What Character Was Removed from the Alphabet?


Johnson & Johnson, Barnes & Noble, Dolce & Gabbana: the ampersand today is used primarily in business names, but that small character was once the 27th part of the alphabet. Where did it come from though? The origin of its name is almost as bizarre as the name itself.

The shape of the character (&) predates the word ampersand by more than 1,500 years. In the first century, Roman scribes wrote in cursive, so when they wrote the Latin word et which means “and” they linked the e and t. Over time the combined letters came to signify the word “and” in English as well. Certain versions of the ampersand, like that in the font Caslon, clearly reveal the origin of the shape.

The word “ampersand” came many years later when “&” was actually part of the English alphabet. In the early 1800s, school children reciting their ABCs concluded the alphabet with the &. It would have been confusing to say “X, Y, Z, and.” Rather, the students said, “and per se and.” “Per se” means “by itself,” so the students were essentially saying, “X, Y, Z, and by itself and.” Over time, “and per se and” was slurred together into the word we use today: ampersand. When a word comes about from a mistaken pronunciation, it’s called a mondegreen.

(The ampersand is also used in an unusual configuration where it appears as “&c” and means etc. The ampersand does double work as the e and t.)

The ampersand isn’t the only former member of the alphabet. Learn what led to the extinction of the thorn and the wynn.

Are there other symbols or letters you would like to learn about? The most popular choice below will be our focus in the near future.

30 Crown Energy Corp. Jay Measley (801) 537-5610 P (CEO) (801) 537-5609 F in our site 1800contacts coupon code

31 Utah Medical Products Inc. Kevin L Cornwell (801) 566-1200 P (CEO) (801) 566-2062 F

32 Equity Oil Co. Paul M. Dougan (801) 521-3515 P (CEO) (801) 521-3534 F

33 Alpine Air Express Eugene Mallette (801) 373-1508 P (CEO) (801) 377-3781 F go to web site 1800contacts coupon code

34 Dynatronics Corp. Kelvyn H.

(801) 568-7000 P Cullimore Jr.

(801) 568-7711 F (CEO)

35 Sento Corp. Patric O’Neal (801) 492-2000 P (CEO) (801) 492-2100 F


  1. Andy -  November 11, 2015 - 5:46 am

    The New Testament (Greek original) has 27 books in honour of the 27 letters in the alphabet at that time. ‘Let he who hath the wisdom compute the number of the beast’ refers to those who could read and write and the numerical alphabet table. The one which was used to engineer our language. Pythagoras was the name of the brotherhood at the school of Athens in Alexandria, and not a single person. The name means ‘A number shall be laid out before you’ (Gora is a market area and ‘tha’ is something shall be) The Py comes from the Gods who gave us the relationship of 3.142 etc. Sadly this information does not appear in any history books for ecclesiastical reasons.

    • karen -  November 11, 2015 - 9:08 am

      Wow, cool. Very deep, thanks.

    • Theresa Hovick-Thomas -  November 11, 2015 - 11:03 pm

      I am a court reporting instructor and found that very interesting. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I truly appreciate that and you can be assured that my students will know that come tomorrow!!! :)

    • Jeannie -  November 12, 2015 - 10:33 am

      “Let him who hath the wisdom” is the correct wording of your quote. The sentence is [you understood] let him [objective case] who has the wisdom….etc.

      Incorrect to say You let he…..

    • john gunter -  November 13, 2015 - 6:34 am

      Pythagoras was a person, a mathametician.

      • john gunter -  November 13, 2015 - 6:40 am

        make that a mathematician. (probably a better speller too)

    • Rick Ash -  November 16, 2015 - 5:48 pm

      This is extremely interesting (to me). If the information does not appear in any history books do I take it then that you can read the original Greek New Testament? And the answer is very plain or must be intuited? While hoping for a response I will research the webz for Pythagoras ( I am aware but,,) and the origin of the Py numbers. The “for ecclesiastical reasons” aspect has me stymied, I am a Theologian.
      Thank You,

      • Brian -  November 21, 2015 - 11:13 am

        Many experts now believe the Four Gospels of the New Testament were original written in Aramaic and the Ancient Greek versions we now have are translations.

    • Mit -  November 18, 2015 - 10:17 am

      Thanks Andy. Good trivia for a long day at work.

      However, did anyone notice this article and thus the comments is from Feb. 2011? Time to move on…nothing ELSE to see hear….

      (just for you Jackie G-Errrrrrr-l; Here!)

    • shan -  November 18, 2015 - 5:57 pm

      Where it did come from? Since I was a student no teacher or school ever mention that idea? and if it is really true…. Why, until now they never change it or apply it?

    • Ann -  November 19, 2015 - 4:09 am

      I do crossword puzzles. A frequent question is “Greek Marketplace”. In puzzles the answer is always agora. Could you kindly explain the difference?

      Great information, but a bit too long.

    • Rebecca Eriksson -  November 21, 2015 - 4:12 am

      Very cool

    • julie -  November 21, 2015 - 7:26 am

      very interesting!

    • kitchen@webbweave.com -  November 22, 2015 - 9:54 am


      Pythagoras of Samos was an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and has been credited as the founder of the movement called Pythagoreanism.

    • Finn -  November 22, 2015 - 11:15 pm

      I don’t believe you at all.

    • Tahlia -  November 24, 2015 - 2:17 am

      :/ i have wasted many years staying in a safety bubble, fearful i couldn’t possibly be the advanced knowledgeable or intellectual being i wished to be… uneducated ghetto child thoughts of ‘when will this life finally end’ without room for growth.

      thank you for sharing this information so that i could see that i have the potential to learn, to grow, to be better then all i thought i could be

  2. zach clippard -  November 9, 2015 - 7:54 am

    thanks i did not know that

  3. Andy -  November 8, 2015 - 8:59 am

    27 Characters in Alphabet – That was the original Greek alphabet many thousands of years ago from the Coptic roots. Now only 24 exist.
    Digamma, Koppa and Stigma have gone. Stigma looked like an upside down question mark. It was thought to be from the devil That’s why it has the meaning today. Also Ancient Greeks thought ‘to read and write’ was like magic – the reason for the word spell – as in a word or magic. two or more thousand years ago without anything like TV, radio or even mass produced books would have seemed like magic to save narratives. We who speak English language owe a lot to the ancient Greek civilisation who engineered the original language which has no gender from their alphabet tables. Alexander the Great left a clue in the black letter German. Have a look at a road sign in Germany you will see the double ‘S’ in strasse which uses a Greek letter beta to this day

    • Unknown Person(at least u know i m a person) -  November 11, 2015 - 2:44 pm

      Make it shorter next time cause people like me wont have the time to read all that.

      • m -  November 17, 2015 - 2:38 am

        Unknown Person
        “…people…wont have the time to read…”

        You need to make time!


      • Ryan -  November 19, 2015 - 4:17 pm

        why do we not have time??? I have plenty of time, even with school, band, homework, chess practice, video games, and sleeping!!!

        • Tahlia -  November 24, 2015 - 2:45 am

          Ryan, thankyou for you have further inspired me to be.. more! x

    • Tahlia -  November 24, 2015 - 2:58 am

      i genuinely appreciate the information Andy, the comments also. in truth the moment entirely has brightened my spirits more so then any other moment since the 25th of september :)
      many, many times i thankyou

  4. Doug -  November 5, 2015 - 6:10 pm

    I always wondered why the “&” was on the Palmer Writing Method posters we had in grade school.

  5. myadah -  November 1, 2015 - 11:31 pm

    Wow this is really interesting !
    Glad to know, that there is 27 letters in our alphabet

    THANK YOU ! :)

    • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 4, 2015 - 4:38 pm

      myadah- November 1, 2015 – 11:31 pm

      Glad to know, that there is 27 letters in our alphabet
      Glad to know there ARE 27 letters… It’s plural!

      In fact there are only 26: starting with A they go on all the way to W X Y Z. Many contributors have said that they learned the end as W X Y and Z and they substituted the ‘&’ for ‘and’, thinking it to be a letter. It ain’t.

      Jackie H

      • Mit -  November 18, 2015 - 10:03 am

        Jackie H. – you nitpick at Andy’s and other’s grammar yet you end your last sentence with “Ain’t”? Whatever happened to 1) enjoying some fascinating information and trivia for the sake of fun and 2) not being such a snot? Besides, who made you queen of grammar? Practice what you preach, as well.

        Thanks Andy for some fun to lighten my day…The fact that such information is not readily available in standard historical texts is not really amazing. So much of history is left out and we’re all left to either Trivial Pursuit games or fun blogs and comment sections like this. Much appreciated!

        Oh and I hope this isn’t too long for those that can’t concentrate for more than 140 characters…

    • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 4, 2015 - 4:44 pm

      myadah- November 1, 2015 – 11:31 pm

      Glad to know, that there is 27 letters in our alphabet
      Glad to know there ARE 27 letters… It’s plural.

      In fact there are only 26; starting with A they go on all the way to W X Y Z. Many contributors have said that they learned the end as W X Y and Z and they substituted the ‘&’ for ‘and’, thinking it to be a letter. It ain’t.

      Jackie H

      • Stickleback -  November 25, 2015 - 6:25 am

        It isn’t (not ain’t) :)

    • Bradlee Thedawg -  November 7, 2015 - 3:33 pm

      There ARE (not ‘is’) 27 letters…

  6. Ocean peralta -  October 29, 2015 - 1:13 pm

    I never knew that! How interesting…

  7. Emily -  October 13, 2015 - 8:55 am

    This was FASCINATING! (And, I know it’s all true since I read it on the interwebs).

    • Stephen Job -  October 16, 2015 - 6:18 pm


    • Esther -  October 30, 2015 - 7:21 am

      Bonjour!! :)

    • shadow -  November 9, 2015 - 2:28 pm

      You know what, I really like you . meet me at the diner at 10 ;}
      im 11 sorry

  8. Ariana -  October 12, 2015 - 6:33 pm

    someone said ampersand was removed (from alphabet)in roman times around 1500. Hello! Gibbon wrote of the fall of Roman Empire as Sep 4th AD 476! and 1500 was the start of Tudor dynasty with Henry 7th. Let’s quibble correctly…eh?

    • Jacquelyn Hyde -  October 13, 2015 - 11:41 am

      Ariana: In those days Gibbon wrote of the fall as the 4th of September 476 AD! And you wanna quibble correctly, right?

    • Stephen Job -  October 16, 2015 - 6:15 pm

      what is an ampersand

      • Stephen Job -  October 16, 2015 - 6:16 pm

        hi random people.have you ever been to 6 flags?LOL

    • Randy -  October 20, 2015 - 3:52 am

      Read it again. It doesn’t say 1500 AD, it says 1500 years BEFORE (“predates”). Better you don’t quibble with that reading comprehension problem!

    • Ian -  October 23, 2015 - 8:01 pm

      Ariana, the article says the shape of the ampersand came about 1500 years prior to the word ampersand which was subsequently removed from the modern alphabet.

  9. Tricia -  October 6, 2015 - 11:33 am

    When was the ampersand taken out of the alphabet?

    • Margaret Urueta -  October 11, 2015 - 10:50 am

      It states it was taken out during the Roman days probably around 1500′s

      • jacquelyn Hyde -  October 13, 2015 - 10:58 am

        Margaret: Er – 1500s, please. It’s a plural, so no apostrophe.

        • Keith -  October 18, 2015 - 7:50 am

          Yes, using ‘s to make a word plural is one of my pet peeves. It’s amazingly common.

          • Bobby Joe Ronson ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ °) -  October 19, 2015 - 10:01 am

            And keith
            ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ °)

          • Jason -  October 20, 2015 - 11:49 am

            Except in the case of pluralizing certain lower case letters.

      • Randy -  October 20, 2015 - 3:53 am

        No, it says 1500 years before, NOT A.D.

      • claudio -  October 24, 2015 - 6:10 am

        quote of the text
        “The word “ampersand” came many years later when “&” was actually part of the English alphabet. In the early 1800s, school children reciting their ABCs ”
        a) Margaret has not read complete or
        b) M has missinterpreted
        c) answer toTricia should be ” after the early 1800s without ‘ which for sure she knew anyway

      • Beccy -  October 27, 2015 - 5:29 pm

        Nowhere in this article is a date given for the exit of the & symbol! Did anyone actually read this or are we all just trying to argue a point? Anyway, it happened sometime AFTER the 1800′s as that was the last reference made to it’s use.

  10. Stosh -  September 26, 2015 - 3:59 am

    That was both interesting & informative.

    • Word Wizard P.h.D -  September 28, 2015 - 8:28 am

      I’m naming my 1st daughter Ampersand. So when gets older, she could either write out her name in full, or use the ‘&’ as a signature.. Yup, this fatherhood crap is gonna be a breeze..

      • John -  September 29, 2015 - 6:39 pm

        I like your outlook on fatherhood. I truly hope it is as the breeze you are awaiting. Congratulations on becoming a father! Best wishes!

      • Page -  October 1, 2015 - 1:58 am

        WOW. Just wow ….

      • jim -  October 1, 2015 - 6:00 am

        Beats some of the wacky crap I’ve seen kids get named. I always cringe, hope the best for the child, and say, “Good luck getting a plastic license plate for that kid’s bicycle!”

      • &rea -  October 4, 2015 - 1:05 am

        Gee, I’ve been &rea since 1997. I decided to abbreviate my name & it stuck. But there are SO many places online that don’t like the “&” in my name which is what is stopping me from making it my legal spelling. I’d have to misspell my name intentionally just to make online forms & such happy.

        • PinkiePyy -  October 7, 2015 - 11:56 am

          & is boring.

          • PinkiePyy -  October 7, 2015 - 11:57 am

            Dat izz tru.

          • ancient icewrath -  October 27, 2015 - 2:11 pm

            you don’t like ampersand!

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 6, 2015 - 2:45 am

            Boredom is a personal problem – like B.O. Sort it out yerself and stop whingeing.

        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 23, 2015 - 12:29 pm

          &rea: I love the way you’re spelling your name (there you go, guys; both correct spellings in one sentence – I guess that’s a record for this site‽). I doubt that you’ll be able to use it with computers (online forms & such) till they’re made with a sense of humour. If and when they are, I wonder what sort of jokes they’ll make? Or are they too stupid?

        • Sinae -  November 18, 2015 - 12:45 pm

          Actually…. You are ALREADY misspelling your name if &rea is your version and NOT yet legal! So it is a NICKNAME rather than your REAL name. :/ It is DEF cool, but not yours. So “intentionally” spelling it the legal way is NOT intentional. FYI ;)

      • Margaret Urueta -  October 11, 2015 - 11:02 am

        Good for you, she’ll probably love English.

      • Jacquelyn Hyde -  October 13, 2015 - 11:33 am

        Word Wizard: You’ve got a Ph.D. and that’s how you spell it‽ Now there’s cause for using the rhetora. (That’s the rare combo of question and exclamation marks.) Incidentally, I love your new kid’s name!

        • TJ Joyce -  October 16, 2015 - 12:04 am

          Rhetora? Now that’s a new one on me – as apparently also on Yahoo and Google. In fact, Yahoo found nothing (1st page of results) and Google only found that combination of letters in some foreign languages (also 1st page of results). I think you mean the “interrobang”, as in “interrogatory” (?) and BANG (!).

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 20, 2015 - 4:28 pm

            Here we go again.


            “Rhetora? Now that’s a new one on me – as apparently also on Yahoo and Google. In fact, Yahoo found nothing (1st page of results) and Google only found that combination of letters in some foreign languages (also 1st page of results). I think you mean the “interrobang”, as in “interrogatory” (?) and BANG (!)”.

            TJ Joyce: This is true, but I’m glad you troubled to look. I didn’t find it in them either, which is not surprising since its use on this site is its first public airing. (Gosh!) I checked in case I might falsely claim copyright later. Meanwhile, may I explain it by way of an abridged note from a Kindle book that’s due out very shortly? First though, rhetora obviously comes from the Greek, rhetoric, the art of eloquence, which grew in use and complexity, using all manner of tricks, e.g. rhetorical questions. I prefer the word to ‘interrobang’ simply because it’s prettier; I do hate ugly words, don’t you?

            A student once asked me: “Miss, what do you call a question that is also a statement — or even an exclamation?”
            “Such as?”
            “Well, f’rinstance, if someone says, ‘You call that a hat – is it this (?), this (.) or that (!)’”?
            Well, I think it depends on what you want to say, and I didn’t know whether there’s another name for it but I called it the rhetora. I often use the, you-call-that-a-hat mark; the queer-looking ‘interrobang’, which looks like this: ‽ It’s useful where neither a question mark, nor a full stop, nor even an interjection quite expresses the emotional combination that a question often contains. It may be rhetorical anyway, as in the unmarked ‘you-call-that-a-hat’ question above.
            I used to use the ‘?!’ or ‘!?’ together, depending on which seemed better, given a particular context. But rarely could I be certain of the order in which they should appear. Then – well, serendipity or what?! I found the ‽ sign. The uncertainty vanished, like a frog in a swan shop.
            The sign combination often indicates the presence of irony, also that time when we don’t know whether to express such coincident but inconsonant emotions as, for example, surprise and anger, or novelty and disbelief together; e.g., “You call that a hat‽”
            Coined in Madison Avenue’s madmen world of advertising in 1962, (Merriam-Webster cites 1967, though it doesn’t bother to say where) the mark triggered several suggestions as to a name, including rhet, but Martin K. Speckter, who wrote the magazine article in which it first appeared, had already chosen the awkward and, I think, rather ugly ‘interrobang’.

            I find the combined Latin derived ‘inter’, meaning between, and ‘rogation’, a fairly rare word, meaning a kind of plea, giving us ‘interrogation’, (a word which has utterly changed its meaning in recent times!), clash horribly with the ‘bang’ part of it, which turns out to be printers’ slang for the interjection, or exclamation mark. (Bang!) It works well, so it’s a ‘good’ word. A logically good choice, then.

            However, I suggest this was a surprisingly poor marketing choice, and is the main reason for its since having been described as “…an obscure punctuation mark.” I confess to having never seen it outside this book and the good ol’ Windows font collection where I first encountered it (to my delight). It’s one of those things I’ve been looking for for years, without even realising it — you know what I mean? That utensil you suddenly find, and buy, then wonder how you ever managed without it ‽
            I think rhetora is a better word, derived from rhetoric and rhetorical. Indeed, it might not be a direct question at all, as rhetorical questions seldom are. However, as a question not to be answered, it yet lacks the disapproval given by the exclamation or question marks. The words interrobang and rhet are equally young, and are thought to name the language’s first new punctuation mark for 200 years!
            My thanks to Interrobang-mks for most of this info.

      • Jorge -  October 13, 2015 - 8:01 pm

        Also, when & goes to Paris she will be called et, and when in Hollywood she will be E.T.

      • claudio -  October 24, 2015 - 6:14 am

        you might try to name her

        that way she will be able to write her name when aged 2

        • Mark -  November 11, 2015 - 1:11 pm

          Two? I’m 19 and I still can’t write an ampersand by hand.

          • Mike Seckerson -  November 17, 2015 - 4:19 am

            Mark- November 11, 2015 – 1:11 pm

            Two? I’m 19 and I still can’t write an ampersand by hand.

            Practise, baby, practise.


          • Sinae -  November 18, 2015 - 12:54 pm

            *Practice? Maybe? LOL @ Mike

          • momcat jones -  November 18, 2015 - 10:40 pm

            it’s easy, but feels kinda weird! start from what you’d think of as the END (the only area where there’s a straight line). it seems odd to basically write backwards, but it’s really the only way to comfortably do it – dunno why! =^,,^=

        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 20, 2015 - 4:50 pm

          Dot’s been done (short for Dorothy, of course) and the little mark is in danger of being overlooked, trodden on, or thought to be part of an e-mail address.



      • Dsfbemailaddy@gmail.com -  October 25, 2015 - 5:18 pm


      • Bob d -  November 15, 2015 - 4:04 am

        And I thought the “boy named Sue” had it rough!

      • ginny -  November 18, 2015 - 4:04 pm

        wow wow DOGE

    • brandon -  September 29, 2015 - 8:49 am

      your smart sir

      • Meg -  September 29, 2015 - 10:53 am


        • Mark -  October 4, 2015 - 7:53 am

          Nice catch, Meg. Isn’t it amazing how many people get that wrong?

          • Ty -  October 12, 2015 - 11:35 pm

            it is amazing. one SIMPLE mistake happening every five seconds around the whole world all it is, is the mistake of when your needs to be you’re in a different sentence

          • TJ Joyce -  October 16, 2015 - 12:07 am

            Or did Brandon get his tongue caught in his cheek?

    • Tricia -  October 6, 2015 - 11:23 am

      So when was the ampersand taken out of the alphabet?

    • Margaret Urueta -  October 11, 2015 - 10:52 am

      I think so too. School is the way to go at all costs. It heightens our minds.

    • Jacquelyn Hyde -  October 13, 2015 - 3:58 pm

      Now, Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the mistake in this article’s title? “What Character Was Removed from the Alphabet?” Shouldn’t it be ‘Which character’?
      Yes it should, but why? Well, it’s a question of numbers, in fact, finity or infinity. The alphabet has 26 letters (neglecting the schwa, et al). Add the missing single letter, implied by the title’s “…character…” and we have 27 – a finite number.
      So a question about something with a finite number in its contents asks, ‘Which…’, as in ‘which of these…?’
      An infinite number occurs most often in such a question as, ‘What will you do tomorrow?’, there being an infinite number of possibilities; infinite because we have no idea what ‘you’ will do tomorrow. (I appreciate that in English we are more likely to ask, e.g. ‘What are you doing,’ or ‘What are you going to do,’ but I’m keeping it simple because I’m about to compare it with this next example)…
      If there were a choice of, say, five things, then the question could well be, which will you do tomorrow? i.e, ‘which of these five things…’
      So, given that we are faced with a finite possibility of not five but twenty seven, a known number, the question should still be ‘Which’ and not ‘What’.

      • Darrel -  October 19, 2015 - 6:11 pm

        Then it would be “What character should be added to the alphabet?” unless you’re only considering the many,many (Chinease, Japanese, cyrlic, and &c) currently known characters.

        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 24, 2015 - 7:12 am

          Absolutely. Well done!
          Incidentally, I think that when the number of possibilities gets too high, such as the number you suggest, then it may be considered effectively ‘infinite’. A small infinity rather than a large one perhaps.
          No, people, don’t; I’m just joking.

          • George Kern -  November 9, 2015 - 12:24 pm

            No, Jaqelyn, you’re not joking. I once had the pleasure of copyreading a graduate-level textbook on the subject of transfinite numbers — so there are such things as “small” and “large” infinite numbers.

  11. Sherbears -  September 23, 2015 - 4:51 pm

    Technically Isn’t “and” still mentioned in the alphabet?

