- How many letters can be found within the alphabet?
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- AND, THE 27TH LETTER OF THE ALPHABET
How many letters can be found within the alphabet?
How many letters are in the Alphabet. A famous American politician once stated “There are things we know and things we do not know and there are things we know we do not know and things that we do not know that we do not know.” This, at a minimum, is the essence of what he was trying communicate. I’m wondering if anybody actually knew what that he was trying to clarify. I doubt it. The easiest way to look at the situation is to realize that while we are aware of certain facts, but we are ignorant of a lot however, we are able to ask questions. IMHO the best way to live is to ask questions about every aspect. Also, question things that appear to be straightforward facts that you’ve always believed to be the truth …
I’ll return to the basic question that is the topic of this article How many letters are found within the alphabet? The answer for English as well as the majority of European languages, is 26 beginning with the letter A, and finishing with Z. It is actually what is known as the Latin alphabet. Of sure, there are languages such as Greek is an example which use another alphabet. However, we’ll stick to looking at our Latin one.
While the Latin alphabet has officially 26 letters, certain languages do not make much use of certain letters. For instance, J and K are not used extensively in Italian and my Italian dictionary is straight between I and M.
Some languages contain additional letters, but we’ll return to this.
At present I’ll take a take a look at the process that brought us to 26. It wasn’t that long back that we had a number 27 letter that looked something like”&. It is the well-known abbreviation for “and”, which is frequently used in company names, etc. (Barnes and Noble, for instanceand we refer to it as”an “ampersand”. In the beginning, it was the final letter immediately after Z and was referred to as “and”. This created some confusion while the alphabet was spoken due to the fact that it ends in “…”W, X Z” that sounds strange and insufficient. Then people began saying “and per se” — “per se” means “by itself”. The misinterpretation resulted in the term “ampersand”. A new word that is derived from misinterpretation of something is known as”mondegreen” — a “mondegreen” — a rather irrelevant fact to know! In the future, this letter was removed out of the alphabet.
Ampersand is not the only letter to be lost. Two other letters, “thorn” and “wynn” were lost a long time in the past. Thorn used to be one of the “th” sound in words that resembled “then”. The closest appearing letter to the Latin alphabet was “y”, so that was substituted for it. This is the reason why there’s “ye” as well as “the”. Wynn was replaced with “uu”, which became “w”. It is believed that the alphabets U and J have been part of the alphabet for around 400 years.
In various languages, the base letters are altered through accents. In French for instance, the most frequent examples include: e, e and c. In German the accent is the “umlaut”: a, O, U. In English there is the same accent that is which is used in terms like “naive” to separate the vowels that are adjacent to each other. It is often referred to as”diacritic. “diacritic.”
While there are accented letters in a few languages, people who speak these languages consider them to be distinct letters. For instance in Swedish they are three letters: a, a and O. In the order of letters they are positioned towards the end, just after Z and not right next to their non-accented siblings. This, in conjunction with the total interchangeability between W and V makes an Swedish phone book or dictionary somewhat difficult.
SEE ALSO : 6 Steps To Make The Crumble Cookie Your Way
AND, THE 27TH LETTER OF THE ALPHABET
The alphabet has 26 letters in the English alphabet, and two letters”A” and “I “A” and “I” which are also words. As we’ve already seen, another letter called the ampersand (and) is could be, at times, was added to the current 26. The word “ampersand” is probably a result of the symbol’s inclusion.
The photo above comes from a book published in 1863 titled “The Dixie Primer, For The Little Folks,” accessible in this website in all its entiretythe book, as many others is aimed at teaching children their ABCs as well as some basic words and phonetics. It is notable that the ampersand appears found as an alphabetic element, located behind the Z and at the end of the set. Although not the usual use, it wasn’t unusual to add the ampersand since it was in use for many long periods of time.
The ampersand evolved as did the rest of the English language dating far back into the early 1st century at the time that Romans often combined two alphabets “E” and “T” to create a symbol similar to the other letters, to represent”et,” which is the Latin word for “et” meaning “and.” It was incorporated into the Old English alphabet which was still being used into the middle ages. As Old English was discarded in favour that of what we know as modern English we are used to it, the ampersand retained its status as a “member of the alphabet” (to make up a term) to a certain extent, with certain dialects and regions including it up to the mid-1800s.
But it wasn’t yet an ampersand. And was instead, referred to”and “and” — which caused the pronunciation of the alphabet to be awkward. As Dictionary.com mentions that it was (and was and still is) strange to say “X Y Z and.” This is why they did not. In the end, our dictionary came up with another phrase: “X, Y, and Z, and by itself, ‘and’” However, instead of using “by itself,” the Latin phrase by itself became popular. The result? “And per se, and,” or, murmured rapidly by a bored student, “ampersand.”
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The reason for why the ampersand in the alphabet was taken out of fashion is anybody’s hypothesis
But there’s an excellent chance that the credit is given to the ABC song that we are familiar with (that is, the one that is a re-tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (and takes inspiration from Mozart’s Ah vous dirai je, Maman). This song was licensed copyrighted in 1835 around the time when the ampersand began to fall out of fashion alongside the other ABCs.
A bonus fact: Old English included the ampersand but it didn’t include some of the letters that we use today, including J, U, and W. J and U were not independent letters until sixteenth century (they were represented by the letters I and V and V, respectively) and W becoming an independent letter of U within a short time.
The Archives: “ Mystery Tome,” the tale of the Voynich Manuscript the 240-page book that is believed to date dating to the 1400s. It uses the first-ever-seen and at this date, uninterpreted “alphabet.” We don’t know what the book is about. We don’t even exactly who composed it or even why.