The '27th' letter - Deepstash
The '27th' letter

The '27th' letter

Every schoolchild knows there are 26 letters in the English alphabet . It seems self-evident that this fact must be as old as the language itself. Surprising as it may seem, as recently as the mid-1800s, there was a 27th letter — one you see on your computer keyboard every day, without suspecting that it once held equal status with A, B, C, and all of their comrades.

29 STASHED

12 LIKES

MORE IDEAS FROM THEARTICLE

&

The extra letter is &. Known as an “ampersand,” this letter was originally the 27th letter of the alphabet, taking its place right after Z. The page pictured on the right from the 1863 book The Dixie Primer, For The Little Folks  illustrates the way schoolchildren were taught their letters.

The ampersand dates back to the first century when Romans combined the letters E and T into one character representing the word et , which is Latin for “and.” From there, it made its way into the Old English alphabet, where it remained until the waning years of the 19th century.

37 STASHED

24 LIKES

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

RELATED IDEAS

Mathematics: The Language Of Science
  • According to Galileo Galilei, mathematics is the language in which God scripted the universe.
  • A language, as defined by linguist Noam Chomsky, is a set of sentences constructed using a finite set of elements, being able to represent events and abstract concepts.
  • Mathematics is considered a bona-fide language by many linguists though there are others who disagree and say that it is mostly in written format only.

163 STASHED

13 LIKES

The Language Everyone Uses Is Weird

The English language is a universal tool for communication and is mastered even by non-native speakers. The many inconsistencies, quirks and complexities found in English can be confusing and highly frustrating for millions, both in verbal and written formats.

Other languages like French may have complexities like silent letters or certain complex rules, but nothing beats the English language, where letters, combination of letters and pronunciations follow hundreds of different rules and contradictory spellings.

5 STASHED

2 LIKES

How the word "scientist" came into being

During an 1833 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, a spirited discussion took place to determine what to call those who worked in the different branches of their profession.

William Whewell suggested the word scientist, an obviously superficial suggestion that could not be considered seriously for a moment. Six decades later, it is still used.

53 STASHED

1 LIKE