    Q R S T U V W X Y and Z

    Just an observation ( :

    • Huckleseed -  September 30, 2015 - 9:46 pm

      Just what I was planning to point out. The ABC song has it between Y and Z (Y&Z). Of course that song also has another mystery letter contained within.
      Does anyone know what happened to that most famously heard but rarely seen letter Elliminnowpee?

      • PinkiePyy -  October 7, 2015 - 11:58 am


      • Margaret Urueta -  October 11, 2015 - 11:06 am

        That means one courtship going for a meal.

      • Caston -  October 15, 2015 - 1:15 am

        Dude I totally kept mistaking that for one letter when I was younger. I remember in the first grade writing all the letters out in boxes, but when I got to there, I just put elemeno diagonally so it would fit. Glad I’m not the only one to make that mistake.

        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 4, 2015 - 5:24 am

          Good thinking, Caston. It’s a fine example of early lateral thinking! Or is it diagonal thinking?

          Jackie H.

      • Bobby Joe Ronson ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ °) -  October 19, 2015 - 10:16 am

        ellimmenowpee is L M N O P ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ °) lennys rule

        • taylor -  October 30, 2015 - 6:31 am

          Ella Minnow Pea is a 2001 novel by Mark Dunn

    • Margaret Urueta -  October 11, 2015 - 10:55 am

      Correct students back then were probably looking for a new word and also where symbols came from. So children are curious about learning today.

    • Bobby Joe Ronson ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ °) -  October 19, 2015 - 10:10 am

      nice going sherbears ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ °)

    • Zachary -  October 22, 2015 - 8:24 am

      this is a good observation but the article says that it WAS the LAST letter in the alphabet. But it couldv’e been moved over like you kind of say in your opinion. /:

    • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 5, 2015 - 1:39 am

      I don’t think so. I do think it depends on how you learn it. We learned it “…WXYZ”, so the “and” or “&” was never a problem.
      For those poor confused types who lwere taught it with the “and”, why not think of it not as a problematic letter but as an introduction to the last letter; a sign that this dreary list is about to finish.

      Jackie H.

      • tracey -  November 17, 2015 - 5:57 pm

        The “and” before the “z” in the alphabet song seems to be signifying g the end of the ‘list’ of letters

    • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 16, 2015 - 4:31 pm

       George Kern- November 9, 2015 – 12:24 pm
      “No, Jaqelyn, you’re not joking. I once had the pleasure of copyreading a graduate-level textbook on the subject of transfinite numbers — so there are such things as “small” and “large” infinite numbers.”

      George Kern- November 9, 2015 – 12:24 pm

      Thanks for that, George. How intriguing, I had no idea; not even in my wildest dreams…

      I can accept that in an infinite universe everywhere in it is at its centre, but ““small” and “large” infinite numbers”…? Are we talking about large infinite numbers as representive of ‘out there’ infinities, whilst simultaneous small infinities, such as the centre of the turning world are in fact, infinitesimal? Or am I missing the point entirely?

      Jacquelyne (with a C. Don’t worry, I do it all the time (as you can perhaps see)).

    • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 17, 2015 - 5:26 am

      (George Kern – 9th of November , 2015 – 12:24 pm)
      No, Jaqelyn, you’re not joking. I once had the pleasure of copyreading a graduate-level textbook on the subject of transfinite numbers — so there are such things as “small” and “large” infinite numbers.

      Thanks for that, George. I had no idea; not even in my wildest dreams…
      Transfinite numbers, eh‽ I can accept that in an infinite universe, for example, everywhere in it is at its centre; moreover there’s nothing outside it because there’s no outside for anything to be outside of (!), but ““small” and “large” infinite numbers”…? Are we talking about large infinite numbers as representive of ‘out there’ infinities, whilst simultaneously, small infinities, i.e, the centre of the turning world are infinitesimal? Or am I missing the point entirely?


      (with a C.) Don’t worry, I do it all the time (as perhaps you can see).
      (And no, it’s not a pun.)

  12. Barbara -  September 21, 2015 - 2:26 pm

    I use ampersands quite frequently. Mostly when I write checks, but also in everyday correspondence. I had no idea it was a fading relic, relegated to signage for businesses. :(

    • Christopher -  September 27, 2015 - 11:59 am

      There should not be a comma before “but”. I’m also pretty sure that you should have used a semicolon between “relic” and “relegated”.

      • TheRaven -  September 29, 2015 - 2:26 pm

        The period at the end of your sentence after “relegated” should have been inside of the quotation marks.

        Unless you are from the UK, in which case carry on, don’t mind me.

        • Mark -  October 4, 2015 - 11:21 am

          I pronounce it “regelated” and I say “libary” instead of “library” when I’m trying to spice up a conversation. Also, can anyone re-explain “splain” lie, lye, lay, layed, etc. &t.? Are redundant periods required for “etc.” at the end of a sentence?

          • PinkiePyy -  October 7, 2015 - 11:59 am


          • Jacquelyn Hyde -  October 13, 2015 - 12:19 pm

            Mark: Your question, “Are redundant periods required for “etc.” at the end of a sentence?”
            The obvious answer is, No; if the period is required then it isn’t redundant. However, (comma) we use a single dot for a double purpose: abbreviation and punctuation.

        • Jacquelyn Hyde -  October 13, 2015 - 5:26 pm

          Christopher: No; the comma is very seldom mandatory, (save for ‘however,’ in many if not most cases; I think it’s most). It
          s primary purpose is to ensure the sentence makes sense by separating its clauses.
          As to the semicolon, it’s mostly a question of proximity of meaning whether one uses a comma or a semicolon. Barbara’s comma, in this case, is perfectly okay between “relic” and “relegated”.
          However, her item would have been better with a semicolon, as her second sentence is not. (Not a sentence, that is.) Look: “Mostly when I write checks, but also in everyday correspondence.” Does it make sense? No. But written with a semicolon it would look like this: ‘I use ampersands quite frequently; mostly when I write checks, but also in everyday correspondence.’
          The rule is: If you write a sentence but you want to add to it, use a semicolon. If you want to add to a non-sentence, use a comma. Simples.
          Barbara’s “I use ampersands quite frequently.” is a perfect sentence, but she wants to add. So, semicolon.
          The Raven is wrong. “The period…should have been inside …the quotation marks.”
          (I’ve removed the ‘of’; it’s unnecessary.) No; the sentence began outside the quotation marks and so it ends outside them too.
          Though I love his/her/its, “Unless you are from the UK, in which case carry on, don’t mind me.” (What was that about, Raven?) The UK is a foreign country; they do things differently there. (Adapted from L.P.Hartley’s The Go-Between.) The sentence began inside the quotation marks and so it ends inside them too.

          • RobinClay -  October 15, 2015 - 11:55 am

            Er… No. The UK is not a foreign country. Everywhere else is.

          • Charles Edwards -  October 20, 2015 - 3:54 pm

            Lies. The UK is not a foreign country. America is, though.

        • Bobby Joe Ronson ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ °) -  October 19, 2015 - 10:07 am

          ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ °) (lenny) is better than & (ampersand) ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ °) lenny 4 life. I also like antidisestablishmentarianism.

      • Wasja -  September 30, 2015 - 3:15 am

        Wrong on both counts. “Sechs, setzen!” as one says in German.

      • Margaret Urueta -  October 11, 2015 - 11:13 am

        A courtship going for Heaven and double Heaven would look something like this cour-tship and Heaven-.

    • brandon -  September 29, 2015 - 8:50 am

      u guy/gals are really smart

      • E.M.A. -  October 2, 2015 - 12:57 pm

        It’s not a case of ‘smarts’; it’s education — if you have ‘the curiosity bump’ (or you’re family/friends are a bit obsessive about this kind of stuff), you too can end up ‘sounding professorial’.

        • Billie -  October 5, 2015 - 1:58 pm

          Shouldn’t that be (or YOUR/family/friends are a bit obsessive…?

          • RobinClay -  October 15, 2015 - 11:57 am

            I suspect you intended a ” rather than a ( – but, whatever, you forgot to close it.

          • prplbeedoo -  November 25, 2015 - 7:08 am

            Seriously, man… Are you trying to air-condition the entire paragraph?

    • Margaret Urueta -  October 11, 2015 - 10:59 am

      the letter “k” again missing. One thing I learned today is keys are a mystery and the letter “k”. I have one key and thats storage, and I still owe that worker cuz its got the letter “k” in ik.

    • claudio -  October 24, 2015 - 6:31 am

      I am not an native English speaker and I find Jacquelyn’s explanation helpful.
      basically it seems that if you can split it into 2 sentences then use a semicolon.

      Another thought:
      We communicate all around the world with people who’s English is far away from being clear. Japanese , Russian Spanish and I do not speak those languages.
      In emails I make short sentences and use an abundance of commas: ( see the semicolon)then I use Google translate. I also translate my text back to check it.
      It works well.
      it is a catastrophe without the commas

      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 27, 2015 - 5:32 am

        “I am not an native English speaker and I find Jacquelyn’s explanation helpful.”
        Thank you, Claudio. – J.

        basically it seems that if you can split it into 2 sentences then use a semicolon.
        Yes – good thinking. But it depends on whether the bit before your semi-colon would become a sentence if you changed it thus; if not, use a comma.
        Another thought:
        We communicate all around the world with people who’s English is far away from being clear…
        In emails I make short sentences and use an abundance of commas: ( see the semicolon) then I use Google translate. I also translate my text back to check it.
        It works well. (Yes, it certainly seems to, mostly. – J)
        it is a catastrophe without the commas
        True. But beware, American English generally doesn’t use enough of them. Also, they make insufficient use of ‘that’ (see my note elsewhere).

        Two points: “it’s” can only be used for an elision; e.g. “it is”, “it has”. Don’t use it for possession; e.g. “The dog’s got it’s bone.” “dog’s” is fine – it’s an elision (a cutting out) – but we don’t use it for possession if the item in question is a pronoun (e.g. ‘it’, standing (pronouning) for ‘dog’).

        Yes, I know you didn’t do any of that here; it’s just so common, even among EFL (native English) speakers. I just mention it in passing.
        What you did, however, was to use “who’s”. It seems okay but it’s wrong and for the life of me I don’t know why; after all, it is a possessive apostrophe. The word is ‘whose’, and again I don’t know why. English is not an entirely logical language. (Perhaps some-one can enlighten us all?) “Who’s” isn’t impossible, but not just there.

        Do keep it up!

        Jackie H.

        • Gord -  October 31, 2015 - 11:05 am

          Let’s be painfully honest here; ‘Merkins don’t speak, write or read English! In 1779 they chose to sever all past connections with the Motherland, including going to the extreme measures of re-writing the ‘English Dictionary’ and re-defining the ‘English Alphabet’. Why do they therefore presume the right to continue to call their abominations ‘English’!?

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 3, 2015 - 8:54 am

            Nice one, Gord!
            I wondered at first who’d brought up the issue of Merkins, so like that fascinating mammal, the qwerpoiu. It took a few moments to realise that it’s a little slang for Americans.
            I guess you’re from Great Britain and it’s looking as though we’re getting all set for a debate similar to those that these pages – and many others – go ploughing off into so readily at the merest hint of religion. Before we do, I’d like to get a few words in on the subject of the merkin, on which I have invested considerable research time.
            You start: “Merkins don’t speak, write (n)or read English…”
            This is true. Neither do they breed; they can’t. The merkin is a piece of imitation public hair, not entirely unlike the qwerpoiu, which is sometimes worn particularly by showgirls and glamour models. It’s becoming more popular with women generally, due to the increased popularity of the increasingly smaller (if that’s not a contradiction in terms) bikini and thus in public shaving. Despite the small increase in men shaving (more commonly partially shaving in order to give the impression of their being a length more masculine), I’ve yet to see a male merkin, neither worn (on a man) nor new for sale.
            However, it is rumoured that, following extensive market research into consumer psychiatry, a 5,000sq ft factory is to be opened any moment now in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. Its purpose is threefold: to provide more consumer satisfaction with the merkin; to create stronger consumer involvement in the merkin and for the production of armpit merkins for the French, German and Middle Eastern markets. Oh, and parts of North America where they’ve only recently discovered shaving ‒ and pornography.

            The qwerpoiu, not to be confused with the rat-like coypu, and otherwise known as the poor person’s mink, is a slightly small, little-known, lemming-like, French-Canadian mammal of my own inspiration. Last year’s qwerpoiu count revealed some forty-six breeding pairs (and three odd ones.) Once thought to be extinct, the qwerpoiu is now re-emerging in order to balance the strict commercial laws of supply and demand. However, despite its healthy breeding rate it is once more an endangered species, partly due to road-kills and other natural(‽) causes but also because its pelts are much sought after by very small Chinese companies for use in the hand-making of very small Chinese merkins and ear muffs; commercial and expensive, fully silk lined and lightly padded, high-quality merkins and muffs, many of which are difficult to distinguish from the real thing (without close inspection).

            Though the company doesn’t reveal this, as a little bit of backgound, I happen to know that they are dyeable to match the wearer’s changing head-hair colour.

            ‘Muff’ is a euphemism for mink, which is itself a euphemism of another. The book, from which I got much of the above information, uses the verbal phrase ‘muff-diving’, and it’s amusing to see that Stanley Kubrick’s film Doctor Strangelove features an American president named Merkin Muffley. The implications of this are perhaps more obvious having seen the film.

            Jackie H.

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 20, 2015 - 5:31 pm

            Gord, 31.10.15

            “Why do they…call their abominations ‘English’!?”
            Fear not, my friend; within 2 or 3 generations they’ll be calling it American. All you have to do is follow them and all your troubles will be over. Depressing, isn’t it‽



  13. Annonymous -  September 14, 2015 - 7:38 am

    Very fasc&nating story.

    • Ciara -  September 20, 2015 - 2:23 pm


      • Chris -  September 29, 2015 - 4:42 am

        Zed became zee when you came to America so get used to it. As far as when the ampersand was removed from the alphabet have you considered that language prefates your arrival to the center of the universe & possibly you are not at its center?

        • Natalie -  October 1, 2015 - 9:16 pm


        • Jacquelyn Hyde -  October 13, 2015 - 1:00 pm

          Chris: What does “prefates” mean? Is it the plural of ‘before fate’? Only, if it is, then it shouldn’t be used as a verb, unless perhaps, one is speaking American. Hmm?

          I’ve sent your stuff to the president of SPEL, the Society for the Protection of the English Language, who said this about it:
          “The use of “to” in the long second sentence is erroneous. Normally I’d have said that it should be ‘at’ but in this case I think that if Chris were to change it to ‘from’, then the sentence would make a little sense, rather than little sense. Also perhaps he/she should try ‘predates’, not “prefates”. Thus: ‘…language predates your arrival from the centre of the universe &c…’ Good luck, Jackie.”
          So, Good luck, Chris,
          Jackie. xx

          • Ian -  October 23, 2015 - 8:26 pm

            Well (Dr.) Jacquelyn (Mr.) Hyde, as it seems a condition of presence on this thread is a penchant for nit-pickery, may I point out the two redundant “thats”in your post?
            Say the following two sentences without “that” & you will find they serve no purpose.
            “Normally I’d have said that it should..” & “in this case I think that if Chris were to..”
            Now THAT really is a word which we see far too often.

    • robert -  September 27, 2015 - 4:38 pm

      I went to grade school in both England and then the U.S. in the early 60′s.
      In neither nation was ampersand a part of the ‘A-B-C’s’. Unles that is what
      ‘and’ between Y and Z is where it was placed.
      But in England it was also ‘X,Y, Zed’. When did Zed become Zee?

      • nick -  September 28, 2015 - 10:14 am

        Or maybe zee became zed? It’s often the US usage that’s the older – e.g. fall/autumn.

        • tyrojack -  October 4, 2015 - 1:28 am

          No zee was a Late 17th century: variant of zed. which was Late Middle English: from French zède, via late Latin from Greek zēta (see zeta).
          (etymology from the OED)

      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 27, 2015 - 11:14 am

        To Ian- October 23, 2015
        Here’s you: “Well (Dr.) Jacquelyn (Mr.) Hyde, as it seems a condition of presence on this thread is a penchant for nit-pickery, may I point out the two redundant “thats”in your post?”
        No, Ian, you may not: But since you have presumed to do so, let me point out some errors of your ways:

        First: It’s nor Dr. (yet) but B.A. (Hons.) and it’s Ms, not Mr. Okay? Avoid an easy confusion with the anile book of similar name. (Anile – you may want to look that one up. Or perhaps you’d prefer ‘You may want to look ____one up.’ Hmm?)

        The least you could write in good, proper English is ‘…it seems TO BE a condition &c…’

        Second: If I’d wanted or needed your proleptical guidance or tutelage on this I’d have asked you for it. Good god! – Whatever next‽

        Third: You have the utter temerity to question the advice of the great, Late W.D.Faughty, perhaps the foremost obscure philosopher ever to arise from the chilly waters of Ireland’s River Liffey. Why, it’s almost enough to start another uprising, this time involving the ex-students of that unmentionable university where we all met him, the lovely man.

        Fourth: You should have written (typed) your opener thus: “Well (Dr.) Jacquelyn (Mr.) Hyde, as it seems THAT a condition of presence on this thread is a penchant for nit-pickery…”

        And so, bless me, here you jolly-well are!
        And so you go on:
        “Say the following two sentences without “that” & you will find they serve no purpose.
        “Normally I’d have said that it should..” & “in this case I think that if Chris were to…”
        I thought about this matter then checked it with W.D.Faughty, of whom you may have heard – or not. He is the current president of SPEL, the Society for Protecting the English Language, and my fave ex-tutor . He said, “I’m so sorry you have to deal with this sort of person, Jackie. My advice is that you try to explain the delicacies of ‘that’ in simple English.”
        “I’ll try,” I said.
        So here goes: Here’s you. ‘Normally I’d have said it should.’ This sounds like a quotation without the quotation marks. It’s inept; hopelessly so. That is why we put ‘that’ in there. (…said THAT it should…)
        Next up is, ‘in this case I think if Chris were to…’ ‘I think if Chris were to‽…’ What‽ It’s a non sequitur, sunshine: my thinking doesn’t depend upon what Chris thinks, nor whether he thinks at all! Don’t be so silly. Putting ‘that’ there puts a stop to that possibility.
        Faulty pointed out this: “Had Ian written ‘…it seems THAT a condition of presence on this thread is a penchant…’ then at least that bit would have made sense. “His sentence, “…it seems a condition of presence on this thread is a penchant… is grammatically inept, if he must elide the
        ‘that’, then the least he should have written is ‘…it seems a condition of presence on this thread TO BE a penchant…’ &c, then he could have got away with it in an exam. But as it is…” He ended his paragraph there, and I recall that he would, at that point, shake his head sadly as if the student in question were sitting the course with no hope at all.

        Finally, Faughty rather bitchily said this: “If he wants to be clever and use quotation marks then he should have typed ‘…two redundant “that”s in your post?’ Silly little man.”

        No, Ian, ‘that’ is there for a purpose, a variety of purposes, in fact, and this is merely the beginning; we haven’t even started on poetics here, and I can’t be bothered. So (may?) I suggest that you learn them all before you dare to pronounce on them again.

        Faughty concluded his advice to me, saying, “My work here concerns the protection or the English language, not the American. The fact is, Jackie, you write very good English, whereas this poor fool only reads in American. It is a language, well, an English dialect really, where ‘THAT’ is a word that we see far too seldom.

        Good luck, my dear; I think you’ll need it with this one.”

        Oh, Dr Faughty hand-spoke a P.S. “Maybe he should take on something a little more suitable, something more humble; why not suggest that next he try debating the comma‽”

        So. Good luck, Ian, and do keep trying.

        Jackie. xx

        • Gary -  November 3, 2015 - 11:39 pm

          Interesting. Can you explain why the word then is needed in the following quote? “I think that if Chris were to change it to ‘from’, then the sentence would make a little sense, ”

          I only ask because I don’t know; not to be facetious or anything. I, personally, think it should be there; I just don’t know why.

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 4, 2015 - 1:53 pm

            Yes, Gary, I think I can explain. It’s part of Formal Logic. I dunno about you but I was pretty hopeless at school maths; even now I think I’m the dim sum of gastronomic numbers, to the extent that if alphabetti spaghetti were numeretti spaghetti it’d probably make me sick. My main bain was the punishing topic, Problems. You know the kind: If it takes two men three days to dig a hole, how long would it take three and a half men to dig half a hole?
            The teacher used formal number logic, simplifying the problem to unity, then bringing it back to the issue at hand. We called it, “If, then and therefore,” and it went like this:
            IF it takes two men three days to dig a hole, THEN it’ll take one man three days to dig half a hole. THEREFORE… and so on.
            I think perhaps you can see why the word ‘then’ is used in the quotation: (It is a quotation by the way, and not a ‘quote’, which in my view at least, is still only a verb and not a noun too.)
            Extrapolating, we might get, ‘I think that IF Chris were to change it to ‘from’, THEN the sentence would make a little sense, rather than no sense, and THEREFORE he should…’
            Does that satisfy your need?

            Jackie H.

          • prplbeedoo -  November 25, 2015 - 7:23 am

            …and then actual reality sets in, and you realize that “half a hole” is still a hole, and if you have half a person digging, he’s probably not going to be able to dig as much (dependant on which half of him you have, of course). I think this pretty much amounts to what calculus is for….

        • MKUltra -  November 11, 2015 - 8:29 am

          Holy cow! Take THAT Ian!

          I think I’m crushing.

      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 20, 2015 - 8:57 am

        Robert, 27th of September, 2015

        You went to grade school, not in the early 60′s, which doesn’t make sense, punctuationally speaking, but in the early ’60s, which does.
        Exp: [60's] indicates either elision or possession. Neither applies here.
        However, ['60s] indicates the elision of the 19 from the 1960s.
        Furthermore the ‘s’ indicates plurality in each case. (Or in either case, or in both cases in this case.) Now I think I can rest my case. Phew!


    • Molly -  September 30, 2015 - 8:11 pm

      The way you are writing it, it would be “fascetnating”

  14. danielle -  September 10, 2015 - 2:44 pm

    wow that was so interesting

    • Candice -  October 1, 2015 - 11:29 pm

      I agree,That was pretty cool, u guyz r soooooo smart! I wood like 2 now more!

    • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 5, 2015 - 2:58 am

      Whoops! and Oh dear.
      In my 4th of November reply to Gary I wrote “My main bain was the punishing topic, Problems.”
      The trope “…main bain…” was perhaps amusing enough, but that’s no excuse for my spelling ‘bane’ so ineptly. I suppose I could claim poetic licence, but I wouldn’t be so cheap. So, sorry about that. (Slaps wrist then exits stage left, pursued by a bear.)

      Jackie H.

  15. jayjar88 -  September 7, 2015 - 1:16 pm

    I’d like to learn all about the letter y.

    On a separate note, the leading & trailing apostrophes, ”, (a.k.a. single-quotation marks or single-quote marks,) are a.k.a. ditto marks.

