical is the same as sorting by time.
5
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3answers
1k views

Meaningful English sentences containing very few distinct letters

An English pangram is a sentence that contains each of the 26 letters used in English, the classic example being `the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.' What I am looking for is precisely the ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Why do some nicknames have no apparent relation with their original counterparts? [duplicate]

I find it unusual and rather contrary to common sense and logic that some nicknames should have no apparent relation to their original names, such as "Jack" for "John(eg. JFK)" or "Jonathan", "Patsy" ...
5
votes
2answers
243 views

Can I spell a voiced “th” without using IPA?

Is there a way to unambiguously convey that the "th" in a word should be voiced, like in the word "the", but without using the International Phonetic Alphabet (or any non-alphabetic characters)? ...
0
votes
1answer
368 views

Similarities between Latin Letters

Have there been any studies done into the similarity between individual latin letters? I'm hoping for something (preferably with letters in Arial font) where a letter has been given and the chance of ...
1
vote
1answer
622 views

Alphabetizing band names when the name includes a member's name [closed]

When one is alphabetizing band names which are named after a member of the band, do you put the last name first? For a few examples, the following bands are names, but not of actual people: Pink ...
2
votes
0answers
602 views

List of characters with diacritics accepted in English words [closed]

Some diacritics and special characters (like ligatures) are accepted in Contemporary English: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_terms_with_diacritical_marks Examples of English spellings: ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Why is J often used to represent a “Y” sound in Romanizations of other writing systems?

I am not referring to IPA. I am referring to examples in textbooks. For example, my Ukrainian textbook says that the letter Я is pronounced as "ja". Most native English speakers would pronounced this ...
1
vote
0answers
421 views

single-letter translation from Greek letters to English letters?

Is there a well accepted way to represent each Greek letter using only one English letter? I'm asking because I often needed to use English to represent Greek letters, e.g., when Greek font is absent....
1
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0answers
65 views

Can new alphabets be added to or existing ones be removed from the English language? [closed]

Does the English language, or any other language for that matter provide the flexibility to add or remove alphabets?
2
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2answers
229 views

List of inverted letters and their applications

Upside-down letters, as in ∀, and left-side-right letters, as in ∃, are used in mathematics and logic to indicate for all and there exists. Do you know other examples of such inversions ...
1
vote
1answer
789 views

'When was the use of Þ diminished by the digraph 'th'?

Wikipedia does not mention the exact date, nor do any other sites that I have visited. While no Shakespearean book that I have read ( later 16th Century ) has the use of Þ in it, and the 15th ...
0
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3answers
3k views

Guide to alphabetizing upper case versus lower case? [closed]

Does there exist a general guide to the alphabetization of degenerate cases? For example, which is to be listed first, "hamburger" or "Hamburger"?
2
votes
1answer
773 views

& as a letter in the alphabet?

I've been googleing and ran across this little blog post. It has a bit of information stating the the & symbol was at one point the 27th letter in the alphabet. For years the & symbol (now ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a proper name for counting with letters?

How should one refer to the practice of using letters instead of numbers for counting? I'm referring to this: "A, B, C, ... X, Y, Z, AA, AB, AC, AD, AE, AF, AG... ZX, ZY, ZZ, AAA, AAB..." ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

What Character Was Removed from the Alphabet?

From: http://blog.dictionary.com/ampersand/ the ampersand today is used primarily in business names, but that small character was once the 27th part of the alphabet. Is this true? Are there any ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did Old English use C while other Germanic languages used K?

During most the first millennium CE, North and West Germanic languages were written in runic alphabets. Gradually, each language shifted from the runic alphabet to the Latin alphabet. The people who ...
6
votes
1answer
337 views

Why don't ligatures have names?

It is common to see ligatures such as Æ or Œ in reference to classical works such as Œdipus or Æsop but these do not seem to have names. Strangely enough in the Old English alphabet there were similar ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there a formal spelling for the English letter names?

