Apr 1, 2015
Blogging from A to Z: A is for...Alphabet
Before your eyes roll back into your skull with boredom, let me ask you a question:
Did you know there used to be 27 letters in the alphabet?
Did you know YE...as in Ye Olde Tea Shoppe...is not a thing?
Did you know that people are pushing for NEW letters of the alphabet?
No? Well, read on my friend...
27th Letter of the alphabet
Today's emoticon-heavy, text messaging generation fully understand the benefits of brevity and a good smiley. This is not a new thing.
Not so long ago, in the middle 1800's, English speakers used 27 letters of the alphabet. After Z came & (ampersand)
So why is & called ampersand and not just and?
When the alphabet was recited, with & after Z, it would sound confusing...
W, X, Y, Z, and and.
Instead, it was spoken like this: W, X, Y, Z and per se and. Per se meaning "by itself" Over the years, "and per se and" was smooshed together and became ampersand.
So, for a while & was the 27th letter of the alphabet.
Ye isn't a thing because much like & a letter existed to replace the Th in "the". It was called THORN and looks like this: Þ
Basically, shoddy penmanship is to blame for the confusion and creation of Ye. Really it's just The Olde Tea Shoppe.
The English language is forever evolving. Some believe text messaging and the computer age will kill of English completely as we substitute every word and feeling with a string of emoticons. However, in the meantime we are slowly adapting to other changes... @ for example. @ started life as an accounting symbol meaning "at a rate of"
Nowadays, if you have a computer, you probably have an email like this:
Hopefully you chose a better name than that. However, there you see @ being used as AT.
Twitter is built around the @username idea and it's creeping further into day to day use.
Soon our alphabet might include some old favorites like & and some newbies like @.
That was A in the A to Z Blog Challenge. Come back tomorrow for B. And in the meantime go to http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ and check out some of the other bloggers.