    The two of them put side-by-side (the leading & then the trailing,) like I did above, were commonly used well into the 1970′s to mean or indicate words, thoughts, feelings &/or whatever else that weren’t necessary to repeat because they were in some way communicated & received before & then someone else would be communicating at least similar, if not the same, words (or, at least, the same meaning) to whomever was or were receiving the communications (whether the communications were spoken/heard, written/read, typed/seen or what have you). [And the subsequent communicator, the "someone else", had heard &/or saw what the 1st communicator had said, written, typed &/or otherwise transmitted or communicated.]

    But besides being used in communicating, they (the ditto marks) were also used in, e.g., writing shopping lists (like saying that someone needed so much of a thing and as much of a different item, for example). I use them a lot, and I’m 38. Makes life a bit easier for me. But since a lot of people around my age & younger have no idea what they are & what they’re used for, it gets frustrating at times to try to explain to them what the marks are, & the dittoing concept.

    However, I don’t know the full history of the ditto marks. So, dictionary.com, if you could please, in some future article, give us the full etymology [is that the right word to use for the history of a punctuation mark?] & it’s use (or uses, if there’s more than 1,) that’d be so great & educational. It could be that I’m a bit wrong & maybe they were used a little longer than what I said above. I don’t know; we’ll have to see. T/Y!

    • brandon -  September 29, 2015 - 8:51 am

      lol u guys have lot to say

    • Penny -  October 21, 2015 - 10:53 pm

      & it’s use = & its use

    • Jacqelyn HydeThe UK is a foreign country; they do things differently there. -  October 24, 2015 - 9:57 am

      I know nothing of the origin of the Y. However, here’s another extract from the notes of that Kindle book I mentioned earlier. I find the topic to be of marginal interest, by which I don’t mean ‘slight’ and we approach it via the word, ‘Cunning’.
      I always think that sounds a bit rude; you know, like the word we English-speaking women really hate to hear, (though its use in American films is increasing). That fear and loathing of the ugly little Anglo-Saxon word is hardly surprising since the one is derived from the other. Look at the letter Y, twice typed in caps here. Does it remind you of part of the woman’s body, I mean the essence of femality, often found between the navel and the knee? (If one looks hard enough) Of course it does.
      The Y is described as ‘cuneiform’, which polite word translates in the vernacular to ‘c–t-shaped’ (I’d love to put the whole word in there, but this medium is too open; you’d need to look between the closed covers of the book’s index.)
      With that in mind, it’s time to introduce the Cunning Man, the gifted water diviner, the one with the cleft stick; the cuneiform stick. Are we getting closer?
      The Cunning Man uses his Y-shaped, cuneiform stick to find, or divine, water. I know not how it works, only that it does – or so I’m told. Cunning is one of those words whose origins are largely muddled by its several alternative uses. Elvis Costello, a remarkably subtle writer, sings of his “…fingers clammy and cunning…” He’s with a girl – I think she’s This Year’s Girl.
      However, the Cunning Man, unlike Elvis, is cunning for a living, not for pleasure, which is to say that his cunning is not an adjective, but a verb; a ‘doing word’. When the Cunning Man is cunning, he is looking for water. And he’s using his cunning stick; better, his cunning-stick, with the stress on the first word..
      And that’s why it’s so well-placed in Mr Costello’s song.
      I hope that helps.


      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 5, 2015 - 3:31 pm

        In my entry of the 24th of October I wrote, “I always think that [cunning] sounds a bit rude; you know, like the word we English-speaking women really hate to hear, (though its use in American films is increasing).”
        Silly girl, I think I had a ‘blonde moment’ there; I should have written “… its use in North American films” ‒ one tends to forget that vast place south of the border, as though it’s America and South America. I’m sure they do in North America. So, sorry about that, South America.

        Now, as a matter of interest, can anyone in South America tell me whether what is politely called the C-word in English, coño in Spanish and I-don’t-know-what in Portuguese, is found repulsive where you are?


      • MKUltra -  November 11, 2015 - 8:33 am


  16. Nick Cafarelli -  September 2, 2015 - 4:25 am

    In 1962 ( I was born n 1936), I was working in Pakistan. The sign “@ ” was widely used on Invoices,receipts and in price quotations.
    The meaning was : “at the rate of ”
    I still use it nowadays
    Examp: 5 Cement bags ,@ of 25 Rp./bag = 125 Rupees.
    One gross of mother pearl bottoms @ of 10 Rupees /dozen=120 Rs
    I suppose in India and former British colonies it has the same meaning.

    • Kim -  October 12, 2015 - 8:29 pm

      I also use the symbol @ but I use it as “at” not “at the rate of”, in either case (referring to your example) you would not need the “of” after the symbol. Also we use it for other things such as email addresses and in this case the @ means at. Maybe it originated from “at the rate of” then became abbreviated to have more uses, I don’t know.

      • Penny -  October 21, 2015 - 10:56 pm

        5 lbs @ $4.50/lb
        25 miles @ 4 mph
        18 days @ $500 per week

  17. Hanzo -  August 28, 2015 - 2:28 am

    oh… very intresting…snooze

    • wayfr -  September 3, 2015 - 6:01 am

      Not sure how much excitement you were looking to get from this article.

    • SM -  September 4, 2015 - 12:20 pm

      If you don’t want to learn anything why do you bother coming to this site? If you have nothing interesting or constructive to share then refrain from being another troll.

    • danielle -  September 10, 2015 - 2:43 pm

      i would say the same thing too

      • bill -  September 23, 2015 - 6:13 am


        • E.M.A. -  October 2, 2015 - 1:02 pm

          ditto (deja vous all over again — to quote the great one)

          • Pete -  October 14, 2015 - 9:13 am

            @ E.M.A
            I believe you are referring to “deja-vu,” where the “vu” is pronounced “view,” but nobody does – except the French.

        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 24, 2015 - 10:13 am

          Me too. Just go away — and stay there until you grow up.

  18. Michael -  August 4, 2015 - 11:30 pm

    I am interested in learning the history of the symbol “@.” It is a symbol we use daily, particularly in our e-mail addresses, just before the Internet service provider’s domain name. I have had to describe it as “the letter “a” with a circle around it.”

    No one seems to know it as anything but, “You mean the symbol for “at.” Is there a more formal, or proper, name for this symbol that is found above the numeral “2″ on my American English keyboard?

    Thank you.

    • thirteen -  August 5, 2015 - 11:07 am

      It is, in fact, called the “at sign,” a name it’s had since the 1800s. It is also sometimes called an “atmark,” which is one word.

      That’s in English. Other languages have better and more poetic names for it: snail, strudel, sleeping cat, and others. See:


      • Michael -  August 6, 2015 - 6:52 am

        Dear thirteen,

        Thank you very much! The URL link is terrific.

    • thirteen -  August 5, 2015 - 11:14 am

      Oh, by the way: The @ is also called an asperand. It is also sometimes called an amphora. If you call it an “at sign,” at least people will know what you’re talking about.

      • bill -  August 6, 2015 - 3:21 am

        In my younger days (before personal computers), the @ sign was used for pricing an item. It meant AT A COST OF (small a inside of a C) which was usually followed by / and the unit involved if more than one or followed by ea. to denote one (ie: @ $6.00/doz and @ $1.00 ea. respectively ) – At a cost of six dollars per dozen and At a cost of one dollar each.

        • ajith -  August 7, 2015 - 12:42 am

          @ was used as you mentioned to indicate rate of an item @ ₹ 10/unit. It was called “at the rate of “.

          Thanks for the information. Interesting reading!

        • Edward -  September 8, 2015 - 11:32 am

          I had always called it “Each”. As in “$6 dozen each $1

        • brandon -  September 29, 2015 - 8:51 am

          so what

          • Molly -  September 30, 2015 - 8:16 pm

            Hey brandon: No need to be rude. It doesn’t impress anyone, you know. While you’re at it, correct your grammar, capitalization, and punctuation.

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 27, 2015 - 5:58 am

            Hey brandon: You don’t learn, do you? Let me remind you of Molly’s advice of last month, seen below:
            “No need to be rude. It doesn’t impress anyone, you know. While you’re at it, correct your grammar, capitalization, and punctuation.”
            Only here, rather than correcting it – just use it!
            I suspect you’re too lazy. But if you’re unsure, or even clueless, why not ask a grown-up?

            Ms Hyde.

      • garreth -  August 17, 2015 - 4:10 pm

        Wow that’s great thirteen, I think I’ve heard the word amphora at some point but not asperand of which I personally think is a far better meaning of the @ symbol and strangely quite fitting considering the demise of the ampersand, thanks.

        • Penny -  October 21, 2015 - 11:11 pm

          The ampersand has not reached its demis (at least not in my writings)!
          I use it in lists of whatevers, viz., “oranges, apples & pears” and in sentences, i.e., “She brought to the market oranges, apples & pears and displayed them in a wicker basket.”
          I use it in text messages even though I have to press twice to get the symbol to come up in the list of suggested symbols (grrr to Sony).
          It’s a one-person campaign to stop the ampersand from disappearing.

    • Sand -  August 16, 2015 - 6:58 am

      Was it Cicero’s p.a. who introduced ‘&’ ? – S

      • Gary -  August 20, 2015 - 6:06 pm

        Cicero’s p.a.was Tiro, who used the symbol for shorthand. For some time, orthographers may have called the symbol a “Tironian et.”

    • Randi -  August 18, 2015 - 9:05 pm

      What I recall (and I am certain you will read more scholarly replies), is that the symbol originally meant “at each,” and was used in commerce. For example, one might order 40 boxes of pens @ $8.95.

  19. Rebecca -  July 24, 2015 - 8:58 am

    huh…you’d think it would have been before Z: W, X, Y & Z….Now I know my ABCs…. :)

    • Terry -  August 3, 2015 - 5:16 pm

      I believe that a word generated by mistaken pronunciation is a “folk etymology,” like “brand new,” which started out as “bran new” because in the days before styrofoam, new and fragile items came packed in bran to cushion them. A mondegreen, on the other hand, is a misheard song lyric, originating with “you killed the Earl of Murray and laid him on the green,” which was misheard, “killed the Earl of Murray and Lady Mondegreen.” Or the hardly believable “there’s a bathroom on the right” for “there’s a bad moon on the rise.” Or “‘scuse me while I kiss this guy” for “while I kiss the sky.” None of the words in the mondegreens (except “Mondegreen” itself) are new, they are just mispronounced. (I.e., I was not sick, I was just dissatisfied. But I digress.)

      • Neil -  August 7, 2015 - 6:30 am

        Not quite. A folk etmology is a mistaken understanding of the origin of a word. This can indeed result in deliberate (misguided, more than mistaken) change in pronunciation such as the example you quote, when people cease to use a phrase which now sounds wrong; the one I remember is that “buttonhole” is a corruption of “button hold”. Modern examples (which haven’t entered standard usage, and may tend more to relate to non-native words whose inherent meaning is not immediately obvious) have become known as eggcorns (from a corruption of “acorn” based on its appearance).

        “Ampersand” is not a classic mondegreen because it’s (now) one word rather than a whole misquoted phrase, but it certainly isn’t (from a) folk etymology.

        • Gene -  August 29, 2015 - 10:38 am

          Heard on a 1960s jukebox or transitor radio, it was definitely “…bathroom on the right.” People sang along with the line. I often listened specifically for that crazy line. I can only surmise the current version is definitely a fraud: “…bad moon on the rise.”

          • Don -  September 21, 2015 - 6:55 pm

            This was from a 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revial hit that was titled “Bad Moon on the Rise”. It was on their “Cosmos Factory” LP album. Also on 8 track tapes(anybody remember those pieces of junk)?

          • Gary -  November 4, 2015 - 2:52 am

            That’s not correct, it was “a bad moon on the right”. And my sister used to think that Lucille’s husband claimed she left him “with 400 children and a crop in the field”.

          • Gary O -  November 4, 2015 - 3:05 am

            That’s not correct; it was “…a bad moon on the right”.

            I also know someone that thought Lucille’s husband claimed she left him “…with 400 children and a crop in the field”.

        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 6, 2015 - 6:04 am

          Terry and Neil:
          Just a couple of words, guys. (A couple‽)

          I think a folk etymology occurs where, after the initial mis-hearing, the listener makes a reasonable assumption as to the origin, rather than looking in an etymological dictionary.

          A “reasonable assumption” often occurs where it makes more sense to the listener (as in so many songs e.g. ‘a hard egg’/heartache) than the origator’s intention, say, “Lady Mondegreen” and “laid him on the green”, especially as the great majority of experienced English-speakers would say it as ‘…laid ’im on dther green.’ (The “dther” is to represent a sharpened, voiced, ‘th’ sound.)

          Scoffers please note: try saying ‘Hunt has hurt his head’ without dropping the odd aitch or two. Sounds dreadful, but do it like this: ‘Hunt ’as hurt ’is head.’ Looks awful, but just try it.
          We do it unconsciously all the time: One of my pupils couldn’t hear me saying ‘semteen’ and not ‘seventeen’, not even when he watched me! Mind you, he wrote a fabulous little poem which I’ve put at the end of Thicker Than Water. Everyone who’s read it loves it! (There, Claudio, I told you “Who’s” isn’t impossible,

          These unprovenanced origins are always a bit dodgy, but I’m very tempted by your ““buttonhole/buttonhold””. One can easily imagine the mediaevals calling it the latter, especially where it was a loop, as in a duffel coat toggle-and-loop type of fastening rather than a hole.

          One apparent folk etymology was given to me by a beloved and very knowledgeable English lecturer, who said that the enigmatically named, Elephant And Castle, an area of London, England, is the anglicised version of the Spanish Enfanta de Castilla. Imagine the Londoners trying to get their tongues around that lot, especially with the ‘I ‘pronounced as two ‘E’s and the double ‘L’ as a long ‘Y’ (casteeyya. ¿Right, Españoles?)

          Here’s you: ““Ampersand” is not a classic mondegreen…but it certainly isn’t (from a) folk etymology.”
          You know, I’m almost tempted by this article’s suggestion that the word comes from “and per se and”, compressed by speed of speech to ‘am perse and’,and thus to ‘ampersand’, where ‘per se’ means ‘on its own’, except that surely no-one would say ‘X,Y and, on its own, and Z’! Nah, I think not.

          Incidentally y’all, I’ve just looked at Grammarist’s website, where I learned that “the term [mondegreen] comes from the SCOTTISH AUTHOR SYLVIA WRITE…” Seems she’s changed both her name and nationality! Hmm, I wonder whether ‘Write’ is a pen-name‽

      • EdMack -  August 16, 2015 - 4:36 am

        On the subject of hardly believable,I feel compelled to include the astonishing”the girl with colitis goes by”.This is, of course,only one of many;yet I feel a sizeable collection might indeed be publishable.

        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 3, 2015 - 12:30 pm


          I presume that you’re talking of The Beatles LSD song here. If so then not, I think, as astonishing as the ‘real’ words; “…the girl with kaleidescope eyes…”
          At least the mondegreened words make sense (as they did with poor Lady Mondegreen). I always feel so sorry for her – Makes me want to write her (Mediaeval) story.

          Jackie H.

      • Doug -  August 19, 2015 - 6:15 am

        The words in Mondegreens are not necessarily mispronounced, but rather misinterpreted by the hearer. Song lyrics are commonly misinterpreted due to all that dang music!

      • Ginny -  August 19, 2015 - 1:48 pm

        An old fave: “She”s a muscular boy” for Herman’s Hermits’ “She’s a must to avoid”.

        • Jacquelyn Hyde -  October 13, 2015 - 3:00 pm

          Ginny: Absolutely! My dad says there was a couple of DJs who introed songs by asking the singer a question; thus, “Which newspaper is that, Frank?”; to which Sinatra replied with the eponymous first word of the song’s title “Yesterdays”, (only with the apostrophe.)
          His other example was of Bonnie Tyler, a singer with a voice sounding as though she’d just breakfasted on hard-boiled gravel. This time, the DJ asked, “What’s that you’re having for breakfast today, Bonnie?”
          Bonnie sang, “It’s a hard egg, nothing but a hard egg…” The song was Heartache, of course but after that, Dad only heard hard egg! Said he couldn’t hear it any other way!

        • Gary O -  November 4, 2015 - 3:07 am

          “Judy in the skies, with glasses.”

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 5, 2015 - 3:59 pm

            Gary O: “Judy in the skies, with glasses.”

            Now I heard that was ‘Judy in disguise, with glasses.’ I think that makes more ‘sense’, though I hated it. It was supposed to be an American cover version ‒ well, reply perhaps, of The Beatles’ original. What a waste.


      • Ari -  August 26, 2015 - 11:47 am

        The etymology of “brand new” offered here is a folk etymology (or back etymology) itself (maybe that was intentional?). The term does not arise from a mishearing/misunderstanding of “bran” and Victorian packaging procedures, as seems to have been popularized in the novel Waxwings. It dates back to at least the 16th century, essentially meaning “fresh from the fire”, and is semantically related to “fire new”, once a popular alternative. “Bran” is simply one of the more popular renderings of “brand” in this case, “bran new” dating back to the 17th century.

        Bran has been used for packaging purposes in time since, which no doubt contributed to the confusion.

        • Jacquelyn Hyde -  October 13, 2015 - 2:27 pm

          Ari: I do like your article on Brand New; thanks. The packaging argument would have satisfied me; however, I wonder whether there’s a connection with brand, as in “fresh from the fire”. Thus a herd of young, freshly branded cattle may reasonably be described as ‘brand new’. Alternatively a new brand of a good, say, canned baked beans would legitimately hit the market as ‘brand new’, and the name could hang on indefinitely, especially if those words formed part of the label. How long does it take for the oh-so-often used label NEW, IMPROVED! (usually without the comma) to become old hat?

    • Teresa -  August 4, 2015 - 12:41 pm

      ha, I’m a primary teacher and that is exactly how we recite the alphabet…X,Y and Z..Unbeknown to us teachers….. we’re using the ampersand everyday!

      • Mr. John -  August 6, 2015 - 7:00 am

        Everyday? Really? You’re a teacher? Or maybe you would understand my question if I asked instead, “Your a teacher?”

      • Quest Mask -  August 22, 2015 - 10:41 pm

        Well Now You Know!!! She it is amazing the things they hide from our knowings, even as teachers you learn things that you should be teaching others or be equipped yourself in.

        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 27, 2015 - 6:16 am

          It’s a truism, but I’ve found it to be so true all my teaching life: ‘If you want to learn a thing, go and teach it.’
          I reckon I learned more as a teacher than ever I did before. (You’ve always got to be at least one jump ahead of the students.)

          Jackie H.

    • Daniel -  August 17, 2015 - 9:01 pm

      when you say it out loud it becomes W, X, Y and Z

  20. Allan -  July 4, 2015 - 8:35 pm

    Which* character

  21. Bill Clinton -  June 15, 2015 - 8:38 pm

    Why is this article (currently) dated “Feb 25, 2015″, when the earliest comment is dated “September 2, 2011″?

    • Aardvark -  June 17, 2015 - 1:23 pm

      They can update the article to make sure they have all the up-to-date facts and to show it’s credible because are you going to trust this article if it was dated in the 1970s?

      • Static Stormm -  July 2, 2015 - 11:34 pm

        Umm no i wouldnt trust it. Cause personal computers didnt exist in the 70s….. just saying.

        • Ideonaut -  July 15, 2015 - 12:59 pm

          Except I owned one. Purchased my TRS-80 Model 1 in 1977…. Just saying.

          • Metalsmith -  July 29, 2015 - 1:47 pm

            And I built my first (Digital) computer in 1962 as a Junior in my electronics class in High School. Previously I’d been building analogue computers which were vastly more accurate than digital computers and impervious to EMP. And while considering dating the computer, try 2700 BCE as a known early device now called an abacus! (Don’t laugh. In timed trials with good operators, the abacus has proven faster for some calculations than an adding machine.)

          • Christopher -  September 18, 2015 - 12:48 am

            Computer’s have been around for longer than anyone could possibly believe ( as I think most of you guy’s or gal’s were born from the late baby boomer era) but they have been around for a long time before actual pc’s were available to the public. Government were using them since the 50′s I believe?( Social Security Office, Department of Defense, SEAR”S for god’s sake) It was only on the “TV:” that we saw any type of electronic connection. Correct me someone if I’m wrong, but this is the wave of the future. Anything you see on the television is yet to come. Think about it,,, just like the Flash Gordan oldies,(Really showing my age now), they show space mobiles that fly around and now there are SPACE SHUTTLES??? Some type of “RAY GUN” and most warehouses use “BARCODE SCANNER”S” to indicate correct items or product to be picked? Just not HOT enough to burn anyone’s arm or limb off, but with a little tweeking, I’m sure this could be done. We are going towards an electronic era just like the phone, tv, and radio were developed so must the LASER. There are water laser’s that can cut a 1 inch piece of steel precisely were you want it, why not a beam of light. Only time will tell. I have seen laser’s that are powerful enough to wilt flowers and even cut paper, but it won’t be long until our weapons are pulses of light that will dismember people in milliseconds without even the feel of pain until realized you’ve been hit???!!! Who even knows if it will even come to that with all of the debate over nuclear advances? The next war will be like playing a video game(Push button) and there will really be no winner. Just death!!! reply’s welcome

          • Gary O -  November 4, 2015 - 3:28 am


            There are lasers that will cut through steel. They are pulsed lasers, not steady beam, because the pulses allow the smoke to clear away instead of reflecting/refracting the light of the laser. The reason high pressure water cutters are used is they are less complex and less expensive; not less dangerous, though, they’ll still remove a finger or arm faster than we can blink.

            Lasers are also used for communication: that’s how they send the digital signals in the fiberoptic cables. They can also be used for line-of-sight communications through air but the reliability varies depending on the weather.

          • Gary O -  November 4, 2015 - 4:15 am

            My replies go on here, then they go away. I’m going to try again:


            There are lasers that will cut through steel. They are pulsed lasers, not steady beam, because the pulses allow the smoke to clear away instead of reflecting/refracting the light of the laser. The reason high pressure water cutters are used is they are less complex and less expensive; not less dangerous, though, they’ll still remove a finger or arm faster than we can blink.

            Lasers are also used for communication: that’s how they send the digital signals in the fiberoptic cables. They can also be used for line-of-sight communications through air but the reliability varies depending on the weather.

      • Sheryl Ann -  July 27, 2015 - 6:23 am

        Funny how people say they wouldn’t trust (believe the information to be accurate) in the article if it was written in the 1970′s, but they are more likely to believe the information if it is penned more recently. Sounds kind of 1984-ish to me.

        I’m not from the 1800′s (the time period referred to in the article), but I remember reciting the alphabet in kindergarten (1972) as “… X, Y, Z, ampersand”. That was just how we learned it. Period. If we didn’t recite the ampersand, you didn’t graduate into the first grade.

        And later in school, we learned how to determine when writing whether a period belonged inside or outside of quotation marks (which had to curve around the quote) & when to place a comma before the conjunction “and”, and when not to. Nowadays, these are either not taught or have different rules.

