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The Missing 12 Letters of the Our Alphabet

Man, it was hard enough remembering the current 26 – we could’ve had 12 additional letters to memorize!


For this particular letter, we can actually point to its exact origin. It was invented by a scribe named Alexander Gill the Elder in the year 1619 and meant to represent a velar nasal, which is found at the end of words like king, ring, thing, etc.

Gill intended for the letter to take the place of ng entirely (thus bringing would become briŋiŋ), and while it did get used by some scribes and printers, it never really took off—the Carolingian G was pretty well-established at that time and the language was beginning to morph into Modern English, which streamlined the alphabet instead of adding more to it. Eng did manage live on in the International Phonetic Alphabet, however.

You can read the rest at Mental Floss.
The only downside is we would’ve gotten extra Sesame Street characters to sing our extra letters …
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23 December 2012 Internet 15 Comments


  • D J says:

    O i c wut u mean lolololo & im like ya kno?haha YOLO

  • BMW says:

    In a number of old books in my library the long letter s printed like an “f” is quite common, the origin of I was unaware until reading the link.

  • danrio says:

    There may be hope that we can reduce the breakneck pace of the dumbing down of America. While I openly admit that I include myself in the groups I am about to mention, I had no idea that there were so many Grammar Gestapos and Word Police on Take5! I am impressed! Let’s work to keep the proper use of our language alive; teach our children, practice diligently on our own and gently correct errors in use when we observe them. I come from a generation which taught vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and diagramming sentences (Whazzat?), and I am disappointed to see the teaching (or, in some cases, the learning) of these principles fall by the wayside. Texting abbreviations have virtually (and actually) doomed these precepts to extinction or, at the very least, to places on the endangered species list. Spell checkers, while useful, are often ignored.

    Off my soap box now dude TTYL peace out

  • Jack says:

    Letters were removed from the English language purposely to limit certain type thinking. Nowadays the agenda for the masses is linguistic minimalization. The less vocabulary one knows the easier their they are to control and less they are able to deduce. There are a buch of words that describe our situation that the people in the system never heard of therefore don’t even know what’s happening. I guess it’s too late now though. The dumbing down of the masses has already taken its toll. Most kids nowadays can’t even read a darn map.

  • John in Missouri says:

    Now we know why Walmart keeps cancelling cases!

  • taylor says:

    Alot….or a lot? Short texting will continue to progress even when you don’t realise your doing it, 🙂

  • Rainman says:

    ….do you have something against short people texting?

    • Rainman says:

      Kevin , was just messing with you. “short” – meaning people under average height “short texting people” And English? “A Lot” is two words and “too many” not “to” as in – to go to a place. 😛
      That’s what you get for trying to tell me the cooler arrived smashed!
      Merry Christmas!
      Celine arrived?

    • Rainman says:

      OMG , LOL – Oh & BTW … there “are” a lot more letters missing would be better grammar when speaking of a group or collection of items like the alphabet.



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