The English alphabet has a common pronunciation. For example, the letter b is pronounced like the word bee, the letter c like the word see, and the letter i like the word aye. Is there a formal ...
-1
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1answer
1k views

Roman alphabet vowel arrangement [duplicate]

Is there any significance to the pattern we get when the Roman alphabet (upon which English is based) is arranged by giving vowels a "lead" column (which I hope you will be able to see as a grid)? ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How is the name of the letter “Z” pronounced in Indian English?

How is the letter "Z" pronounced in Indian English? I assumed that Indian English is more similar to British English than to American English, and therefore would pronounce it "Zed". But I came ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

What does “is for” mean exactly? [closed]

I get the main idea in phrases like "L is for the way you look at me" and "A is for Apple", but I don't know the exact meaning. If you were to use other words instead of "is for" which synonym would ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Why does English omit diacritics on foreign names?

Why does English omit diacritics from foreign names that still use the Latin alphabet? For example, why are the Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych, the Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø, or the Polish ...
0
votes
1answer
7k views

What characters are used in English for a person's name? [closed]

[Edit] To be clear, this is not a programing question. What is sought an example of set of rules, a government or a business (in an English speaking locale) uses to determine the acceptable character ...
4
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1answer
2k views

With character or sign

Is there a character or sign for 'with', similar to & for 'and'? Also, for 'without'?
45
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2answers
8k views

Where does “ö” fall in alphabetical ordering?

Much to my surprise, I just learned that some English-language documents use the ö character. I need to know, when sorting words in an English-language document, where is ö placed? before A? ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

What non-alphabetic characters are valid in English spelling?

Is ' (the apostrophe) the only character which is not part of the English alphabet that can appear in the correct spelling of an English word?
3
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2answers
640 views

NATO and US Finance Spelling alphabets - Which is more commonly used in everyday situations?

This is mostly related to US "normal" day to day usage of the spelling alphabet. I am new to the country and most often emails/names etc needs to be spelled and I find it difficult to determine which ...
7
votes
2answers
940 views

Why is the letter “w” not pronounced “double v”?

Was "w" written with smoother curves back then?
6
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6answers
6k views

A perfect (honest) pangram that is understandable for a regular native user?

Pangrams were pure wordplays, that because of IT has become a nice tool to test keyboard and fonts, assuming they are easy to remember and short. Therefore perfect pangrams are so nice: you don't need ...
3
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2answers
62k views

Difference between Letter and Alphabet in English [closed]

Can anyone please explain what is the difference between "Letter" and "Alphabet" in English?
0
votes
1answer
111 views

Why hasn't the pronunciation of w been shortened?

"Double u" is a rather long pronunciation for a letter. Why do we not yet have a shortened pronunciation yet? Is the letter simply too young, or are there other reasons?
3
votes
1answer
16k views

What are the least common letters to start words? [closed]

What letters of the alphabet least commonly appear as the first letter of a word? I'm looking in particular for the 4 least common, but however many you want to give beyond that is welcome.
78
votes
5answers
133k views

If the letter J is only 400–500 years old, was there a J sound that preceded the design of the letter?

I understand that the letter "J" is relatively new — perhaps 400–500 years old. But since there has long been important names that begin with J, such as Jesus, Joshua, Justinian, etc., and which ...
5
votes
4answers
53k views

Word for “only letters” [closed]

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 ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

How to refer to “earlier” letters in the alphabet?

Concerning the order of letters in the alphabet, how does one refer to "earlier" letters? For example, "Names starting with "earlier" letters come first in lists." Would that be "earlier," "higher," ...
5
votes
3answers
9k views

Why was it necessary to divide alphabets into vowels and consonants?

This may be an extremely simple question. I know pretty much what do we do when we see any vowel but I am curious why were these two classes created in the first place. I beg pardon for another ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

R is the dog’s letter

Wikipedia: The letter R is sometimes referred to as the littera canina (canine letter). This phrase has Latin origins: the Latin R was trilled to sound like a growling dog. A good example of a ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

Perfect English Pangram [duplicate]

Is there a perfect pangram for English language, a sentence that uses all 26 English letters that appear only once? Polish, Dutch and Russian, all has perfect pangrams. Polish: Pójdźże, kiń tę ...