        This doesn’t mean that the old or new was inherently wrong, but that languages & grammar naturally morph over time. It’s all well and good to get your history (of a letter, symbol, or anything else) from the most recent copy of your Newspeak dictionary, but be aware that it is today’s politically correct, gender neutered, watered-down version of yesterday, Case in point, when I was little butter, eggs, milk & honey were considered very healthy things to eat. And Pluto was a planet. Over my life those foods were demonized each in its own way & Pluto was stripped of its planet status. The current understanding is that man-made replacements for those foods were actually harmful & that recent discoveries requalify Pluto as a planet. The Internet is our modern copy of the Newspeak dictionary.

        BTW: My ex-husband’s first computer was a TRS-80 bought from Radio Shack (the Apple Store of that time period). The TRS-80 was considered to be state of the art at that time & Chuck still misses that thing. And yes, I come from the age of dinosaurs.

        • ccDiane -  August 4, 2015 - 1:55 pm

          Weird. I went to Kindergarten in 1975 and we said X, Y, and Z.
          I have no problems with words that are gender-neutral or politically correct words; it’s fascinating to discover an entire galaxy of words rotating “gender”.
          By the way, honey isn’t good for the under-two crowd. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to “demonize” foods that can kill you. It only seems strange to people like us, who didn’t know it was possible. We’ve demonized vehicular transportation of a baby without a car seat, and I’m cool with that, too.
          I do think it’s sad that grammar gets short shrift in school these days; kids learn enough to pass the standardized test and that’s that. I asked my kids about diagramming sentences in school; my 28 year old daughter did, but the younger ones (22 – 25) did not. If you’ve never learned the correct way of writing, it’s more difficult to write incorrectly with skill.
          OT: I just learned about the existence of the “interrobang”. This is a question mark on top of an exclamation point, or the exact opposite. I checked, and it isn’t on my smartphone’s keyboard or my even newer laptop’s keyboard. I can see how you can make it on a typewriter (the dinosaurs used them), but you’d have to turn it into an image to create it with a keyboard. A shame, too, because it is such a useful punctuation mark.

          • Jim Daily -  August 10, 2015 - 8:41 am

            I went to kindergarten in 1936-37 and I can’t remember a bloody thing! My first computer was the Apple.

          • CWM2 -  August 13, 2015 - 1:01 pm

            Seen character string but not reference to “interrobang” — linked to computer programmers’ reference to the exclamation point as a “bang” !?!?

          • E.M.A. -  October 2, 2015 - 1:26 pm

            OK, I graduated high-school in ’77; the only exposure to diagramming sentences was when I transferred to a new school in 7th-grade and I had an English teacher (in her seventies) who held me after class because she thought I was trying to be a ‘smart aleck’ in class when I couldn’t go up to the chalkboard and “…diagram this sentence!” Hoo-boy — it took virtually the entire year to convince her that I wasn’t a really an ignoramus!

          • Jacquelyn Hyde -  October 13, 2015 - 6:07 pm

            ccDiane: I’ve recently found it too. In Word, press Alt+I, then S. Takes you to boxes full of weird marks, one of which is the rhetora or interrobang in Calibri and other fonts.

          • Jill -  October 24, 2015 - 10:00 am

            I graduated from high school in 1970. There were two tracks – one for those going to college, and one for trade or business students. Mr. Eaton taught English to the college-bound. Every other Friday, we were given as homework the task of diagramming sentences, and on alternate weekends we wrote an essay on a given topic. It was very good preparation for college.

            It didn’t hurt that my grandmother took allocution classes and also instilled the proper use of grammar in her daughters. My mother taught me. I cringe every time my daughter says “them things” but I can’t get her to change.

          • Gary O -  November 4, 2015 - 4:03 am

            I went to Kindergarten (kiddygarden is how I knew it then) in 1958 and we said X,Y and Z. I also thought L,M,N,O,P was elminnowpea. I don’t remember diagramming sentences; but that might be a failure on the part of my memory.

            Things like that may have more to do with where we went to school than when.

            My first home computer was a Timex-Sinclair Z1000 (I think it was Z1000; memory failure again if it wasn’t Z1000).

        • MobiusDick -  August 10, 2015 - 1:25 pm

          Pluto can be a planet again, only if we decide that the larger currently defined dwarf planet, Eris (Goddess of Chaos,) is also a planet, and the logic being that since Eris is larger than Pluto, it makes no scientific sense to call a smaller heavenly body (Pluto) a planet and not include a larger heavenly body (Eris) not a planet because of tradition, or because it alters the knowledge that all of us prior to 2006, learned in elementary school.

          So there cannot be 9 planets as we were taught prior to 2006. There can be 8 planets or there can be 10 or more planets.*

          *I am unaware of whether or not additional dwarf planets have been discovered larger than Pluto since Eris was discovered in 2006. I believe I heard there was, but I am not certain and cosmology is not my scientific area of expertise as I am a surgeon.

          This is a great example of the power of Science as science reinterprets & redefines theories when new data come into existence; here is a perfect example of why science is a more reasonable way to obtain one’s world view than something like religion or the Bible, which in my experience, even though most fundamentalist Christians think was written in its present form & just magically appeared one day, also was edited via multiple “Councils” (eg The Council Of Trent et al) from as early as the 5th Century CE, when the “legitimate” books were kept as canon and the “illegitimate” books were relegated to the apocrypha.

          The distinctions as to which were which, were purely decided on by an oligarchy of very few men of the church, that were uncomfortable with texts like the Gospel Of Mary Magdalene, The Infancy Gospel Of Thomas (in which, Jesus does things as a child where today, he would be diagnosed as deeply disturbed with severe mental health problems; these include such things as pushing his friend off the roof & killing him, but resurrecting him afterwards; crushing a bird to death in his hands and also bringing the bird back to life; and so forth.)

          • KinniK -  August 14, 2015 - 12:07 pm

            A Thing Or Two About The IAU

            It’s interesting to hear your perspectives M.D. particularly about the planet Pluto. But you (and the IAU) are completely wrong. (Btw: The International Astronomical Union is NOT the governing authority for astronomy… or any other science… and neither I or most other competent astronomers recognize them as such. Although, back in my younger days, they ‘did’ serve a useful purpose. I’m referring to the days before PCs… including Trash-80′s and Commodore PETs! The days of Altairs, DECs and Fortran! The days when slide-rules were the ‘rule’ and the preferred computational tool! We’d subscribe to the IAU’s ‘Circulars’. These were a set of periodically updated 3×5″ index cards they’d send to astronomers involved in active research [...aka anyone willing to pay for them!]. Here’s how they worked: When you spotted something unusual, you’d rush to report it to ‘em along with your best time/coordinate data… and they’d circulate it within ‘the community’ through these decks of cards. Then the first [second] one to confirm the observation, might be granted the honor of sharing the discovery with you! That’s probably how they became fixated with ‘naming’ things! You may now invoke your discretion, to skip this long digression! Wait!?! Ha, ha! Too late!)

            Back to the planet Pluto.

            It IS still a planet! The media just latched onto the IAU’s characteristic foolishness and assumed they were the penultimate governing authority! (As in ‘next to God’! But they’re not. They’re just silly gooses… afraid of becoming useless. Whoops! Geese? Great!! But again… they are too late!)

            The IAU frequently does stupid things for completely arbitrary reasons… that has NOTHING to do with ‘science’. (Like decreeing that “Craters must be named after artists who were famous for at least fifty years… and have been dead for at least three years before the naming attempt”… caused them to commit suicide! Okay, I added the last part. But that’s indicative of the IAU’s pride!)

            But this ‘Plutonian Plutonium’ has nothing to do with the planet’s ‘size’… and everything to do with interpersonal politics! Besides. They (believe it or not) are NOT rocket-scientists (like the awesome folks at ESA ‘&’ JPL)!

            And as you implied… ‘numbers’ are a factor (bad pun!). The IAU just prefers small ones (and don’t like to use their thumbs)!! We could’a-should’a had ten planets LONG ago! But not knowing how to perform a planetary ‘arithmetic shift’, they didn’t know how to slip Ceres into the mix.

            So, we actually have had planets in the double digits for sometime! And less emphasis should be placed on ‘human realization/perception’, for they’ve been in the sun’s family… (without our permission!) for quite some time! This is something I personally had the pleasure of discussing with my old friend Clyde Tombaugh. I told him (to his great displeasure!) that I was certain we’d find several other planets beyond Pluto… back in the early nineties… long before Eris, Makemake, Haumea, Sedna, and several other Trans-Neptunian-Objects that are waiting for artists to die!

            The IAU’s actual official ‘Planet Club’ criteria is foolishly simple:

            1. The Body has to be in orbit around the sun.
            (That’s easy and should include Titan, Triton, Io, Ganymede, several other planet-like moons… since they too… and everything else inside ten billion miles[!] is in orbit around our sun!)

            2. The Body must be a spherical ball.
            (The term they inappropriately invoked was that it “has to have achieved ‘hydrostatic equilibrium’” which only correctly applies to ‘stationary’ fluids/plastics! Problem is, this tips the tables towards the more rocky/plastic planets like Mercury, Venus, ~Mars and Pluto… and away from more wet, mushy/squishy planets like Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune! Why? Because planets spin! And when you spin wet squishy balls, they bulge becoming larger around their equatorial waists, and shorter at their poles. This causes them to be an ‘oblate spheroid’ rather than a ‘sphere’ where all radii are equal. That is UNLESS the object has sufficient ‘gravity’ to overcome centrifugal force… and remain a sphere! BUT, these five don’t. So according to the IAU that demotes them to “Small Solar System Objects”!

            And finally #3. (which they claim is the ONLY reason Pluto fails their test!) The object must ‘have sufficient gravity’ to have cleared its orbital path.

            What does that mean? Nothing! It’s nonsensical made-up bs! First of all, gravity doesn’t work that way! ‘Gravity’ isn’t something an object ‘has to a personal degree’! Objects have ‘mass’! And ‘gravity’ is a ‘mutual force’ that exists between that mass… and another(/all other masses in the universe!).

            Secondly, planets/objects DO NOT CLEAR THEIR ORBITS!! Objects in orbit are primarily influenced by the gravity that exists between them, and what they are orbiting. And fairly insignificantly by other things that may be orbiting with them! Therefore, NO planet… has ‘cleared it’s orbit’! …Perhaps with the exception of Pluto! Because thanks to New Horizons, we now know that the planet Pluto, with his inexplicably few craters… has an EXTREMELY clean/clear orbit! And it is asinine to accuse Pluto of having insufficient (sic) ‘gravity’… when it clearly has enough ‘mass’ to hang on to FIVE moons! Significantly more than ANY other rocky planet in the known Solar System (including the Kuiper Belt)!

            Finally, There are at least two other known perpetrators that fail this test:
            A. Saturn. There’s an ENORMOUS cloud of dust and debris around Saturn, sharing its orbit. And I’m not just referring to its beautiful disk of rings! It’s called Phoebe, and it’s incredibly massive! And Saturn lacks sufficient ‘gravity’ to clear it up!
            B. Earth. There are numerous clouds of dust and debris in and around Earth’s orbit. Every year, they cause the numerous meteor showers (like the Perseid Shower that’s occurring now)! Over countless millennia… they are ever present! And Earth lacks sufficient ‘gravity’ to clear it up!

            So by the IAU’s own criteria, (at least) the Earth and Saturn…
            must be demoted to ‘dwarf planets’ too!

            In conclusion…

            This is a prime example of how error and false information in the incompetent hands of hands of charlatans, mislead the ignorant unsuspecting public, into believing the pantheon of scientific discovery and Truth… is something that it is NOT! And to steer this back to the underlying topic of discussion, here’s the bottom line:

            The term ‘planet’ is just a word. It’s NOT a ‘scientific term’, and shouldn’t be confused as one. If one is needed, a new ‘scientific’ one should be coined, rather than molest an existing one that’s still active in everyday parlance! Do we need a new scientific definition for the word ‘horoscope’?? I think not! ‘Planet’ is a VERY old word. Like ‘Horoscope’ and ‘zodiac’, it is an ‘astrological’ term! It used to include the ‘Sun’ and the ‘Moon’ (and… should ‘not’ include the ‘Earth’, btw)! For ‘planet’ simply means ‘wanderer’. It referred to how a certain few bodies did not follow the nightly/seasonal pattern of the apparently ‘fixed’ backdrop of stars… but in each of their own ways, appeared to ‘wander’ among them!!

            That’s something the Earth never did… and the planet Pluto ‘still’ does!! So until it stops ‘wandering’… it’s STILL A PLANET!!

            ‘Cause words (…and their etymology, and proper usage) are IMPORTANT dammit!!


            (Which is a palindromic reinvention of ‘Kenny Kelly’ btw!)

            Oops! The time!
            I didn’t mean for this to be this long and I don’t have the time to properly proof this either. So please forgive me for the errors that are certainly present! Perhaps I shouldn’t post this at all… and just let ‘sleeping dogs lie’. But perhaps someone might be enlightened by my old-tymey experiential information that’s hard to find elsewhere. So I will… and that is why! :)

          • BitterPill -  September 30, 2015 - 5:32 pm


        • toktomi -  August 21, 2015 - 4:46 am

          On the subject of accuracy, it is odd that we toss that word around as if absolute accuracy is measurable which it isn’t. Every measurement is an approximation. Every idea is an opinion. Every fact, reality, truth, and bit of knowledge isn’t.

          Human cognition has absolutely nothing to do with knowing anything.
          Unfortunately, it has everything to do with the illusion of knowing.

          The illusion of knowledge is the unmovable obstacle blocking humanity’s next and, perhaps, greatest intellectual evolution.

          • Valerie Potter -  August 25, 2015 - 7:36 am

            KinniK – thanks for a GREAT discussion on Pluto. One that should be published more widely. Very enlightening.

          • LBT -  September 12, 2015 - 3:36 am

            Toktomi – thanks for your comments on accuracy as an absolute. Good points. So. Would “absolute accuracy” be an oxymoron?

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 27, 2015 - 4:15 am

            Yeah, nice one, Toktomi – epistomologically speaking.

            Jackie H.

        • Mark -  October 11, 2015 - 8:59 pm

          Dinosaurs never existed its a hoax

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 27, 2015 - 4:37 am

            “Toktomi…Would “absolute accuracy” be an oxymoron?”
            No, not quite. Accuracy is a relative term, not an absolute one; so there are relative accuracies. Your “absolute accuracy” is a misnomer, since it doesn’t exist (at least, as far as we can tell).
            However, though some accuracies are more accurate than others, I suggest that an accurate accuracy is one step beyond an oxymoron, becoming a ‘schoolboy howler’.

            Jackie H.

        • Versatec -  October 13, 2015 - 12:53 pm

          I was in kindergarten in the 50s and never learned of ampersand as part of the alphabet. I think it must have depended on the teacher.

        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 6, 2015 - 8:55 am

          Gary O- November 4, 2015 – 4:15 am

          “My replies go on here, then they go away. I’m going to try again:”

          Yeah, I get that too; I’ve had to replace mine several times, yet much of the juvenile junk is still on here. I dunno, the good stuff seems to come and go. Never mind; let’s just carry on, shall we?

          Later that day: I just saw yours and my entries, and, would-you-believe?- both were repeated directly below themselves. This next time around, one of yours is there but neither of mine is. You know what happens next? Yep, I’m giving it another go; you never know, perhaps this time it’ll stay.


          There are lasers that will cut through steel. They are pulsed lasers, not steady beam, because the pulses allow the smoke to clear away instead of reflecting/refracting the light of the laser. The reason high pressure water cutters are used is they are less complex and less expensive; not less dangerous, though, they’ll still remove a finger or arm faster than we can blink.

          Lasers are also used for communication: that’s how they send the digital signals in the fiberoptic cables. They can also be used for line-of-sight communications through air but the reliability varies depending on the weather.”

          Right. Here’s one for the engineers: I took my lads, my students/apprentices, on an industrial visit to a company that used high-pressure water, sometimes mixed with silica sand, which on impact seemed to explode like indoor fireworks, to cut various materials.
          I went to see them in order to set it all up, and the sales manager showed me some monel racing car exhaust gaskets, which his company had produced. Monel is a very tough and rebarbative alloy; horrible to work with.
          Comparing his company’s product with that produced by lasers he said; “Their guy (from racing car makers, Williams) said they’d had them laser cut and they were rubbish. They looked like they’d been flame cut by Burger King!”

          Oh how we laughed…


      • Mark -  October 4, 2015 - 11:37 am

        Speaking of the 1970s aka the ’70s, did anyone have Mr. Burkey for 8th grade English when the “interabang” hit the world stage? Dude practically peed his pants thinking he could splain a new punctuation mark. I hope I spelt “peed” currectly. And how come spellchecker doesn’t underline “spelt”?

        burn burned OR burnt burned OR burnt
        dream dreamed OR dreamt dreamed OR dreamt
        learn learned OR learnt learned OR learnt
        hang hung
        also hanged hung
        also hanged
        smell smelled OR smelt smelled OR smelt
        spell spelled OR spelt spelled OR spelt

        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 3, 2015 - 4:17 pm

          “And how come spellchecker doesn’t underline “spelt”?”
          If it’s only a spellchecker and not a grammarchecker too then it won’t underline ‘spelt’ since it’s an entirely legitimate spelling. ― Just not in this case.

          You wrote, “I hope I SPELT “peed” currectly.”, instead of “I hope I SPELLED “peed” correctly.” There is a choice of two here – and somebody please correct me if I’m wrong: the past perfect is (I think) what you and most Americans do i.e, “I hope I spelled…” The other way is to use (what I think is called) the past participle, favoured by the English, though it is going out of style. It is: ‘I hope I’VE spelt…

          I’ve no objection to “peed”.

          Jackie H.

    • Mick Lethal -  June 21, 2015 - 4:41 pm

      Time Machines………….

    • A Guy Who Thinks Crackers Should Die -  June 30, 2015 - 4:21 pm

      I read that as September 9, 2001. Problem?

  22. Albert A -  June 10, 2015 - 7:18 pm

    So does this mean,,, & phone home ! (as in ET)

    • CJ Phillips -  June 26, 2015 - 10:38 pm

      Just want to say that is funny & phone home instead of ET.

    • Rebecca -  July 24, 2015 - 8:54 am

      Love it!

  23. Ella -  June 5, 2015 - 9:07 am

    :D :) :P XD

  24. ChARLES -  May 29, 2015 - 12:09 pm

    When my daughter was little, (3 or 4) I would lift her in the air and sing “That’s my baby”. I sang it enough that she memorized the song.
    The song has a line “Yes, Sir, that’s my baby, No sir, don’t mean maybe, Yes Sir, that’s my baby now!”
    I heard my daughter singing one day while playing alone in her room. “Yes, Sir, that’s my baby, No, Sir, dobeyabe; Yes, sir that’s my baby now!” “Dobeyabe” or “Dough – be – yeah – be” has been the standard ever since.

    • Ella -  June 7, 2015 - 12:31 pm

      Was “dobeyabe” the child’s word for “don’t mean maybe”?

      • Eddie Lewis -  July 15, 2015 - 10:14 am

        I was admonished for calling one of my children a little fart so for years now I use phart,
        Also my Grand Father used one word for two or more meanings.
        If I mowed the lawn he would say “Well dog my cats” Eddie, that looks nice> If I didn’t mow the lawn he in the same tone he would say “Well dog my cats” Eddie the lawn looks awful
        I now adopted that saying.

    • sharon naren -  June 11, 2015 - 6:32 am

      Adorable!! That’s a mondegreen now :*

      • Ella -  June 15, 2015 - 3:34 pm

        What is :*

      • Karen Griffee -  August 4, 2015 - 9:45 am

        I love hearing mondegreens!

    • me -  July 16, 2015 - 5:48 pm

      living, right? i freak out sometimes and don’t know what i should think….

  25. George Caldwell -  May 26, 2015 - 8:09 pm

    Sorry! Like the Greek letter ” psi “

  26. George Caldwell -  May 26, 2015 - 8:02 pm

    Ithought there was a letter in Mediaeval English like the Greek letter ” phi ” representing the ” gh ” in many of our present day words

    • rocketride -  July 8, 2015 - 1:04 pm

      Actually, there were several letters used in old English which were discarded by French scribes in the aftermath of the Norman conquest (1066). Two of these were used to render the sound that the word ‘the’ starts with (‘eth’), and the sound the word ‘think’ starts with (‘thorn’)* as well as the one you mention which was called ‘yogh’.

      This whole article is a bit misbegotten because they didn’t get rid of just one letter from the predecessors of the modern English/Roman alphabet, but at least four.

      * So, we can blame the Normans for not only having to use a pair of letters to represent sounds where one had been sufficing, but for having to use that same pair for two different sounds, each of which had its own letter.

      • me -  July 16, 2015 - 5:57 pm

        how’d that go?

      • Barbara -  September 21, 2015 - 2:22 pm

        Probably a good thing. I don’t speak French never mind write it.

      • prplbeedoo -  November 25, 2015 - 7:37 am

        Thank you. I was wondering if the thorn was ever going to be mentioned on here!

  27. Carolina Vidal -  May 13, 2015 - 4:51 am

    This is very interesting. When I was studying many years ago in England, I worked on a History of Nursery Rhymes project, which included a poem about the letters of the alphabet, dating from the 18th century. It started something like this A – was an apple pie, B – bit it, etc. At the end it writes ‘X, Y, Z and ampersand all wished for a piece in hand’. I have often wondered why the ampersand was included! Thank you for the info.

    • James Cameron -  June 11, 2015 - 12:30 pm

      Funny it seems like the ampersand was this symbol @.

      • rocketride -  July 8, 2015 - 1:06 pm

        No, that’s the ‘at-sign’.

  28. Carlos -  April 25, 2015 - 11:21 am

    Hello everyone! The part of this article that confused me is the origin of the ampersand (&) symbol. Does this symbol somehow combine the letters e and t? I am pretty sure, but not positive that e and t in the Roman alphabet look exactly like “e” and “t”. Is someone able to confirm this for me?

    • mom -  April 28, 2015 - 8:06 am


      • Lol -  May 3, 2015 - 9:12 pm

        Write some proper English please, ‘mom’

      • Ella -  June 8, 2015 - 4:52 pm

        What does that mean?!
        Write in proper English!

        • Ella -  June 8, 2015 - 4:54 pm

          Sorry Lol, but I just was replying to “mom,” and I used LOL to say it was funny!

          :D :) ;)

          • James Cameron -  June 11, 2015 - 12:28 pm


            I am so glad that you cleared up the use of the word LOL. It seems that most of our children don’t know how to use proper English, much less spell it.

            They will go through life thinking at that words are spelled in an abbreviated form. Most high school graduates cant comprehend beyond the 8th grade and have a very vocabulary, that’s sad. In this country we undervalue the education of our children only to our detriment.

