152

A lot of the "J" names in English are from the Bible and would have originally been written with an initial I in Latin, as the letter J did not get started until the Renaissance. In modern transliteration of Hebrew these names are written with an initial Y. For example, "Yeʻhoshua" for Joshua, "Yaʻaqov" for Jacob, or "Yirmeyāhū" for Jeremiah/Jeremy/Jerry. ...


86

TL;DR: Ignore diacritics when sorting English — except to break ties. When sorting English text — but not the text of various other languages — one does not distinguish letters with and without diacritics as different unless tie-breaking is required because all letters are the same otherwise. In such a case that two entries differ only by their ...


82

The answer to this is.... complicated. The letter J is, as you mentioned, relatively recent, and originated as a variant of the letter I. Why that happens is a little complicated, and requires unpacking some assumptions in your question. In the original languages (Latin, Greek, Hebrew) which provide us with the names Jesus, Joseph, Justinian, etc., the ...


15

A further point is that many of these names are essentially the same name. Your list of 18 names: Jack, Jackie, Jackson, Jill, Janet, Jeremy, Jeremiah, Jake, Jesus, Jacob, Jock, John, Johnny, Jon, Joe, Joel, Janus, Jerr Broken down into 9 groups: John, Johnny, Jon, Jock, Janet Jack, Jackie, Jackson ("son of Jack"). Very closely related to John (...


12

& comes from a Latin scribal abbreviation for et (⁊ which was used as an alternative to & in Old English and is still used that way in Modern Irish comes from a different form of the same thing). c̄ was a Latin scribal abbreviation for cum and p̱ for per, both of which would be used some places where in English we would use with. They had other ...


11

I, an ignorant, lazy, hubristic, and (most-importantly) impatient American, need to add this preface, so I will have enough letters for this to be counted as an answer. One word: Keyboard Please, before you take offense at my use of adjectives, read the second-to-last paragraph before the note about dıacrıtıcs ın English. Now that I've made this answer ...


10

As @Laure mentions, this really belongs to the Linguistics group as this is a wider question pertinent to Latin and all/most Latin-influenced European languages. Classical Latin did not have a distinct J sound (the J as we know in English.) When I was followed by another vowel, it usually sounded similar to English /Y/. Thus we had Iulius which was as if ...


10

Vowels and consonants describe sounds. The sounds came first and the letters we call vowels and consonants came later as attempts to record them in writing. So the question should really be about why human speech has some sounds which come uninterrupted from the vocal cords (vowels), and why others are modified in the mouth (consonants). That is an ...


9

The letter W is known in the NATO phonetic alphabet as "whiskey". I am not sure if that counts as "semi-officially accepted" though.


9

It may be worth noting that in Indian English, the word alphabet can take on a similar meaning to letter, which can cause confusion. In standard English, the difference is basically that an alphabet is a collection of letters.


8

A Google search turned up a number of candidates. With 28 letters, there are a few which can be made: Waltz job vexed quick frog nymphs (courtesy of Ronan) Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow Brick quiz whangs jumpy veldt fox Waltz, nymph, for quick jigs vex Bud There's at least one 27-letter pangram, which makes sense but is probably better ...


7

The answer is obvious: Modern Standard English does not have diacritics. Why would you expect English copy to include non-English characters? If someone wants to write my English name in a non-English language I expect the writer to do just that, and I don't complain if my name looks different when written in that language.


7

Formal yes, universal no. Here's one: We have included each letter with its name and plural below the list of examples. The United States uses zee, while other countries use zed. A a aes B bee bees C cee cees D dee dees E e ees F ef (...


7

As pointed out in one of the answers above, the commonest names in English are biblical: John/Johan/Jean/Juan, James/Jacob, Joshua/Jesus, Joseph, Judah/Judas, etc., all of which are Hebrew in origin, and begin with the syllable Jah or Yah, meaning "God". There are also common names of Roman or Greek origin, like Julius, Jason, Justin, etc. There are even ...


6

The quick answer is "yes" to both questions. Before j became differentiated from i, the "J" sound could be spelled with g in various combinations (edge, gem, exaggerate, etc.); and in ancient times, the names you mentioned were pronounced with an initial "Y" sound. Transcribed from Hebrew, Jesus was Yeshua. The Romans would have spelled Justinian "...


6

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 ...


6

No. The letter "u" was written like a "v". From here, Roman alphabet for Latin The Romans used just 23 letters to write Latin:


6

A letter is a particular symbol used in writing, an alphabet is the set of all the letters. Here is a letter: A Here is an alphabet: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ


6

It really doesn't matter much what spelling alphabet you stick to, unless you are working in a specific branch of industry where people expect a specific alphabet. In general, people just want to know if you mean N or M, and whether you make that clear by saying Nancy or November, your message will be clear. In situations where a specific alphabet is used ...


6

According to the Wikipedia page on the Ampersand, this is true. The ampersand often appeared as a letter at the end of the Latin alphabet, as for example in Byrhtferð's list of letters from 1011. Similarly, & was regarded as the 27th letter of the English alphabet, as used by children (in the US). An example may be seen in M. B. Moore's 1863 book The ...


6

This one has four distinct letters: Madam, I'm Adam. It's also notable because it is a palindrome, and it was also the first sentence uttered by a human being (joke).


6

I tend to follow Omniglot and call them writing systems. This is because Omniglot - and I believe linguistics generally - uses different terms depending on certain characteristics of the writing system and how it represents sounds of the language. For example, English, French, Greek, Korean hangul, and Russian are written with alphabets; Hindi, Bengali, and ...


5

No. A hyphen can appear in an English word as well. For example: a five-year-old boy


5

These are 5 letters that occur least frequently as first letters of words in English: Z X Q J K (in increasing order - Z is the least common) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequency#Relative_frequencies_of_the_first_letters_of_a_word_in_the_English_language


5

If I understand your question correctly, you are referring to lexicographic(al) ordering. In more general terms, A is lexicographically smaller than B if A precedes B in some alphabet X. I don't think many people without math/computer science backgrounds would understand these terms though.


5

Broadly agree with @tchrist (lazy, impatient, ignorant). I would add as well, however, that English speakers are extremely comfortable with impenetrable and unfathomable pronunciation differences. Memorising an enormous variety of irregular pronunciation is part of what we are used to doing. As such, we don't expect to be given guidance on pronunciation ...


5

I think it is an attempt to appropriate the word (into English), and I believe it is quite common (in the sense that this is what language users do and will do). For example, the name of the German town of Meißen was -- as far as I'm aware -- always spelled 'Meissen' outside Germany. This is the same phenomenon. One might take the view that a word is more ...


5

According to Wikipedia, the ampersand originated as a ligature in Roman scripts of the letters e an t to represent the Latin word et, meaning and. According to the OED, citing Longman's Magazine (1882), the name ampersand is a corruption of "and per se and," that is, the symbol means "and" all by itself. But it's not a letter and would have carried the ...


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