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Questions tagged [alphabet]

Questions regarding the English alphabet.

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6
votes
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
7k views

Why is the letter “w” the only letter in (basic) English alphabet that is not read as one syllable? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is a w a “Double u”, but an m is not a “Double n”? Is there any reason/history as to why "w" is the only letter in English alphabet that is not ...
30
votes
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 ...
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!
8
votes
1answer
700 views

Anglicization of diacritical marks and non-English letters

In my understanding, many European cultures have compensated for the lack of certain characters on keyboards (especially old typewriters) by “anglicizing” some characters. For example, the German ß ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the term which encompasses accents, umlauts, etc? [closed]

Is there a term that covers grave and acute accents, umlauts, cedillas, tildes and all other characters that can be added to normal letters. I have come across the word diacritics. But this seems to ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the name of this letter? [closed]

I came upon this letter when reading a book, I couldn't find its name on the internet, you can imagine how hard it is to search about it. What is the name of the letter that follows "sample space"? ...
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
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 ...
16
votes
1answer
4k views

Where did the names of English letters come from, and why are they all monosyllabic (except for “w”)? [duplicate]

I don't know too many languages, but the ones I know have more elaborate names for their letters than the monosyllabicity of names for English letters. (E.g. - I'll pick on Greek here - ay instead of ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Does the letter C serve any unique purpose? [closed]

Does the letter 'C' make any sound that cannot be made by other letters? "Cat" could be spelled "Kat," "Cinder" could be spelled "Sinder," and "Watch" could be spelled "Watsh." Edit: An excerpt ...
1
vote
5answers
1k views

Are there any plans to extend the English alphabet

Certain sounds possibly deserve their own letter in the alphabet, are there any indication that some more letter may be added to the English alphabet?
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there an English word containing the vowels ɤ or ɐ, and if not, which similar-sounding vowels are there in English? [closed]

I need examples for English words which contain the sounds ɤ (close-mid back unrounded vowel) and ɐ (schwa, an unstressed neutral vowel). But I am not sure if there are such words at all. If there ...
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 ...
37
votes
4answers
108k views

What is the proper way to write the plural of a single letter? (another apostrophe question)

When writing (a blog post, script, etc..) what is the proper way to indicate two or more instances of a single letter? For instance, in Monty Python's Bookshop Sketch: C: I wonder if you might have ...
1
vote
1answer
9k views

Is there a sentence containing every letter without repeating? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Shortest pangram Does anyone know of a coherent sentence that contains every letter in the alphabet without repeating any?
26
votes
2answers
48k views

Why is X used when we pronounce it Z?

I've seen a lot of words use an X but be pronounced with a Z. Mitch Hedberg put it best: Xylophone is spelled with an X, that's wrong, xylophone's zzzz, X? I don't $%(@#& see it. It should be a ...
11
votes
4answers
31k views

What word contains the most unique letters?

I'm assuming there isn't a word that contains every letter in the alphabet, so which word contains the most? Examples: antidisestablishmentarianism - 12 [antidseblhmr] psychotherapy - 12 [...
7
votes
5answers
620 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
104k views

What are the conventional words for characters (A-Z)?

I have just read the newest post of DOGHOUSEDIARIES, and I am wondering whether the words for characters are fixed in the USA or the UK, as I am not a native English speaker. For example: A as in ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
8k views

I'm trying to teach Non-English kids the alphabet. What is a good list of words starting with A-Z? [closed]

I am writing a small software program to teach non-English-speaking kids English Alphabets from A to Z. Is there any list of simple English words which begin with each letter? For example Apple for "...