    • Jovet -  May 2, 2015 - 8:59 pm

      The symbol we today call the ampersand began as a ligature contraction of “et” such as in the phrase “…second person, third person, et all”. The e and t were drawn with a single stroke. Over time it evolved into the & symbol and became special letter of the alphabet. The cursive capital E accented with vertical lines symbol that is also used to mean “and” is a fork from this evolution. As writing became more formal, the letter fell out of use and fell out of the alphabet. Looking back, it didn’t make much sense to have a letter represent a contracted word and concept.
      The letters wynn and thorn and eth are much more interesting though. ;)

      • afmom -  May 14, 2015 - 8:54 am

        If I may add to Jovet’s answer….et al is short for et alia, if I remember correctly from high school Latin…I think the plural is et allii? so we just use one “l” in et al.
        By the way, this is a great site – I’m learning so much from everyone. Thank you.

        • rio98765 -  May 24, 2015 - 3:16 am

          To afmon: You are correct that “et al.” is short for “et alia”, which means “and the others”. So “alia” is already the plural form of the regular singular neutral noun “alium”.

          [A regular feminine singular noun in Latin would end in “a”, and the plural would end with “ae”, e.g. “one formula, two formulae”.]

          Two interesting examples: 1. Stadium & stadia (stadiums)—How long was a Roman stadium? 600 Roman or Greek feet, a length of one stadium (the ancient unit of length equivalent to c.185 m). 2. Agendum & agenda—Originally agenda was plural, so you can’t have agendas! But this is how English evolves—“agendum” gets forgotten and “agenda” becomes a singular noun, and takes on the regular English plural form “agendas”. C.f. Addendum & addenda, where a scholarly context has tended to preserve the Latin forms.

          “etc.” (or &c!) is similar in origin to “et al.”, but taken one stage further. “Et cetera” is the Latin for “and the rest”, where “cetera” is the plural of the neuter noun “ceterus”. Put loosely, “et cetera” →“etcetera”→“etc.”

          • David -  June 1, 2015 - 4:36 am

            Singular of alia is in fact aliud, not alium

          • Del -  June 5, 2015 - 10:44 am

            Allium means garlic.

    • Xavier Robinson -  May 18, 2015 - 8:57 pm

      Yes. The “English” alphabet is actually the Roman alphabet, so et would look exactly the same

      • rocketride -  July 8, 2015 - 1:16 pm

        Properly speaking, the English alphabet is a modification of the Roman.
        It gained at least five letters the Romans didn’t know from (‘j’, ‘u’, ‘thorn’, ‘eth’ and ‘yogh’) and lost three of those five. (Not even counting our friend the ampersand.)

        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 27, 2015 - 5:36 pm

          Rocketride: Thanks for that. Now, (and presumably ‘j’ and ‘u’ are pronounced as we do today) having whetted our appetites, or mine at any rate, can you or anyone else tell us the sounds of the other three, what they look like and how they were used?

          Incidentally, I’ve recently learnt that the ‘w’ is a post-roman addition. The Romans used the ‘v’, pronouncing it as our modern ‘w’, so that ‘Claudius’, for example, was typed ‘Clavdivs’ and pronounced ‘Clawdiws’, with the short, flat ‘a’.

          Jackie H.

          • herself -  October 28, 2015 - 8:19 pm

            Hello Jackie H.,

            Thank you for your enlightened and enlightening comments. At one point you referenced and recommended a book available through Kindle. Would you be so kind as to repeat the title as I can’t find it. Thank you.

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 3, 2015 - 4:28 pm

            Coupla things:

            1 Rocketride: “Thanks for that. Now…can you or anyone else tell us…”

            Please don’t trouble yourself; I found them just by looking elsewhere on this site. Doh!

            Jackie H.

            2 herself- October 28, 2015 – 8:19 pm
            “Hello Jackie H.,”

            Hello, yourself.
            Sorry to put you in below Rocketride’s message; there’s no Reply pad below yours, so, needs must.
            “Thank you for your enlightened and enlightening comments.”

            Well, thank you; it’s always rewarding to find that someone’s benefitted from one’s work.

            “At one point you referenced and recommended a book available through Kindle. Would you be so kind as to repeat the title as I can’t find it. Thank you.”

            Yes, of course.
            I didn’t actually give the title because I didn’t want to seem to advertise. Ditto the recommendation. I doubt that this is the place recommend one’s own work, so I merely said that I’d quoted from its Index. There’s a few items I’ve lifted from the huge index and abridged for use on this site. But thank you for your interest.
            The book’s called Thicker Than Water and it’s by would-you-believe, Jacquelyn Hyde. It’s a sibling love story in two parts; the first and smaller of which is to be available free and separately, from the Kindle library.

            Part One is due out very soon. However, it may not be available till after Christmas as there’s a children’s Christmas book due out first. It’s only a tiny thirty page thing and hardly worth much, so it’s also going into Kindle’s free library. That’s called A Family Present. Both are about separation and recovery.



    • Larry -  May 24, 2015 - 5:11 pm

      et in french means and so they don’t use the ampersand.

      • David -  August 2, 2015 - 12:23 pm

        et in the South where I live means what y’all did to food yesterday.

    • Anna -  May 27, 2015 - 12:29 am


      p.s My English Prof. told me this many years ago.

  29. Amit -  April 15, 2015 - 9:25 pm

    Thank You all for contributing to this discussion…

    I hope your kids and wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend are more important to you than & ampersand and * asterisk!

    There is more to life than this discussion… if you do not want to explore that its fine! Not a problem!!

    Keep it up…as Steve Jobs in one of his famous speeches has said
    “Be Hungry! Be Foolish!!”


    • Tammy -  April 30, 2015 - 1:36 am

      Amit, I ran across this post from April. Your comment, is very much true “&” has a very important message!! “&” I agree with your message. I wanted you to know, that post like this makes ppl like me “a little smarter”…. LOL. I find the article VERY informing & interesting. For me the ” & ” and “*” is almost a part of my everyday text & note taking!! Not only by electronic devices, I also use “& and the*” in my handwritten note taking.Arrival is and wad VERY IMFORMATIVE….. To a person who need’s to be a little bit “SMARTER”.

      • Tammy -  April 30, 2015 - 1:50 am

        **Some major typo’s in my post,(thanks to autocorrect {in which in this case, my phone HAS A MIND OF IT’S OWN!!}
        To correct: the **”article is and was VERY INFORMITIVE”

        • brian -  May 13, 2015 - 5:50 am


        • hydra -  July 5, 2015 - 11:50 am


        • Jeff -  July 6, 2015 - 11:32 am


          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 27, 2015 - 6:53 pm

            Or perhaps, typoes, as in ‘tomatoes’

    • Re -  April 30, 2015 - 8:39 am

      well u found this discussion so u have no life either

      • Onyx -  May 5, 2015 - 5:47 am

        Or you work at a computer all day in which the only site accessible is dictionary.com. LoL

      • Anna -  May 27, 2015 - 12:31 am

        Oh dear me,
        Do try to ‘lighten up” a little.

    • Viva -  April 17, 2015 - 6:43 am

      The backwards R? The ñ? And for the love of all what is this: ł ??

      • Jonathan -  April 21, 2015 - 1:15 pm

        the crossed l ( ł ) is used in many constructed written language forms. For example, in the written Dine’ Bizaa’d (Navajo) it is used to express the closed teeth, slurred “sh” made by stuttering the breath through the sides of the teeth with the front teeth closed by the toungue.

        • Jonathan -  May 6, 2015 - 2:12 pm

          So it’s like the Welsh ‘ll’, then?

          • Colin -  May 22, 2015 - 9:47 am

            Yes, it sounds exactly the same as the Welsh ‘ll’. We were talking to a Navajo woman in a museum in Arizona and she spoke a little Navajo to us when I noticed this.

      • Lucky Joestar -  May 24, 2015 - 6:17 pm

        The “ł” is used in Polish to represent a historical Slavic “hard” l, which in Polish is pronounced like English “w”. Thus, “Wrocław” is pronounced something like “vroats-woff.”

  30. MatBastardson -  March 27, 2015 - 4:12 am

    I also heard L&M got kicked out for smoking.

    • Sweep -  March 28, 2015 - 7:43 am

      This may have something to do with infinity symbol ie and so on etc… Before you all say what, it just makes sense has a old symbol is 8 infinity

      • Joyce -  April 5, 2015 - 8:21 am

        Need to get your facts straight sir. By the time of this building project, the flood had already taken place. Certainly they at least had enough of a mind set to know that no one could build something that high.

        The reason God was so angry, wasn’t that they were going to invade the heavens, but that they were so arrogant they felt they didn’t need God in their lives. To put an end to this, Jehovah changed their languages so that they could not longer understand each other and the building project came to a halt.

        • Anna -  May 27, 2015 - 12:38 am


          I am not being obtuse or disrespectful whatsoever. I believe that you believe what you have posted.

          ****I would like to point out that in Sydney, Australia, Generations X, Y and now Z do not pronounce the letter “T”, ever.!!!************e.g. PARDE=party; SIIDDEE=City; etcetera…

          I simply need a forum in which to whinge.

          • jayjar88 -  September 7, 2015 - 2:32 pm

            A lot of Americans don’t pronounce the T either in words where the D sounds better.

          • Gary O -  November 4, 2015 - 5:09 am

            A lot of Americans don’t pronounce ‘tt’, with no replacement. i.e. button becomes bu-un, battery becomes ba-ery, etc.

    • Kay Kay -  April 4, 2015 - 10:54 am

      Lmao!……..that was funny.

      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 20, 2015 - 11:52 am

        jayjar88- September 7, 2015 & Gary O- November 4, 2015
        “A lot of Americans don’t pronounce the T either in words where the D sounds better.
        Gary O-
        “A lot of Americans don’t pronounce ‘tt’, with no replacement. i.e. button becomes bu-un, battery becomes ba-ery, etc.”

        Agreed. An English girl, I too think the D sounds better than the T, and I often use it to my surprise. Like most things North American, it’s slick, quick and easy; a case of the language reflecting the life.

        Gary O –
        That missing ‘tt’ is very typical of yer actual Cockney. Not an attractive sound, it’s called the ‘glottal stop’ and is made by, would-you-believe, glottal stopping, or, stopping the glottis?- a device that sits in the throat and which I think in men is called the Adam’s apple. We can, and do do it when we cough, to give that plosive effect right at the start.

        Your examples, bu-un and ba-ery are useful and readily understood. The first, bu-un sounds okay it the second vowel is unvoiced: ‘bu-n’. (I hope that works on screen) but the other is ugly, however that glo-al stop is inflected, and like many things, works bedder (even beddr) the American way. At least, I think so.

        I hope that makes sense; it’s not easy to translate sounds into non-standard English. (Btw, there’s no glottal-stop intended in “non-standard”!



    • Palladin -  April 9, 2015 - 1:19 pm

      Yowza, I haven’t heard that “24-Letters-In-The-Alphabet” joke since, well, since plaid polyester was a fashion statement. I went with Sportsman back then because I liked the packaging. Smelly, expensive, and bad for you — what’s not to like?

  31. Jake -  February 18, 2015 - 9:07 am

    Don’t you think it would make you seem more than a little provincial and naive to believe that the myths you learned, which differ so obviously (at least in the details) from the myths learned by the majority of the rest of the world’s population, are in fact an accurate record of history?

    I mean, does it seem reasonable that a king existed who thought he could somehow build a tower so tall that he could get into heaven, yeah. Does it seem reasonable that God thought this was in fact too mighty and caused a flood to rid the world of these massively strong and intelligent giants? No, no it does not. An excellent comparitive analysis of the mythologies (which includes today’s major religions) of the world can be found in the seminal book by Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. He discusses the role giants play in religions from Jainism (pretty much the oldest major religion still practiced) to Hinduism, to Buddhism, to those of the Abrahamic tradition. They are usually one of the hurdles the hero of the myth must overcome to return the boon to his people, or the deification of the father figure, which the hero must come to understand. A very interesting book if you like history, religion, or fairy tales (though it is pretty heavy on the pyshoanalysis).

    But, come on literalists, look at the layers of a cliffside, or a fossil in a museum, or anything else older than 6000 years, and tell me that that the bible is historically accurate.

    And I agree, language would have developed along with the many varied groups that were evolving the requisite brains and forming the requisite proto-cultures, in line with the other user’s comment about the native Americans.

    • Warob -  February 19, 2015 - 7:26 am

      The key word in Genesis 1:28 is ‘replenish’ the earth. The earth is certainly older than 6000 years and only God knows what was here. Some fundamentalists speculate that it was the age of the dinosaurs.

      One task Adam was given was to name all the animals. That would take a while. He was not a stupid or developing creature but fully functioning in every aspect.

      Flood stories are similar and contained in many cultures including tribal settings where they have not had any exposure to Western culture and its influence.

      The great evidence of true Christianity is the miracle of changed lives by the power of the gospel. Paul was a persecutor of the church putting Christians to death until the day of his salvation on the road to Damascus.

      If you reply we can continue the discussion.

      • Mallory -  February 20, 2015 - 6:53 pm

        Still, there is no scientific evidence that there was ever a mass global flood and there certainly would be if such an event took place.

        • Jurie -  February 24, 2015 - 10:43 pm

          That isn’t ENTIRELY true.

          While it is true that there is no recorded evidence of a flood that covered the whole earth, there is a place for the biblical account to have originated.

          After the last ice age, a large ice sheet, Laurentide ice sheet, remained in northern america, which melted away. The sheet melted through it’s centre though, creating a massive fresh water lake of oceanic size. When the ice wall finally broke, seas rose and caused major flooding, especially in areas such as the black sea region, or Paltos’ “Atlantis”.

          So all the evidence can be interrupted as either enough or insufficient, ultimately neither side will ever be indisputably correct, it will always be a ‘Faith vs Facts’ argument.

        • Ashley -  February 25, 2015 - 7:19 am

          But there are a lot of stories from many different religions that have told about a world wide flood. The Holy Bible is the most tested book, and it has passed all three historic tests, internal, external, and bibliographical tests better than any other book so far. The dead sea scrolls provide evidence for Christianity too.

          • Steve -  February 27, 2015 - 7:19 am

            Accounts of history are discounted by people of later generations because they did not see it with their eyes or handle what fits their definition of authentication. This happened for several centuries regarding the “mythical” city of Nineveh. Many discounted that the city ever existed and used the premise to discount the accuracy of the Biblical texts. That is until in the 1840′s when archeologists going on a tip, a hunch and a local legend, dug a pit into a mound across the river from Mosel (present day Iraq). When the hole gave way to a room, it was discoved that they were in the library for the City of Nineveh, with thousands of cuneiform clay tablets. What was “legend and myth” for several centuries, became “fact” because a hole was dug into the side of a hill. So, what is your Nineveh?

            Sadly, some of those artifacts have been looted because of the fighting, so will Nineveh become “myth and legend” again?

          • Madison Ziegler -  February 28, 2015 - 4:24 am


          • jack piper -  March 1, 2015 - 1:13 pm

            Ask any Geologist if sites around the world where the layers of the earth or areas (like the grand canyon) clearly show that there was a massive flood at a time hundreds of centuries in the past, or not. You will find, I think agreement among most well educated geologists that there was, in fact, such a flood.

          • Joy -  March 2, 2015 - 10:41 am

            There have been massive floods throughout the ages, and yes, there is an abundance of geologic evidence. But the various floods have occurred at different times. No reputable geologist would ever state that there was a time when a single flood covered the entire planet with water.
            Every civilization in every part of the world has a “flood myth”, because every civilization has, at one time or another, witnessed a massive flood. But those floods did not all occur at the same time.

        • Louise -  February 28, 2015 - 10:49 am

          Is that why, some people are geniuses if they are part ‘hybrid’?. Am I part hybrid if I get angry over little things?.
          One other note I learned from all these stories: Noah’s Ark, Sodom and Gomorrah, Tower of Babel, etc. what God has destroyed, are they not examples of the second coming of Christ, His Son? (for all believers to ‘watch and pray, because He is coming at an hour we donot know.)

          • Joyce -  April 5, 2015 - 8:23 am

            His presence has already taken place…in 1914.

        • Judith -  March 18, 2015 - 8:47 pm

          When I took comparative religion at the University of Florida, it was noted that some 270 flood accounts exist such as the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh. Also Mastodons have been found in Siberia flash frozen with green vegetation in their mouths, which could be explained not by a gradual ice age which would cause them to migrate south, but by a rapid temperature change consistent with the sudden condensation of a water layer which would then fall as rain. Also numerous collections of animal carcasses have been found which do not commonly graze together. Also Darwin wrote his Origin of Species in hopes of explaining the varieties of creatures, not to refute the existence of an Intelligent Designer. In it he wrote that when the fossil record was fully examined it should reveal infinite gradations of species, but if the record revealed no life on one layer and completely formed life on the next, his theory would be false

          • AL -  April 7, 2015 - 11:16 pm

            Take Feb 2015 Where it snowed and snowed. And the temp never rose above 0 C / 32 F the whole month. Now extend that into years. Many years. It was miles / KM thick and dug out the Great lakes. When it all melted why do we find the purest salt up in Tibet? 1,000′s of ft / meters above sea level? This also points to great floods. Salt can even found under Detroit and right across under Lake Huron past Goderich Ont Canada and is still been mined under the lake and Detroit, USA. Why was the Arctic once a jungle? Why is there oil in South America? Or oil in the Gulf of Mexico and all over America? Say that is not true then why is there oil up there? It points to a global flood. After the ICE age! When it melted where did the water go? Open you eyes and read more.

          • The Penguin -  July 21, 2015 - 6:45 am

            Sorry Al but I cannot resist; you should follow your own advice. Ever heard of plate tectonics? All of what you ascribe to a ‘flood’ can easily and best be accounted for by the fact that the crust’s plates move and some are subducted and others formed at the mid-oceanic ridges. What was once sea becomes land and vice versa.

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 27, 2015 - 4:09 am

            Whilst I take account of your level of education – and perhaps prosetylisation too, I’m not sure of the point of the last two sentences in your otherwise slightly dodgy e-mail, (e.g. frozen water falls as snow, not rain; that would merely wet the Mastodons, not flash-freeze them) though I presume it to be that Darwin had written a self-damning statement that
            “…if the record revealed no life on one layer and completely formed life on the next, his theory would be false.”
            That was very honest and brave of the great thinker, almost to the point of foolishness. However, the relatively recent (post-Darwin) discovery of plate tectonics, highlighted by The Penguin seems to exonerate Darwin completely. No?

        • miaskyecrook -  March 26, 2015 - 12:07 pm


          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  October 27, 2015 - 2:52 am

            The Penguin:
            “Sorry Al but I cannot resist; you should follow your own advice. Ever heard of plate tectonics? All of what you ascribe to a ‘flood’ can easily and best be accounted for by the fact that the crust’s plates move and some are subducted and others formed at the mid-oceanic ridges. What was once sea becomes land and vice versa.”

            Agreed, Penguin; added to which, this book called The Bible was written for the ignorant, by the ignorant; the blind leading the blind.
            Ignorant is an emotive word but I’ve chosen it because, in this case, it refers to nothing more disrespectful than ‘those who don’t know’. Back then, even the best-educated were ignorant of most things; not only could they not read about heart transplants nor plate tectonics in that book they were writing, they hadn’t even thought of them; such ideas would have been preposterous; the Americas, Australia, even Great Britain were undiscovered, so their ‘whole world’ comprised little of it. Moreover, it was surrounded by water – and it was flat!
            Add to this, as we may be about to find out, the Polar ice caps contain too little ice, as stored water, to flood the entire Earth… It’s too big. And too high. The idea is preposterous.

            Jackie H.

          • Mike Seckerson -  November 6, 2015 - 11:35 am

            Two points: You ask, “…when it all melted why do we find the purest salt up in Tibet? 1,000’s of ft / meters above sea level? This also points to great floods.”

            Not really. Think about it: If the floods were so great that the sea rose as high as the Tibetan mountains, 1,000s of ft/metres above sea level, why isn’t the land between Tibet and what we now call the sea, all covered in the purest salt, left by all those receding oceans‽
            For all the oceans had to rise.

            Next, you ask a self-damning question: “When it melted where did the water go?” Okay, where do you think it went?
            Look around you. It went to form what we now call the sea.
            Or did god take it all away again, putting it back into his secret drawer, having inflicted it on his chosen beings in the first place?

            Where do you and your fellow adherents think all this water, all this sea, and snow and rain, came from in the first place? Or do you still look at the horizon and think it’s flat?

            You watch in horror as great lumps of melting, salt-free ice fall off their bergs and into the sea. What you don’t see is how far they bounce back. I tell you, it isn’t far. Just examine the ice floating in your favourite drink – how much of it floats below the surface?

            Face it, man; most of the ice is already under the sea’s surface! It ain’t gonna climb much higher; there just isn’t enough water on the planet! There never was! Never, ever. Got that?

            Floods be buggered; it’s all formed and still forms by this plastic planet, this relatively moving, barely stable object that is our living, moving, ‘breathing’ home.

            Plate tectonics, Matey.


        • Daniel -  April 15, 2015 - 4:55 pm

          Look at the Grand Canyon

          • Daniel -  April 15, 2015 - 4:56 pm

            flood evidence

        • Renee' -  May 25, 2015 - 10:00 am

          There have been multitudes of sea creature fossils found on tops of mountains and in deserts. Also, look up “Biblical Archaeology Discoveries” and you’ll find many, many things that prove the Bible to be accurate and real.

        • krystalrose -  July 12, 2015 - 1:38 pm

          Patently incorrect. Through carbon dating and other means we now know that the earth was once covered mostly in water. Over millenia, various changes took place, different forms of life evolved, the continents drifted apart, the seas which covered many deserts receded, and the first Republican president of the United States was elected.

          I’ve never seen a conflict between Genesis and evolution. It is not an either/or question, nor should it be, unless one is willing to abandon science altogether…which I am not. Interesting to see how this thread has devolved from a discussion of the ampersand to a discussion of…whatever the heck this is now. ;)

      • Emma -  March 4, 2015 - 8:54 pm

        Are you christian? Paul’s name used to be Saul.

        • _______ -  March 20, 2015 - 1:18 pm

          i am a christian are you? i hope you are.

      • Emma -  March 4, 2015 - 8:55 pm

        Warob, are you chrstian? I am. Paul’s name used to be Saul.

      • Carlos -  April 23, 2015 - 5:47 pm

        What I find truly interesting is that Earth is both one of five elements and just happens to be the name of our planet. Looking back on this word now is easy, because we have books, the internet, and other media at our fingertips. However, when Adam was supposedly the first human, Earth may have been the name of our planet, but just as importantly, earth is the name of the stuff beneath Adam’s feet.

