Questions tagged [alphabet]

Questions regarding the English alphabet.

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7
votes
1answer
444 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 ...
58
votes
3answers
23k views

Is there a reason behind the ordering of letters in the English alphabet?

Is there a reason behind the ordering of letters in the English alphabet? i.e. why are we taught “A,B,C,D,E,F,...,Z”? Why not “L,A,S,U,I,Z,...,C”? I am asking this because, in some of the languages I ...
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
52 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
427 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

With character or sign

Is there a character or sign for 'with', similar to & for 'and'? Also, for 'without'?
0
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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?
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 ...
3
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
1
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0answers
130 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, ...
7
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2answers
954 views

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

Was "w" written with smoother curves back then?
6
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2answers
24k views

Is the “Roman alphabet” what we use for English?

I understand that the alphabet for the English language is not strictly English as languages such as French, Dutch and many more use the same alphabet, with few additions in other languages. Is Roman ...
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
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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
647 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 ...
30
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3answers
17k views

Ye olde english alphabet question: Any other letters lost besides thorn, edh, and yogh?

According to this link, we are missing (in Modern English) at least three letters that used to be in common use in English. These are thorn, edh, and yogh. Are there others that were clearly in the ...
1
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0answers
190 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 ...
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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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
526 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
823 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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
55 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.
16
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4answers
3k views

Is there any shorter pronunciation of W than double-U?

When spelling, every letter in the Alphabet is pronounced by a single syllable, with the only exception of W being pronounced "double-U". (Fun fact, in German it's approximately pronounced like the "...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the word “formulæ” valid English?

Is the word formulæ, written with an æ at the end, valid in English? I stumbled upon this apparently plural form of formula in the Wiktionary. I had no idea the letter æ could occur in English. Does ...
2
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
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
257 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)? ...
2
votes
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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
379 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
640 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
646 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: ...
7
votes
5answers
614 views

Does any English dialect use any non-English foreign letters in their alphabet?

Which English dialects use non-English foreign letters in their alphabets? Does any English dialect currently include any foreign letters as part of their alphabet? Are any English dialects currently ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the name of the basis writing stroke?

I can't recall the name of the standard writing stroke in the English script. Apologies in advance if this is off topic. This stroke is the single vertical stroke fundamental to many letters. A ...
1
vote
0answers
425 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....
2
votes
2answers
242 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 ...
0
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0answers
61 views

Foreign names: Transcription or literal spelling? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should foreign words (with foreign characters) be written in English text? Sometimes, you want to use the names of foreign people in English texts. This presents no ...
5
votes
2answers
5k 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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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?
1
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1answer
832 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
179 views

Does one consider “vs.” or “versus” when alphabetizing?

I work at a game store, and my manager insists that "versus" is to be considered when alphabetizing, and is not in the same league as "a, as, the, and, of, or," and the like. Although I do deem it ...
0
votes
3answers
4k 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"?
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..." ...
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 ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is a w a “Double u”, but an m is not a “Double n”?

My 4 year old son just asked me this, and I have to say I am totally stumped. I hate not telling him things, so here's hoping you guys can dig me out of this hole. You can't fault his logic!
6
votes
1answer
340 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 ...
-1
votes
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)? ...