        The fact that Earth has a double meaning never ceases to intrigue me, but it has the unfortunate consequence of confusing me and so many other people. Now I am humble enough to admit, I never wrote the bible nor have I met Adam or Noah. Furthermore, I am guessing if in Noah’s portion of the bible it said the whole earth was covered by water, this simple phrase could mean a bunch of different things. One is “Whole earth” could merely mean one land mass (like North, South, and Central America). It could also mean Earth the planet. It may even mean something similar to when someone says, “He always is mean to me.” I have noticed that the meanest person on the planet is not always mean.

        Even in the scenario that the “whole earth” really means the entire planet, that statement is still true today. What covers the whole earth? The sky covers the whole earth. Is there any place above sea level, but beneath Mount Everest that a person is unable to breath? Pretty sure there is not, but I would love to find out otherwise. By finding out otherwise, I will do my best to avoid this unbreathable part of our planet.

        So in conclusion, I am sorry for being so nitpicky about a simple phrase, but I sincerely hope you learned something from my words. Taking something literally means you need to apply all the definitions of each and every word. Hopefully, after doing that you will arrive at the truth.

        • neenee -  June 2, 2015 - 1:53 pm

          Wow, never thought about our planet we live on… earth, in that way!

          As a “triple earth” Virgo, the 3 other elements (air, fire, water) all affect my earth “horoscope sign”, the planet and its contents:

          Too much water makes lakes and oceans on earth as well as make land muddy; too much air dries up land and makes earth barren; fire destroys land and makes earth unfertile.

          In case you were a wondering….sun sign, moon sign, and birth month (September) all are in the earth sign (as earth the majority element in each when I was born and where the planets were at time of my birth).

          Who knew when I was curious about the ampersand I would be commenting on our planet!


          TMI? Or did I

        • deb -  August 26, 2015 - 12:05 pm

          Not only is earth the name of the planet and also the stuff under Adam’s feet, but it is also from whence Adam was made. The name “Adam” is a play on the Hebrew word “adamah”, which means “earth”. “Earth” (dirt) and “the Earth” are both composed of atoms created in the hearts of the stars, as were we all. It gives a feeling of evolution and vast amounts of time to the creation story. This is how I feel evolution and the creationist story are two ways of talking of the same thing.

          • Gary O -  November 4, 2015 - 7:13 am

            I thought the old testament was originally written in Hebrew, not English. Translations from English to Hebrew from Answer.com:

            Earth as in planet Earth = kadur ha’arets (כדור הארץ)
            earth as in soil = adamah (אדמה)
            earth as in land or territory = erets (ארץ)

            I noticed that in Hebrew there are different words for three different definitions of earth. My opinion is that the three meaning of earth (english) does not equate to the three meanings of earth as translated to Hebrew.

            It seems that translations are causing misinterpretations here. Not surprising at all

    • Ben -  February 25, 2015 - 11:04 pm

      Do you even have any proof that the cliffside or fossil is more than 6000 years old?

      • Joy -  March 2, 2015 - 10:51 am

        There is an abundance of proof and evidence that the planet is WAY older than 6000 years. If you are genuinely interested, then I would encourage you to take a college-level class in geology.
        I see no conflict between belief in God and science. I’ve always felt that God is the “who”, and science is the “how”. And for those who state that the Bible is the ONLY book they need, then I would invite them to use the Bible to teach them how to perform a heart transplant or how to travel to the moon.

        • Autumn -  March 3, 2015 - 8:37 am

          True, the Bible cannot teach us how to do a heart transplant. However, the Bible teaches us what the Word is and how to let him into our hearts and our everyday lives. God has a plan and a will for everyone, and if that will is to become a doctor who does heart transplants, then (if you believe in God) you (anyone, not YOU in particular) will know that it is His divine intervention, however, people who do not believe in that particular Supreme Being, do not recognize it as such. Yet, we all realize at some point in our lives that we are interested in some sort of profession or as Christians say, our “calling”

          i do agree when you say ” I’ve always felt that God is the “who”, and science is the “how””, but it (to me) sounds like you have a slightly biased opinion on what Christians view the Bible to be when you said “And for those who state that the Bible is the ONLY book they need, then I would invite them to use the Bible to teach them how to perform a heart transplant or how to travel to the moon”. I don’t know what sort of encounters you have had with other Christians, and they could have possibly said something to make you think that. However, being a hardcore Roman Catholic, with many even harder core Eastern Orthodox friends, and Protestant ones as well (don’t ask how we get along ( but that’s a different point altogether)) ,and a pretty justifiable world view, i feel that i can say that for the most part, Christians look to the Bible for guidance to life, the commandments, and in general, for the Truth.

          So yes, you could invite Christians to look to the Bible to be able to do a heart transplant, but for the most part, they’d probably just stand there and look at you like you just sprouted Andelite eyes.
          But does that make sense?

          • eustacia -  March 4, 2015 - 9:54 am

            i agree but what are Andelite eyes?

          • Emma -  March 4, 2015 - 8:57 pm

            Autumn, you christian?

          • Lithp -  April 4, 2015 - 1:08 pm

            Eustacia: Probably a misspelling of “Andalite,” the alien species from the “Animorphs” book series that resembled a blue centaur with no mouth, a bladed tail, & an extra set of eyes on stalks growing out of their heads.

          • vanted -  June 10, 2015 - 9:28 am

            As a hardcore Roman Catholic, do you believe the “ten commandments”? If so, why is it that your bishops, priests, whatever, feel they have the right to kill people with different beliefs? Same thing applied during Elizabeth the first’s reign in England when Catholics were persecuted and killed. Nowadays it is the eastern fanatics killing all and sundry who they refer to as infidels. I think it is a fact that more people have been killed (murdered) in the name of religion than all wars and pestilences combined.
            Just one point about the bible, current thinking is that Moses did not cross the Red Sea, but the reed sea which is a river delta which flooded with each high tide. I accept I have only discovered this from watching “factual” programmes on the television, It seems more logical to me though.
            There are so many religions throughout the world, they can’t all be right so who’s to say any of them are.
            We will all find out one day, or not as the case may be

        • hi -  March 3, 2015 - 2:55 pm

          “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13

          Oh and by the way, dinosaur tissue was found, RECENT dinosaur tissue in a fossil. if the world was millions of years old and dinosaurs did go extinct a long time ago it would have decayed long ago as-well. Could you tell me some of that “abundant” proof you said about?

          • me -  March 3, 2015 - 2:56 pm

            I agree.

        • Kevin -  March 28, 2015 - 7:35 am

          I’m one whom can say the Bible is the only book I truly need in life. I have other books, as well, but don’t need them. I won’t need to use the Bile to teach me how to “perform a heart transplant or how to travel to the moon”, for I will never do either. :~)

        • Joell Burville -  March 28, 2015 - 9:03 am

          The Bible of course does teach how to perform a heart transplant and how to travel to the moon. Paul had a change of heart (a heart transplant) when he changed his mind about Christians, and became one himself. And Jesus’ whole purpose was to teach all of us how to do what he did: raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, heal the sick, overcome sin, disease and death and ASCEND! His ascension was his rising above the mortal sense to the spiritual sense, perhaps traveling through the universe to the moon.

          • vanted -  June 10, 2015 - 9:38 am

            If ever you go to London, visit the British museum and ask if you might be able to look at the bible they have which was printed in the year 300AD. You will NOT find any mention of a resurrection in it, To be honest, I have no idea when or why this phenomenon was introduced, perhaps others might have some thoughts, particularly on why it occurs on different dates

        • james -  April 29, 2015 - 9:24 am

          You are missing the point. You’ve obviously looked at the Bible, but not what it’s purpose. The Bible IS the only book we need – to conduct our lives. The Bible does not teach us to tie our shoes, or to drive a car and no-one claims that it does. It does teach us about the needs in our lives, how to conduct ourselves according to God’s law. Basically how to build a society that people can live together in. Science is a good field of study, but many people do not realize that it too has limits. Science can tell us HOW to do many things. Science cannot educate us on WHY or that SHOULD we do these things. The Bible, as God’s WORD teaches us that man’s mind is not just a calculating machine that spits out how to build something with the measurements to do it. It teaches that we have a mind with the means to understand concepts such as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘good judgement or bad decisions’. How do we know what right and wrong is – look at the Bible and also look at the results. There IS conflict between GOD and science. While science tells us that man can concieve of, and build anything. God teaches us that this is not always a good idea.

        • Harry -  May 30, 2015 - 3:09 pm

          I see no conflict with earth possibly being millions of years old and the bible. In Gensis it’s written “in the beginning the earth was void and without form”. That implies earth was already here in some form. The 6000 year theory would be when Adam & Eve were put here.

          • vanted -  June 10, 2015 - 9:41 am

            If Adam and Eve were the first and only people on earth, who did their children marry without contravening Gods law?

        • Ricky -  June 1, 2015 - 8:06 am

          Joy, I love your statement about God and science and the point about people believing the bible is the only book they need…..
          Maybe in the days of and before the days of Jesus for some people they saw the bible as the only book of facts and knowledge but I do hope that Christians have better wisdom and understanding of the world they live in and the God whom they serve………

        • Gary -  October 23, 2015 - 4:46 am

          Science tells us the earth is 4 billion years old but the bible says it was created 6000 years ago.

      • Mike Seckerson -  November 5, 2015 - 6:52 am

        Gary O- 5th of November, 2015

        My understanding is that the Hebrew went to Greek before we got it in English, at least twice. I daresay that compounds the translation problem somewhat.

        Interesting too that, as you say, “earth as in soil = adamah (אדמה)” and that Adam was sent east of Eden, there to dig the soil, or earth. No?


    • Krizzy -  March 10, 2015 - 12:11 am

      Yo what up

    • Thomas -  March 12, 2015 - 8:09 am

      Whoa … how did the religious loonies get on to this topic???

      • Jack -  March 16, 2015 - 6:15 pm

        lol, I was wondering the exact same thing. It’s mind boggling that so many people can so easily reject such sound evidence and turn instead to a book that was compiled by random people from antiquity who had no knowledge of the concept of natural science.

        • Christian -  March 18, 2015 - 4:59 am

          May I point out that most of us, on either side of the fence, believe ourselves to be absolutely right and everybody else is crazy. I could say that it’s mind boggling all the evidence against evolution and for creation, (and on a side note I want to know how the Big Bang is explained. Something firm nothing, really?) I will also point out that you weren’t there, you can’t say if it was randomly compiled by a bunch of ancients. I have read some on on this, and on the irreducible complexity of life, even for some of the tiniest parts. There are many systems at the molecular level in the processes of life where some of the materials produced by the process are needed for the process to work. Even amino acids, just one part of the construction of cells, have so many combinations it is highly improbable it would form the chains needed and then stick around for everything else to form. Also, a changing of kinds has never rock-solidly been shown, and there are numerous gaps in the evolutionary timeline where intermediate species are needed. You also act like you know for sure what God would do if he existed, in your mind. Who can fathom him? Who can say he didn’t put light in transit and the galaxies traveling outward( some points against creationism) Many things in the Bible we had no other source of the evidence for until they were found, for example the Hittite people and the city of Ninevah. That is irrefutable evidence. Obviously many learned people have believed, as evidenced today, so don’t act you are more intelligent than the rest become you are right. This is only broaching the surface of the subject; I advise all who read this read up on the subject. There are numerous articles for and against, and many concern facts that can be interpreted differently throug each lens. Again, most likely you will dismiss all this as the desperate ravings of a Christian nut, but I could state the same about you. The debate will continue, all believing they are either right or are unsure.

          • Lithp -  April 4, 2015 - 1:06 pm

            These comments are physically painful. These are some of the most pedestrian false claims about evolution imaginable.

            “May I point out that most of us, on either side of the fence, believe ourselves to be absolutely right and everybody else is crazy.”

            This becomes meaningless when you realize that mutually exclusive beliefs cannot be equally correct. Just because you call a scientific theory a “belief,” that doesn’t mean it’s actually equivalent to your religion.

            “I could say that it’s mind boggling all the evidence against evolution and for creation,”

            I can say that I wrote the Bible as a prank & sent it back through time, who cares?

            “(and on a side note I want to know how the Big Bang is explained. Something firm nothing, really?)”

            Because things which violate our understanding of physics are absurd…except Jesus, of course.

            “I will also point out that you weren’t there,”

            Guess that means we should throw out the whole field of forensics.

            “I have read some on on this, and on the irreducible complexity of life, even for some of the tiniest parts.”

            Did you read the Wikipedia article? It has great refutations of the argument. TalkOrigins is also a good source for all manner of rebuttals of Creationism.

            “There are many systems at the molecular level in the processes of life where some of the materials produced by the process are needed for the process to work.”

            In DNA world. Self-replicating RNA molecules have been synthesized. RNA world is generally considered to have preceded DNA world.

            “Even amino acids, just one part of the construction of cells, have so many combinations it is highly improbable it would form the chains needed and then stick around for everything else to form.”

            Amino acids form in nature, under conditions which we understand very well. And they would not be waiting for a modern cell to form around them, they would interact with the surrounding molecules to form the most stable structures. Even the simplest cells were preceded by protocells.

            “Also, a changing of kinds has never rock-solidly been shown,”

            A rock-solid DEFINITION of “kind” has never been shown. If you don’t tell us what your question EVEN MEANS, it can’t be answered. And no, saying something like “frogs & cats are different kinds” is not an answer. What ABOUT them is the important difference? It can’t be appearance or anatomy, the males & females of the same species can differ wildly. For that matter, it can’t be their species (usually defined as ability to reproduce with one another), because when we cite documented events of speciation, Creationists say something like, “Well, they’re still fish.” For that matter, I’m still waiting on a Creationist to show me how evolution “knows” where to stop so that it doesn’t pass…whatever their arbitrary line dividing “kinds” is.

            “and there are numerous gaps in the evolutionary timeline where intermediate species are needed.”

            Think about a childhood photo of yourself. Okay, now, if you can’t give me similar photographic evidence of every single moment of your life, that photo is not you, but an unrelated child.

            That is an equivalent situation to what you are saying.

            “You also act like you know for sure what God would do if he existed, in your mind. Who can fathom him?”

            Appeal to ignorance, & also remember just a few lines ago where you were arguing probability? Because if the universe can be arbitrarily created to look any age, by a force that doesn’t necessarily behave in any logical way, this would make your specific set of beliefs VERY unlikely to be true.

            “That is irrefutable evidence.”

            Nope, this contradicts your entire long-winded speech about how evidence can never be conclusively proven.

            “Obviously many learned people have believed, as evidenced today,”

            I don’t know if you’re still talking about Creationism or if you’ve switched to theism in general, but either way, I don’t care who believes what, I want to know what they can PROVE, & since you went on this whole spiel devaluing evidence as mere arbitrary opinion, that really says all that I need to know about the basis of your beliefs.

          • Jim k -  April 27, 2015 - 3:05 pm

            “Lithp” said “This becomes meaningless when you realize that mutually exclusive beliefs cannot be equally correct. ”

            Uh… yes they can. Both can be totally wrong = “equally correct”

          • Mike Seckerson -  November 6, 2015 - 4:17 pm

            You say, “…(and on a side note I want to know how the Big Bang is explained. Something firm nothing, really?)” (Should that be something FROM nothing?)

            It’s not a side note at all, Christian; it is crucial to the reason that so many of you fall for the god delusion.

            I spoke to Jacquelyne Hyde about this. She said, “Of course, I don’t know because I’m only a woman writer,” I think she was joking. “…but I know that the philosophical antitheist W.D.Faughty has a theory about this; he says that the Big Bang was formed from the collected debris of the previous one. That in turn was formed from the debris of the one before that…”
            And so on – and I almost said ‘to the beginning of time’. I shan’t though, because time has no beginning; it was always there, same as the universe, ours that is. And it will always be there. Forever.

            Before I begin, by way of what seems to be a side-salad, how’s your mind on infinity? Can you really imagine a world that was always there?- that no-one made?- no-one designed?- (intelligently or otherwise) a world that will always be there?

            No, of course you can’t; that’s why you need a god. Infinity is not given to humans; they can’t understand it. They can’t understand it because nowhere in their world does infinity exist; it’s just a theory, a mathematical trick. Everything we know, everything we know of, has a beginning and an end. It’s just, we think, how the universe is made.

            We’re wrong though; it’s a case of learning the wrong lesson from our experience. And why not? After all, we’ve had no leadership – and you can’t seriously call all that nonsense in that silly book full of apochrypha, ludicrous stories and a bit of commonsense advice that any competent housewife can tell you, leadership. Nor the deluded followers of such stuff, leaders. It’s the blind leading the blind.
            A simple, hypothetical romance should serve as an example:

            Consider, say, a roulette wheel; your side is passing you from right to left. The other side is passing you from left to right. Move your eyes back across the wheel, past the centre to this side. Notice that the wheel appears to slow towards its centre, before reversing its direction.
            The same kind of thing happens with a pendulum, except that its movement gives not the same problem; pendula are not problematic; well, not in those terms. So, what is the problem? And why?

            It is with two different directions simultaneoulsy, for, in the case of the pendulum, there’s a fixed point at each end. That’s not a problem. However, whilst the fixed point of the wheel is in the centre, the outer ring is whizzing round like the clappers. In opposite directions. That’s the problem. The centre is not moving. It can’t be. Yet it must be, or all movement stops. It’s a paradox that’s quite beyond me. The Catholic T.S.Eliot, put it into a poem. But I choose to ignore it. And that’s what some (ignorant, in the first sense) people do. The rest, look for god.

            Faughty goes on to say that we live in an expanding universe, seemingly expanding at an increasing rate. Everything in it is moving farther apart; not just the planets but all the atoms and molecules and everything. And one day it will all stop and come together for the next Big Bang. Of course, it won’t happen as simply as that; I mean, it’s not as though it were all connected by humungous rubber bands, is it?
            No, it’ll happen via the recently found phenomenon, the Black Hole.

            You’ve heard of those, of course; closely bound areas of matter that roll around space, gobbling up stray particles of matter and increasing their strength, their gravitational pull, with each capture. And they get smaller, not bigger, with each capture, because the stronger they get the more they crush whatever is in their core, crushing it out of existence until there’s nothing left. Except for their gravity.

            These items of pure gravity comprise what was bits of space-dust, rocks, burnt out asteroids, old satellites, cars, houses, moons, planets, suns, even whole galaxies will enter the black holes; it’s the stuff of nightmares, worse than heaven and hell all rolled into one. Or those ghastly paintings by that bloke in the gallery.* And what happens when two black holes meet?

            Why, they swallow each other, of course. And vanish. And here’s the thing: the gravity of the black hole is such that matter itself cannot survive; it collapses under the strain and we finish with an entity that is made entirely of gravity with no material. Because there is no material. Only gravity. And that gravity is God!

            No, only joking, of course, because what’s happened is we’ve arrived at the Gravity Paradox. All mass and no dimension. The End of Everything. This happens when the black hole reaches the point of zero size and infinite gravity; it is pure gravity, and that is all — at which point it explodes.

            And then the whole thing starts all over again. Stars are formed. They explode, throwing off great rocks and sending them boiling out into space, to cool, and eventually, in the waters, life begins again. The creatures develop, they wonder, for they know little. And so they invent a god, many gods, and all with different names. This seriously potted history goes on until we reach the point where someone says, can someone explain the Big Bang? And someone else sits down and writes this…

            That’s all very well, and to my mind it works perfectly. But the problem remains. Can you handle the fact that it’s always happened like this — always? I don’t think so. An endless round, with nor beginning and no end.

            And so we’re back to where we came in — how’s your mind on infinity? To get to the next stage requires a leap of faith. And so the creationist and the atheist are both in the same boat. It is the ultimate irony.

            I hope that helps, Christian? And perhaps other lost readers too. Or perhaps you have better ideas. It’s only a theory, of course, but I like it; I like it much better than the alternative, the theory of creation; it’s much more plausible.
            It’s also modern, trendy, up-to-date. And that makes it better. (No, honestly, that bit was a joke.)

            Oh, btw: W.D.Faughty’s read this and said to tell you that he’s not a philosophical antitheist, but an antitheistical philosopher. I think that’s what he said.



            *Joseph Martin.

        • james -  April 29, 2015 - 9:50 am

          Why do you referr to us who believe in a Power higher than ourselves to be looney. Look at the world over. There are levels of life everywhere we look. Why not a God that is infinitely more powerful than man? You think that the Bible was ‘compiled’ by random people? You need to read your history. Ancient man DID have a concept of natural science. He was given fire and had the knowledge to pass it on down through the generations and it is still something we have today. It is a scientific fact. Do you really think that man came from a really huge explosion in unoccupied vacuum which threw rocks all over the place is more reasonable than a Higher being creating the earth and all of it’s environs?I see people here commenting who are being judgemental and who are ignorant of facts they should be aware of before commiting their thoughts to the written word. Natural Science has been called many things over the centuries and involved processes that have gotten us where we are. Scientists at one time preferred to call themselves ‘Natural Philosophers’ and there were the ‘Alchemists’ who delved into the basic building blocks as far as their equipment allowed. Just because, hundreds of years ago, man did not have an electron microscope does not mean he had not understanding. The Bible was compiled by men who were carefully chosen and did their work with much consideration and, yes, prayer. It was checked and rechecked and has been by intelligent men for centuries. They would not have considered themselves antiques then, just as you and I don’t today. But someday we will be part of ‘antiquity’. Being part of antiquity is not a bad thing, it means we survived and are remembered.

          • Serendipity -  May 16, 2015 - 6:05 pm

            James (April 29, 2015 – 9:50 am) said: “Look at the world over. There are levels of life everywhere we look. Why not a God that is infinitely more powerful than man?”

            Your phrase “levels of life everywhere” is saying there’s a hierarchy of life (of species / life-forms), with each species having multiple separate individuals.

            In your world view, the hierarchy includes a topmost species called “Supreme Beings”. But in your opinion there’s only one individual supreme being (called “god”).

            So can you prove there’s only one “god” in the species called supreme beings? Can prove this god is alone?

            Continuing your hierarchy metaphor, and paraphrasing your words: “Why not a Supergod that is infinitely more powerful than god?”

            Where does this hierarchy of life (and gods) end?

            Your belief-system requires you to have faith (trust) that your god is alone. It defines your god as an orphan. Why?

        • Elli Cooper -  May 11, 2015 - 6:42 am

          And here we go again. I really wanted to know more about the alphabet. Guess I need to go to a different site.

        • JustanotherReader -  September 28, 2015 - 6:06 pm

          It is also mind boggling how so many people lack faith in what you call “antiquity” and rely on what you call “sound evidence”. All this talk and discussion on alphabets evolving and the earth and planets & yet some people don’t realize that the bible itself has evolved but the meaning of its contents have not changed or evolved. Some have been tried to simplify its contents but God’s word has not died out like the ampersand in the alphabet. And the bible has not lost its status as the most profound, most controversial topic, most debated book in the history of mankind. It has not been proven or disproven to be the word of God like pluto has been debated on being a real planet or not. Bottom line is that it is not about whether man and man’s scientific developments has proven the Bible to be authentic or not, it is rather man’s realization that there are limits to man’s understanding and knowledge. Even Scientists state that there are limits beyond comprehension that man has not discovered, yet they still deny that there is a divine being, GOD, who is greater and more powerful than anyone. I’m not making sense anymore. Hopefully anyone who reads this will catch my meaning. That is all. :)

        • dfds -  November 12, 2015 - 8:43 am

          Random people from antiquity who had no knowledge. really. May I point out that the Bible is the most historically accurate book of all time ? also if the world was one big explosion, how would it have been so perfectly DESIGNED so that we could live? There is the perfect amount of atmosphere, water is liquid at room temperature when all other similar substances are usually gas, making it possible for us to survive by drinking it, and so many other facts, that are just too complex and amazing for the world to be a jumble of random substances. Wow. You really need to thing your life over, bud.

      • P.C. -  March 17, 2015 - 7:51 pm

        Isn’t it obvious? Obama.

        • metankfrank -  April 30, 2015 - 6:38 pm


        • Onyx -  May 5, 2015 - 7:34 am

          ha ha ha yes blame him

      • Mark Miller -  July 19, 2015 - 10:30 pm

        I am not a loonie.

      • Mike Seckerson -  November 5, 2015 - 4:44 am

        Look, there’s one above:
        “If Adam and Eve were the first and only people on earth, who did their children marry without contravening Gods law?”
        Well, vanted, they didn’t actually marry; they simply copulated. I spoke to my friend, Otto Scrivener, the well-known sex detective about this. He said that:
        God was still on the horizontal bit of the learning curve at first and thus he made many mistakes. It was when he created Adam, as he did in his own body image, no, that’s holy image, and likeness, that he realised his first mistake. So he went on to make his second, which was to create Eve, out of Adam. What he hadn’t thought about as he went blithely off to create the rest of the world’s creatures, all fully formed, of course, was what would happen in his absence, namely that Eve would be tempted by his arch-enemy, The Devil, who, in penis mode, so subtly disguised as a snake, tempted her into sexual intercourse. All those hissing whispers of pleasure in her ear.
        She, dirty girl, went straight off to seduce Adam, and thus they had Cain and Abel. Well, another of God’s greatest mistakes was to make Eve much younger than Adam. Now, she was a feisty, sexy little piece and she said that the winner of the fight could have her. So the brothers fought until one slew the other, then he and Eve copulated, producing the first of the inbreeds, a baby boy, then the second, a baby girl, and so on.
        Well, you can imagine, by the next generation all the inbreeds were copulating like mad, and it got worse because by the next generation after that, there were parents, children, grand-parents, all copulating like animals, though not with them; that came later, as their sickness developed.
        And this is how the human race began and how it lost its god-like qualities and became the inbred mess that it is today.
        I hope that answers your question.


        • dude -  November 12, 2015 - 8:06 am

          Sorry your wrong. God always was, always is and always will be. He is perfect. Always was perfect. God doesn’t learn. He knows everything, never makes mistakes. He created man to look after the world. He knew Adam would be lonely so He created Eve for him. Personally I don’t know how they married, maybe they did inter-marry – after all they had sinned already, or maybe God created more people for them to marry and it just wasn’t recorded. Also, Eve first sinned by eating the fruit of the Tree of Life. Not by having sexual intercourse with Adam. That was not a sin, as they were husband and wife. How would you know if Eve was younger than Adam anyway?

    • Eve -  March 17, 2015 - 5:13 am

      The bible is historically accurate. Geologists have said that the earth had multiple catastrophic floods and a flood covering the whole Earth is incredibly likely to have happened. The fact that the Earth is round and is suspended by nothing? Found in the bible a long time before people were even being punished for going against the church and saying it was circular. Check our JW.org and look at the publication was life created. its a brochure you may find very interesting. And its free.

      • Mike Seckerson -  November 5, 2015 - 5:20 am

        You say, “…catastrophic floods and a flood covering the whole Earth is incredibly likely to have happened.”
        And you are right;
        INCREDIBLY likely is the perfectly chosen phrase. All that stuff is incredible – utterly unbelievable, except by those who still believe in fairies. (It’s the same mind-set, you see?)

        You finish with an invitation to “…look at the publication ‘was life created’. its a brochure you may find very interesting. And its free.”
        And so it should be — it’s worthless.

        Keep on thinking.


    • Brad -  March 19, 2015 - 7:00 am

      What does creationism or religion or any philosophy at all, ever, have to do with the ampersand? Oh wait, I forgot I was the internet for a second there…

    • Sam -  March 21, 2015 - 5:45 am

      Okay, two things: First, let’s not go bashing other people’s beliefs. I am an atheist, because atheism makes sense to me. Christianity makes sense to some people. Other religions, like Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, make sense to yet other people. Religion is about what feels right and makes sense to you. It doesn’t matter if other people disagree with you, and it doesn’t matter that you disagree with them, so let them be. Second, this is an article on the origin of the ampersand. I respect your right to express your religious beliefs, but if you want to express them on the internet, I would suggest going to someplace where religion is the intended topic of discussion, rather than in the comment section of a dictionary.com entry. It’s not the topic at hand here. To be honest, I got the sense that you were picking a fight.

      • Kay Kay -  April 4, 2015 - 11:46 am

        Thank you!…. You are absolutely right and it never fails to happen….. Not criticizing, but it’s always people that say they are Christians that seem to be argumentative/confrontational. For the record I’m not atheist….just happen to agree with Sam.

        • jayjar88 -  September 7, 2015 - 2:51 pm

          Thank you Sam for your rational comment.

          On the other hand, Kay Kay, I don’t completely agree w/ the part of your comment where you say, “Not criticizing, but it’s always people that say they are Christians that seem to be argumentative/confrontational.” I’ve seen plenty of comments from atheists, Buddhists, Hinduists, and so forth (even agnostics,) besides Christians [professed & non-professed but not necessarily true,] that were also were confrontational on any number of topics.

      • sup -  November 12, 2015 - 8:15 am

        No way. “My truth” and “Your truth” can’t be different. For example: say I truly believe that a green wall is pink. It’s illogical for a completely plain wall to be both pink and green. Religion is not about what feels right and makes sense to you. Also, you are using the modern definition for tolerance. It used to mean that you would believe that the other person’s belief is wrong, but wouldn’t force your belief on them. People have changed it to mean that someone’s belief is just as right or sensible as another’s, and that saying anyone else is wrong, is wrong. This is self-contradictory. It’s wrong to say someone’s wrong? That’s saying that your wrong!! I agree that it’s peculiar that people brought this subject up, but the rest of your argument – I don’t think it’s right.

    • Pook -  March 25, 2015 - 8:47 am

      Excuse me, but what does all the junk below have to do with an AMPERSAND?!? Can’t you people stay on topic and go take your religious jabber someplace more appropriate?

      • Pum -  April 22, 2015 - 12:39 am

        Of course,its seen as proof of Noah and the building of theTower of Babel and the destruction of languages. God got rid of it of course.

      • dfa -  September 28, 2015 - 8:29 am

        Christians are ordered to spread the word of God to all the corners of the earth. No, we will not keep the Good News to ourselves and not let anyone else know the joy and truth of Salvation. And no, I’m not a religious idiot.

    • poop -  April 3, 2015 - 11:45 am


    • E.Hopman -  April 6, 2015 - 6:26 pm

      God created the world complete, with the galaxies, mountains, diamonds, and tree rings already in place…to confuse those throughout history who would not want to believe in such Godly power, but in their own human ability to put together the “how” of this amazing (non?) creation!

    • Viva -  April 17, 2015 - 6:41 am


    • DukeDroklar -  April 19, 2015 - 9:02 am

      @ Jake:
      “Don’t you think it would make you seem more than a little provincial and naive to believe – Jake”.

      Why would that matter? Should a person be ashamed to be “provincial” if that is what they truly believe? Should they hide their beliefs to avoid ridicule or should they have the courage to speak their heart? Ridicule is a cowardly act and psychological bullying which is the resort of a weak mind designed to degrade their adversary in a debate. Which of course is not allowed in a real debate forum.

      Should someone be ashamed to be naïve? One of the definitions of Naïve is: “having or showing unaffected simplicity of nature or absence of artificiality”. Ahhhh, simplicity of nature is such a horrible thing (sarcasm)… and lets not forget how terrible it is to “be real” and not put on a false image of oneself… how dare they. (also sarcasm) To know thyself is the beginnings of being oneself.

      “does it seem reasonable that a king existed who thought he could somehow build a tower so tall that he could get into heaven, yeah – Jake”

      Your argument is not logical and here’s why. Nearly everyone in ancient times believed these “so called” myths including the Kings. Actually, In fact, Many Kings were considered a part of whatever religious system was n place much like in England where the King was referred to as “Defender of the Faith”.

      Now that I’ve cleared that up for you, why would you think it is unreasonable as you allude to? Most if not all ancient “beliefs” (better word than Myth) thought of the world as flat with a canopy above it which was “heaven”. Not that long ago some believed the stars were pinholes in this canopy.

      So then, why wouldn’t most kings believe that if they could build a tall enough tower, they could indeed reach this “canopy” above them? Wouldn’t you agree that if nothing else it would be a good scientific experiment to confirm or disprove their belief in the “canopy” theory which most prescribed to? They didn’t have rockets to fly up there and find out?

      Wasn’t it Nimrod who fired an arrow into the heavens supposedly to show defiance to God? Or is it more likely that he was defying the current belief of a canopy where God supposedly lived? Fearlessly fighting dogma rather than actually defying God as he was accused of by the “Priests of Dogma”. Food for thought…

      “Does it seem reasonable that God thought this was in fact too mighty and caused a flood to rid the world of these massively strong and intelligent giants? – Jake”

      1 – You failed to relate that it wasn’t God that thought this. It says that the angels approached God with this concern and the Bible doesn’t say what God personally thought on the matter. A subtle but important distinction.

      Ever watch the movie called “Priest”? A cool post apocalyptic vampire tale. Anyway, one of the motto’s used by the “all powerful” (wink) Church was… “to go against the Church IS to go against God”.

      With that in mind, was it in fact angels and God who did whatever the flood actually was (I believe “flood” is a metaphor for something else) OR was it the Church of the time that brought this before God in prayers and then said “this is what God has said… or something along those lines.

      Priests and religions have always placed themselves as the “voice of God” and god help (pun and inference intended) anyone who dares to challenge the church’s stolen authority of god. Inquisition ring a bell?

      One could say that they have “placed themselves in the holy of holies” or are “claiming to be God”. (Biblical prophecy references)

      2 – “caused a flood to rid the word of these massively strong and intelligent giants – Jake”

      That is if you take the Bible literally to mean physically towering giants. Ever heard the quote used by Stephen Hawking and earlier by Sir Isaac Newton which actually comes from the Latin: nanos gigantum humeris insidentes? It means “discovering truth by building on previous discoveries”. Sounds like the scientific method to me.

      So, were these revered scientists saying they actually stood on the shoulders of physically towering giants OR were they saying something else… a poetic metaphor.

      I would tell you what the spirit has shown me to be the meaning of the giants, the flood and what the “rainbow” of Gods promise meant then and still means today (as well as a myriad of other insights) but that would be like trying to feed spiritual steak to spiritual infants… it’s not good for them as it is too soon in their development as they haven’t developed the capacity to digest even spiritual apple sauce… yet… but we all will… eventually ;) Amen

      • Serendipity -  May 16, 2015 - 6:30 pm

        DukeDroklar (April 19, 2015 – 9:02 am) said: “Now that I’ve cleared that up for you”….

        Thanks Duke, for clearing all of that up for us (sarcasm)!

        And to think, I never knew all of that had anything to do with the lofty ampersand.

        Agape! Some drivel’s leaked out.

      • Mark Miller -  July 19, 2015 - 10:34 pm

        Thanks for defending the naive. We appreciate it.

    • John -  May 1, 2015 - 6:42 pm

      “To those who believe, no proof is necessary. To those who don’t, no proof is possible”. Let’s agree, then, that we disagree, and stop the arguing and come down off our high-horses – both the “intellectuals” and the believers.

  32. Bard -  February 3, 2015 - 3:27 pm

    What’s weird is that so much blather can be bantered about over the least used letter of the alphabet.

    • Sablatnic -  February 8, 2015 - 2:46 am

      I am sad to hear that is isn’t used any more! Until now I have used it a lot, especially when handwriting messages.
      Will see if I can manage without!


      • Kwaneener -  February 28, 2015 - 2:34 pm

        You can still use it in handwriting or on the keyboard (if you’re typing). Who’s stopping you?

        As long as they know what it means, why not? Go for it!

  33. cybertooth -  February 2, 2015 - 1:19 pm

    I find it interesting that, with all the ampersand forms shown, the most commonly used form (or equivalent) is not even mentioned. It is the form we all use as a substitute for “and” when writing by hand. That form is created as a continuous line that begins as a down-stroke, angles up to the left, and crosses horizontally to the right. It is the form that resembles–and probably started as–a “+” (although a plus is written as two unconnected strokes). It does not seem to be directly related to “et,” yet clearly means “and” when written.

    • Mallory -  February 20, 2015 - 6:56 pm

      It most likely isn’t an ampersand and that’s why it wasn’t included. :)

      • Danny -  February 26, 2015 - 1:37 pm

        Correct, that symbol is most likely a modified ‘plus sign’ or simply ‘+’ written in cursive script where, as was stated, the intention was to write with an unbroken line. As Mallory mentioned, it is unrelated to the ampersand and is simply a scripted example of the convention that a ‘plus sign’ means ‘and’ or ‘also’.

    • Amie -  February 27, 2015 - 6:10 am

      I enjoy using it when I am emailing or texting some of my friends, (teenagers), when saying ” & I care Why??? & why would I?” because most of them have NO clue what it means.
      What has society come to?
      For Heaven’s Sake I Even Know What That Means.


  34. mogee -  February 2, 2015 - 9:16 am

    The ampersand never should have been included in the alphabet. It is not a letter. It is a symbol fashioned out of two letters and, unlike real letters, has no phonetic use. No one spells the character “ampers&.”

    • vealham -  February 5, 2015 - 10:53 am

      The ampersand, the hashtag, the asterisk and a host of others are all letters that, when joined together, form expletives deleted:

    • alain smithee -  February 12, 2015 - 7:40 am

      Based on your description, I’m guessing that the ampersand should be classified as a ligature.

    • Aaron Wynn -  February 21, 2015 - 10:10 am

      The Greek alphabet had a few biliterals. And people of the day determined it belonged in the alphabet, and people of a later day decided it did not. You can decide not to include it in yours, but I wouldn’t rewrite history and say it never belonged.

    • Jonny -  February 27, 2015 - 1:47 pm

      So what if it was fashioned out of two letters? When “f” and “i” are next to each other in any serif font, a new symbol is created. Obviously, that can’t be shown here, but there are numerous examples of two letters combining to create a new letter or pronunciation. American English is not the end-all-be-all of lexicography or speech. In 100 years time, won’t the alphabet and language have evolved again, as is already evidenced by texting? Yes, it may be laziness, but it is also inevitable. This is fun trivia, much like the names for “…” or “?!” Besides, no one would spell it ampers&– they’d would spell it et, which is the root of the problem.

    • Tammy -  March 1, 2015 - 12:57 pm

      Not a letter? Oh come on, mogee! I’ll bet you were taught & is a letter when you learned your ABC’s and you just don’t remember it! Remember how the song you sang as a child ended: “W, X, Y, and, Z.” Sounds very familiar now, doesn’t it? I bet you are singing it right now. Not a letter? Your Kindergarten teacher would be in tears! SHAME ON YOU! Say you’re “Sorry”.
      Also, it is “L, M, N, O, P”, not “elementoP”, say it right.

    • Lucky Joestar -  May 24, 2015 - 6:27 pm

      No, but on 4chan, you can read about people getting “b&” (banned) or “permab&”, or sometimes “v&” (“vanned”, 4chan lingo for “arrested by the FBI for posting illegal pictures”).

    • vanted -  June 10, 2015 - 9:52 am

      You just did!

  35. English lover -  January 25, 2015 - 9:34 am


    • Tammy -  March 1, 2015 - 1:00 pm

      Wow & WOW even more! & that is too, 2 many &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&!!!!!!!!!!!

      • FiOS-Dave -  March 29, 2015 - 10:12 pm

        I think your keyboard has a stuck key

        • bob -  August 6, 2015 - 11:38 pm

          i rechon

  36. Alizah -  January 22, 2015 - 5:43 pm

    This is so not true!!

    • Meredith Gregory -  January 23, 2015 - 10:12 pm


  37. raymond Schricker -  January 7, 2015 - 10:14 pm

    i showed this to a tutor and she likened it to the way some children slur “L, M, N, O, P” together :-).

    • Brooke -  January 17, 2015 - 10:45 am

      ABCD puppies? LMNO puppies! OSAR! CMPN!?

      • joann -  February 25, 2015 - 8:07 am

        HERE IS ONE – ABCDEM goldfish, MNO goldfish, OSAR , CEMPN??

        • Richard -  February 25, 2015 - 8:12 am

          CORRECTION – ABCD goldfish, MNO goldfish, OSAR, DLAR, CEMPN??

          • Bob -  March 1, 2015 - 7:15 pm

            I learned ABCD goldfish MNO goldfish SAR CDBD ii’s

          • fred -  May 14, 2015 - 12:27 pm

            AB C D Bs? L M NO Bs. S A R 2 Bs! O I C D Bs.

    • walter -  January 22, 2015 - 5:48 am

      lol xD

  38. Judy -  January 3, 2015 - 2:32 pm

    When did ‘zed’ become ‘zee’ in American pronunciation? Or was it the other way around…or should that be the other way round???

    • Brooke -  January 17, 2015 - 10:48 am

      Zed’s dead! Didn’t you see the movie?

      • Captain Quirk -  January 22, 2015 - 2:39 am

        Whose motorcycle is this?

        It’s a chopper, baby.

        • Serena -  February 24, 2015 - 2:04 am


      • walter -  January 22, 2015 - 5:49 am

        what movie :p

        • walter -  January 22, 2015 - 5:51 am

          do you guys watch dragon ball z you should check it out xD

        • JenD -  January 22, 2015 - 3:13 pm

          LoL – Really? Have you never seen Pulp Fiction?

      • JenD -  January 22, 2015 - 3:11 pm

        Buahahaha… good one. I would “like” this comment but i don’t see how

      • Meredith Gregory -  January 23, 2015 - 10:05 pm

        Brooke, The movie you’re referring to is, “Fred’s Dead”.

        • NickyT -  January 27, 2015 - 9:19 am

          Actually, “Zed’s dead” comes directly from Pulp Fiction. Bruce Willis (Butch) is referring to the deceased owner of the chopper he is on (it’s not a motorcycle, baby, it’s a chopper).

          • Kwaneener -  February 28, 2015 - 2:42 pm

            Whadda ’bout on Police Academy? Is that Zed dead?

            ¥€£¢π¶ ¥∆ππ

    • Meredith Gregory -  January 23, 2015 - 10:11 pm

      I don’t know about ‘zed’ becoming ‘zee’, but I do know that as far as the phonetic alphabet goes, which according to the FCC, is the only acceptable form used and is supposed to be used by all Law Enforcement, Firemen, Amateur “Ham” Radio Operators, Military & so on. Just FYI.

      • Jerry Albertie -  February 13, 2015 - 9:55 am

        I believe you are correct,the phoentic alphabet was adapted in the early days of radio communications as a means of clearly picking letters out of the static, thus Zed was lot easier to deceipher from b (beta) or d Delta) E (becomes Echo) but especially from c(which became charlie) P (is PaPa ) R would be (romeo) W (would be Whiskey) so each had its own sound, again for clarity on radio transmissions. Keeping with the earlier discussion on ampersand all pronounciation marks obviously also had a sound (word) or there would be no way of transmitting or receiving something with out a sound associated with it. this all happened waaaay before Bruce Willis So there you have it,from Alpha to Zed.

        • Trochilus -  February 19, 2015 - 8:20 am

          The funny thing is that communications code, obviously intended to be a precise and clear way to for military or civilian emergency personnel to verbally communicate (via a radio connect) can be used as a coded way for buddies with knowledge of it to pass a message so that some third party within earshot would likely not have any idea what they are saying, i.e., by observing that someone is being a complete, “Juliet Echo Romeo Kilo.”

      • Griff -  March 1, 2015 - 4:34 pm


        • Eric -  March 28, 2015 - 10:36 am

          This is correct. Zed vs Zee is the difference between the pronunciations of the letter Z in Commonwealth English vs American English. The phonetic version of Z is Zulu. Of course, any true Englishman would say that English is certainly descriptive enough, and that American’s don’t speak it. :-)

          But the phonetic alphabet is a communications tool. I believe its roots are in the ICAO standards organization, which was adopted by the NATO alliance. Hence, it is used the same in all US Military organizations and all US Aviation organizations, including the FAA.

          IIRC, as a “Doolie” at the USAF Academy, 10 seconds was the standard for successfully reciting the phonetic alphabet. However, that was about 40 years ago, so don’t quote me on that.

    • Eric -  February 5, 2015 - 2:32 am

      This has been attributed to Daniel Webster, along with the ‘zee-ing’ of the American lexicon. There are plenty of examples of words in American English where a ‘z’ has replaced what was (and is) an ‘s’ in British English. Specialise, realise, utilise.

      • Janet -  February 12, 2015 - 2:16 am

        I hate to have to admit it, but, in the case of words like “specialise”, it wasn’t Webster who changed the “s” to “z”, but the English who changed the “z” to “s” well AFTER America had been colonised (colonized?). If you look at the Oxford English Dictionary (the closest thing we have to an “official” view on correct English), you will see that they have chosen to keep the “z” and refer to the “s” form as an alternative spelling. There is an article on the web about why the OED uses the “z” form. (Google it if you are interested). So this is one place we have to admit that old Webster was “right”.

    • Oregon Bird -  February 9, 2015 - 2:40 pm

      Zed is alive and well in Canada, A

    • jayjar88 -  September 7, 2015 - 3:18 pm

      I’m not really sure when “zed” became “‘zee’ in American pronunciation,” but as I understand it, when Webster was making his dictionary (sometime in the 1800′s, if I’m not mistaken,) he wanted to sever as many lingual ties as he could w/ British English (as far as pronunciation & spelling went;) &, as a result, I believe “zed” was one of those pronunciations that was changed [on a permanent &, he hoped, solid basis]. It was, of course, changed to ‘zee.’ I believe up until then, the 2 pronunciations were used interchangeably in the Colonies, then States. But, alas, I have no proof nor references for what I typed afore.

      However, here’s what I really wanted to say: As I understand it, in the USA (& maybe certain other countries where English is spoken) the letter Z is pronounced ‘zee.’ But in UK Commonwealth countries (Britain, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, AU, NZ, Canada & so on) [again, as I understand it,] they pronounce it ‘zed.’

      I hope the immediately preceding paragraph hasn’t confused things for you.

  39. Don -  January 2, 2015 - 5:46 pm

    I thought every elementary school kid knew that TWA were also missing “because they flew away.”

    • eli -  March 16, 2015 - 2:28 am

      HahAaaa! I gotta’ reply2 this! Before ur 1976, in1967 I worked@ NASA MSC/JSC in the test facility as an engineer responsible4preventive maintennance&repairs of launch test equipment. The old Radiation Logic elec. Schematicsfor the decom (today’s parallel processing and serial data streaming) eqpt. When a page ran over &a ckt broke in the line dwg,it would ene w/a * &next page no.2 follow &trace the fix2 the next module in line. There was never in20years a receiving matching asterisk on the referenced page 2 allow a fix. We would always pick a different page at best logical guess and after long repetitions around the missing asterisks, we would find the fix by a process of intuition and deduction! We would always call in everbody on the shift& show &tell the prob along with the jaded * we would take turns repeating this mantra as we celebrated and called the * a Nathan Hale as follows:”I regret that I have but one asterisk to serve my country!” Had we needed that missing * on that sometimes, non-existing page,well…moonbeams would not become your eyes! :)

      • Mike Seckerson -  November 6, 2015 - 4:57 pm

        Eli: you say you “…gotta reply2this…”
        Really? Why?
        Is this the way you really think?
        What has your psychiatrist said about it?

  40. Wal Webster -  December 19, 2014 - 4:08 am

    Great article.

    Reminds me of that other much-misrepresented character, the *, which was allegedly going to be renamed the “nathan” back in 1976, in bicentennial honour of the great American patriot, Nathan Hale, whose last words were said to have been along the lines of, “I only regret that I have but one asterisk for my country.”


    • Julie near Chicago -  December 28, 2014 - 3:41 pm

      *Ee-e-e-www!” *holds nose, as required when confronted by a dreadful, i.e. very good, pun*

      Thanks, WW. :>)!

    • Craig -  February 6, 2015 - 10:15 am

      Wal Webster … your post is why I love reading, words and word play. Thank you. You fine pun is worthy, my father would have approved and, as I have, stolen it.

  41. lou -  December 18, 2014 - 6:21 am

    et also means “and” in French! Pretty cool when languages link up like this.

    • Suhani -  December 21, 2014 - 8:52 am

      of course!!

    • Michelle -  December 22, 2014 - 9:24 am

      Interesting note, languages do link up in part to the origins of the words. It could be stated we all spoke the same language at one point of history.

      • Toni -  December 23, 2014 - 11:46 pm

        It could be stated, but it wouldn’t be true. In fact it’s just the opposite. Take America for instance. When Europeans first landed, there were an estimated one million Native Americans living here, spread across a vast area of land. Their tribes usually consisted of about 100 people. Anything much higher than that, and a group would break off, and travel to another area that would have the resources they needed to survive. This is how they spread out across the country and into South America. Because there was so much distance between villages, and travel was often times slow since horses had yet to be introduced, interaction wouldn’t have been consistent. Therefore, the language of each tribe would evolve differently. Sign language was an ingenious method of communication. The meaning of a sign wouldn’t change, no matter what the spoken word was. This way people could understand each other, no matter where they were from. I’m surprised Europeans, and Asians didn’t come up with the idea too. Look at how different things are today. Unless you’ve immigrated, all Americans speak English. Not to mention those from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, and of course Canada. By the by, although many English words have their roots in Latin, the structure of the language is German. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if centuries from now, assuming humans are still around, everyone will be speaking only one language, English. A language with roots in just about every language on the planet.

        • Guess Who -  December 31, 2014 - 11:42 am

          That might not be true either. Realistically, it seems very unlikely that the entire planet will be speaking only a variation of English at any point in the future. The number of native speakers is vastly outnumbered by the number of speakers of Mandarin, whose economic and cultural influence is thriving. We are also outnumbered by Spanish native speakers.

          • doctor whoot -  January 13, 2015 - 10:27 am

            lol guyzzz calmiet downee

          • Everett -  January 15, 2015 - 9:22 am

            That’s a very good point about relative population, Guess Who. However, it seems American television and movies are popular among many countries, and somewhere well above 25% of the world’s economic activity occurs in English. I also heard that all air traffic control in the world officially uses English (but in practice mixes it up). I’m not aware of a single language dominating a higher portion of global interactions.

            Given that economics drives most education programs, it seems possible that English will eventually be taught in every country and once there is a massive tipping point, no country will want to be the only one not using the language of money.

            I’m told English is one of the hardest languages to learn, but one of the most efficient to use once you know it (fewer words required). I don’t know if that’s true, but my biased observation has been that when translators repeat an idea on television, they use more syllables than the English version. I realize I’m observing what I expect to see, which is not scientific proof, and I haven’t attempted to study the phenomenon.

            It’s also possible our language will not dominate economic activity long enough for the world to adopt it. However, it seems likely to me that when the whole world is watching similar television shows, it will drift toward a common language. Right now, it would make sense that language would be English just because of our domination in entertainment, global trade, and travel.

            I’ve heard India (a billion or so people) is not only teaching all its children English, they are trying to teach an American accent so they can dominate the phone service industry. All of this is hearsay to me, so I accept it may be incorrect.

          • David Lee -  January 29, 2015 - 7:34 am

            The most popular keyboard will dictate which language survives into the next century — not how many people speak this or that language.

          • Jay -  February 23, 2015 - 10:20 pm

            Interesting comments, Everett, but from the perspective of a native English speaker who learned Spanish at a young age and has had to translate many times, I have to disagree with English being an easier language to communicate. More efficient, maybe, but less clear. It seems to me that the Romantic languages have more precise language because they have different words to differentiate between meaning whereas in English we only use one word. Take the word hot, for example. We use it for temperature and for the spiciness of food, and while we can expand with more vocabulary, many times we have to ask for clarification from the speaker. In Spanish, “picante” refers to the spiciness and “caliente” refers to the temperature. Look at all the different uses of the word “love” also, and compare to Greek or Latin or Spanish.

            As for using more words during translation, in my experience that goes both ways. Also, English uses a whole slew of idioms that are not directly translatable, so the translator ends up having to explain the “idea” of the message rather than just the actual words. Communication is more than just verbiage.

            Personally, I think it would be sad to just have one world language. There are so many different ways to communicate in different languages. If you’re at a loss for words in one language, and you happen to know another language, it is so much easier to find a word that will work. Also, being multilingual has been linked to a decrease in chance for Alzheimer’s.

          • Old Viking -  February 27, 2015 - 11:58 am

            I have read that more people speak English in China than they do in the United States.

          • Lee Winters -  April 16, 2015 - 5:50 pm

            Not all Chinese speak Mandarin. Shanghainese, Fujinese, Taiwanese and Cantonese to name a few are unintelligible to each other.Taiwanese also use the traditional writing and the Mainland Chinese use the simplified chinese characters. I was with a group from Taiwan visiting Shanghai and they could not read the simplified Chinese characters. Chinese in San Francisco speak predominantly Cantonese and when they go to the Chinese consulate they have to have a translator or speak English as the Consulate staff only speak Mandarin. Many, such as Tibetans, are forced to learn Mandarin in school as well as those in Hong Kong. The Chinese government has moved the port and economic trade center from Hong Kong to Shanghai because of the refusal of Cantonese to learn and speak Mandarin.

        • Audrey -  January 13, 2015 - 1:51 pm

          Sign languages (like ASL, BSL, FSL, etc.) evolve and change just as spoken languages do. They have all the characteristics and complexities of spoken languages, except the phonological elements are visual. Invented sign systems like SEE are not true languages.

        • Alfonso -  January 16, 2015 - 7:58 pm

          I totally agree with you.
          even in Spanish Household versus public usage
          baby Spanish still used in adulthood
          one can tell so much of one’s character with one slip
          of the word during a conversation with a group of people .

          Example: hey Pops ,daddy, still spoken with elder respect.
          you expressed History into the present.

        • _______ -  January 26, 2015 - 8:22 pm

          technically everyone did at one time speak one language, but that was before there were more than one country, before God separated all the peoples of the earth at the tower of Babel :) It’s the truth!

          • horner -  January 29, 2015 - 11:03 pm


          • Onyx -  May 5, 2015 - 8:35 am

            ha ha ha this had me cracking up. We have come full circle… and the cycle starts again.

          • vanted -  June 10, 2015 - 10:01 am

            Switch your other brain cell on

        • Peter -  March 11, 2015 - 2:14 pm

          Actually, when English evolved, ‘German’ as we know it, and certainly Germany as we know it, did not exist.
          It might be better to say that English structure is based on millennia-old Saxon, with some influences from Latin (e.g., the now extinct ‘can’t finish a sentence with a preposition according to some old English Public School Latin + English teachers’).
          Of course the vocabulary arises mainly from the melding of French and Saxon following the Norman invasion in 1066 as well as some words deriving from other nearby languages, eg. the Norsemen, the Angles, the Picts the Celts. And lets not forget how much came out of Greece plus India years before that.
          What a wonderful melting pot that continues to evolve as it adapts to new ideas and applications.

      • Julie -  January 4, 2015 - 12:47 pm

        In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, chapter 11, verse 1(King James Bible) states: And the whole world was of one language and one speech.
        During the reign of Nimrod the King of Babylon ( a descendant of Ham and of Noah (post flood), he decided to build a tower (the tower of Babylon) to Heaven and shot an arrow into the sky at God.
        Background: This sounds pretty innocuous, how could a tall building, anger God? After all, eventually they would get so high up the air would be to thin to breath right? Well, Biblical scholars say it was not just a tower, after all, look at the sky scrapers we build now. Earlier in Genesis, chapter 6 verses 1-7 we are told of angels who left heaven to marry human women that they thought were beautiful. The children of these unions were giants, very tall hybrids with extra strength and intelligence. Their fathers gave them knowledge from heaven and advanced civilization far from where it should have been. God barred these fallen angels from returning to heaven, and flooded the earth to rid it of these evil hybrids that were terrorizing the weaker humans (Noah and the ark: he was a good man and perfect/ 100% human in his generations, so God saved him, his 3 sons and their wives. Ham, the middle son is thought to have had a wife with nephelim/hybrid blood because Noah cursed their son Cannan who many believe was hybrid in appearance, hence the curse. Nimrod was the son of Cush, the brother of Cannan, the grandson of Ham and great grandson of Noah. He was a hybrid, being described as a mighty hunter before the Lord. Mighty means very large in stature and strength, before the Lord means in the face of the Lord or against the Lord.
        Biblical historians and scholars believe the Tower built by Nimrod was an attempt to build a portal to gain entry to heaven without the permission of God. In Genesis 11:5-6 God came down and looked at the city and the tower and said, if people can accomplish this speaking one Language, then there is nothing they can’t do. In Genesis 11:7-8 God confused their language and scattered the people. They spontaneously spoke different languages and broke off in groups that could understand each other.
        *This is why to speak where someone can’t understand you is to Babel.

        There is a lot of historical evidence of a single language culture, consider the pyramids found all over the world in almost every ancient country.

        • Optimistic_Drone -  January 6, 2015 - 8:35 am

          Sounds like God was a little insecure way back then.. Glad time has mellowed that just a tad..

          • _______ -  January 26, 2015 - 8:30 pm

            not insecure, just smart.

          • SallyGib -  February 4, 2015 - 4:15 am

            It wasn’t time that mellowed God. It was the act of living as a mortal (Jesus) and in so doing, understanding the human condition.

          • Griff -  March 1, 2015 - 4:34 pm

            Which god?

          • hello -  March 31, 2015 - 1:43 pm

            Griff, God is the one and only god. He created the world and the whole universe. He is a loving and kind god, and he cares about even the most messed up and “unimportant” people. No situation is too bad for God to make it into something brilliant. he lives in a perfect place called heaven. You can live there forever in perfect joy and happiness when you die, but only if you repent of of your sins and believe in your heart that He is lord of all. If you do not repent and believe in him, then you will be thrown into hell, the place where all unbelievers go forever and ever to live in torture. I know it sounds a bit harsh, but its true. Would you rather live 90 or so years doing whatever you want, and then living in torture for eternity? or would you like to live 90 or so years in following rules, perhaps being unpopular because of your faith, and then living in total bliss forever? It’s your choice.

        • Naxxramus -  January 6, 2015 - 8:41 pm

          Well at least I now know where the word nimrod was derived.

          • John Bacon -  February 10, 2015 - 8:08 pm

            You are correct; that is where the word originated. But the word is rarely used correctly. The proper definition of nimrod is hunter.

            In modern times the word is more often used as an insult; roughly equivalent to calling someone stupid.

            Very few people know the proper definition of the word.

            The British had a military aircraft designed to seek out and destroy enemy submarines; it was called the Nimrod. The name makes sense based on the traditional definition; but seems like a silly name based on the modern usage of the word.

          • Trochilus -  February 19, 2015 - 9:15 am

            Yes, but were you aware that the only full anagram (all six letters) for “nimrod” is “dormin” which is actually nimrod backwards?

            “Dormin” is not really a word in the sense that we usually think of a dictionary entree. It is instead a brand name for for a sleep-aid medication, diphenhydramine.

            In a recent unabridged dictionary, it also refers to an inhibitory plant hormone, Abscisic acid.

            And, also from the Department of Useless Information, decades ago (’60s ??), someone manufactured an aluminum pipe lighter called a “Nimrod.”

            They were cool lighters.

            How “nimrod” came to mean a dolt, or stupid person, I don’t know. But it did. As I recall, it was most frequently employed by those with a decidedly aggressive public demeanor . . .”Hey, Nimrod, you want to move your car outta da way? Now?”

        • Joe -  January 22, 2015 - 6:59 am

          Wow, what an imagination! I love mythology.

          In LOTR, Sauron was not defeated. He’ll be back!

          • _______ -  January 26, 2015 - 8:34 pm

            I’d like your comment if I could. Watch out for Sauron!

          • LOTR fan -  March 20, 2015 - 1:21 pm

            really? a thought he died when Frodo destroyed the ring.

        • Cole -  February 12, 2015 - 11:04 am

          Your evidence of a single-language culture is that there are pyramids all over the world? Could it be that, perhaps, the pyramid shape happens to be the most efficient and stable way to stack large amounts of material?

          • pad16 -  February 20, 2015 - 1:35 am

            And they are very different designs in different places.

      • hgkeith42@gmail.com -  January 26, 2015 - 2:04 pm

        Tower of Babel anyone??

      • Valerie -  February 4, 2015 - 5:48 am

        If you’re a Bible literalist, then we all spoke the same language until the fall of the Tower of Babel. Otherwise, no. Evidence suggests that several different hominids developed spoken language independently.

        • Valerie -  February 4, 2015 - 5:59 am

          Jury is still out whether Neanderthals had speech but their hyoid bone appears developed enough to allow for the possibility.

    • Bernard Lutz -  March 2, 2015 - 1:28 pm

      Precisely correct, Craig.

  42. Mark Marcus -  December 14, 2014 - 5:30 pm


  43. P -  December 11, 2014 - 1:36 pm

    It seems strange to have comments dating back to 2011 on an article dated “February 25, 2014″.

    • Sara -  December 18, 2014 - 4:20 pm

      I agree 100%.:)

    • L -  January 3, 2015 - 7:17 pm


    • Mike Fletcher -  January 6, 2015 - 10:12 am

      Why do you think this is the least bit odd ? Throughout history, people have been discussing and debating many of the same or similar issues and problems. For instance….take the age old question, “Why is a carrot more orange than an orange ?”

      • duh -  February 5, 2015 - 11:53 pm

        “…take the age old question…” – Umm no, carrots were blue. Only recently carrots were bred to be orange.

      • Craig -  February 6, 2015 - 10:29 am

        Random thought here. Read again recently that no word rhymes with “orange.” Guess whoever claims that hasn’t spent much time in east Tennessee where an orange is an “arnge” and rhymes quite well with “farms” and likely other words that escape me at the moment.

  44. champtay000 -  December 4, 2014 - 5:46 pm

    Find the 8 : &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&8&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    • Raymond -  December 10, 2014 - 6:45 pm

      next to the &

    • Jacqui Hong -  December 15, 2014 - 1:25 pm

      I can’t find it!

      • MGA -  January 8, 2015 - 6:12 pm

        Use Ctrl + F

        • eustacia -  March 4, 2015 - 9:45 am

          good idea

      • Jim -  February 13, 2015 - 1:17 pm

        Its above the &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&s.
        took me a while to find it.

        • robin -  May 15, 2015 - 7:13 am

          What is i need to know now ahhhhhhhh

      • I love numbers -  February 15, 2015 - 1:00 am

        count 121 &s from the rear, you’ll find it :D

        • Penny -  October 22, 2015 - 1:27 am

          Thanks for the hint, I love numbers. I found it, even without using Control+ F. That was one heck of a long line.

    • Thomas -  December 24, 2014 - 10:21 am

      Found it!

    • phoenixsun -  January 7, 2015 - 7:53 am

      this isn’t youtube where you can get away with that =P plus there is no 8 it would look like &8 so It would stand out.

      • Kevin -  January 11, 2015 - 10:43 pm

        Phoenixsun, you’d better look again. The 8 IS in the string of &s. I guess it didn’t stand out as much as you thought.

        • I found it -  January 24, 2015 - 3:12 pm


      • lulu -  April 20, 2015 - 11:35 am

        Well I found it and so did Thomas so it is there, all you got to do is BELIEVE . Jk try harder its there ;)

    • Zed Matthews -  January 11, 2015 - 10:20 pm

      After “Find the” and before the colon.

      • eustacia -  March 4, 2015 - 9:46 am

        lol so funny!

    • Jaj -  January 17, 2015 - 7:00 pm

      Side scroll (mouse wheel bump to the left) 18 times and you’ll see it on the right edge.

      • Jaj -  January 17, 2015 - 7:04 pm

        Sorry; right bump.

    • Meredith Gregory -  January 23, 2015 - 10:22 pm

      Right after “the”. As in “find the 8″.

    • I found it -  January 24, 2015 - 3:12 pm

      I found it on the ipad

    • _______ -  January 26, 2015 - 8:41 pm

      haha, that’s funny, there’s the 8, right after the “the”.
      There are no eights in the line of &’s
      a applaud you.

      • _______ -  January 26, 2015 - 8:50 pm


      • John Bacon -  February 10, 2015 - 8:12 pm

        There is an ’8′ in the line of ‘&’s. It is easy to find with Control F.

    • David Lee -  January 29, 2015 - 7:38 am

      STOP! You’re hurting my eyes!

    • krsytofyr -  February 5, 2015 - 3:02 am


    • Right there -  February 6, 2015 - 1:54 pm

      The ’8′ is about 122 characters in, starting from the right side of the ‘&’ line.

    • Betty Jo Bialowski -  February 9, 2015 - 3:49 pm

      It’s the 538th character. I found it by copying your character string and pasting it into a Notepad doc. Then I changed the font until the eight became apparent by its difference. The number eight shows as an em dash in a field of symbols that look like “less than” signs (<) with arrow points at the ends. What font did I use? MS Reference Specialty..What a nerd I am.

    • eustacia -  March 4, 2015 - 9:44 am

      I found it. cool riddle.

    • Stephanie -  March 19, 2015 - 3:52 pm

      I FOUND IT

    • AK -  March 22, 2015 - 6:05 am

      hi champ… the 8 is the 122 places back from the end.

      To everyone else; this has been a great read, thank you.

      I started out looking up a book about zenning motorcycles,

      to the question: “what sound does one hand clapping make?”,

      to an “EUREKA!!!” pontification,

      to a “PIE root” connection,

      to “grok/grohk (From the novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”, by Robert A. Heinlein”),

      to a definition of “glark/ meaning to figure something out from context. “The System III manuals are pretty poor, but you can generally glark the meaning from context.”……
      …..Interestingly, the word was originally “glork”; the context was “This gubblick contains many nonsklarkish English flutzpahs, but the overall pluggandisp can be glorked [sic] from context” (David Moser, quoted by Douglas Hofstadter in his “Metamagical Themas” column in the January 1981 “Scientific American”). It is conjectured that hackish usage mutated the verb to “glark” because glork was already an established jargon term.”,

      when I came to this question:

      What Character Was Removed from the Alphabet?
      February 25, 2014 by: Dictionary.com blog 1,011 Comments

      & now here we are…. Zenning (?) Jesus stuff…… the JC-freak in me Loves it……. ps (JC-God) Who & How (science) I agree 100%

      & “Jesus-God put His Blood were His Mouth is” to gift us ALL something None of Us Deserve……Grace & Mercy…… everyone of us have/are/will at some point be an ass, but because of Jesus-God’s Sacrificing-Gift, (if we chose to) we now have the opportunity to be the asset JC-God sees in us…..

      “you can’t step in the same river twice” – ….someday we will all have our time to die…. & face Jesus… What will you say to Him & about the Gift he gave you??? (glark…..& put yourself in His shoes)

    • AK -  March 22, 2015 - 11:39 am

      hi champ… the 8 is the 122 places back from the end.

      To everyone else; this has been a great read, thank you.

      I started out looking up a book about zenning motorcycles,

      to the question: “what sound does one hand clapping make?”,

      to an “EUREKA!!!” pontification,

      to a “PIE root” connection,

      to “grok/grohk (From the novel “Stranger in a Strange Land”, by Robert A. Heinlein”),

      to a definition of “glark/ meaning to figure something out from context. “The System III manuals are pretty poor, but you can generally glark the meaning from context.”……
      …..Interestingly, the word was originally “glork”; the context was “This gubblick contains many nonsklarkish English flutzpahs, but the overall pluggandisp can be glorked [sic] from context” (David Moser, quoted by Douglas Hofstadter in his “Metamagical Themas” column in the January 1981 “Scientific American”). It is conjectured that hackish usage mutated the verb to “glark” because glork was already an established jargon term.”,

      when I came to this question:

      What Character Was Removed from the Alphabet?
      February 25, 2014 by: Dictionary.com blog 1,011 Comments

      & now here we are…. Zenning (?) Jesus stuff…… the JC-freak in me Loves it……. ps (JC-God) Who & How (science) I agree 100%

      & “Jesus-God put His Blood were His Mouth is” to gift us ALL something None of Us Deserve……Grace & Mercy…… everyone of us have/are/will at some point be an ASSterisk, but because of Jesus-God’s Sacrificing-Gift, (if we chose to) we now have the opportunity to be the ASSet JC-God sees in us…..

      “you can’t step in the same river twice” – ….someday we will all have our time to die…. & face Jesus… What will you say to Him & about the Gift he gave you??? (glark…..& put yourself in His shoes)

    • H -  June 10, 2015 - 10:10 pm


    • Hooo -  June 10, 2015 - 10:13 pm

      Here it is!

      8 )

    • andy -  July 4, 2015 - 5:25 am

      found it

  45. Destini -  December 1, 2014 - 9:12 am

    That is some cool facts to know but if you look at it you say w,x,y,and z not w,x,y,z so ha

    • P -  December 11, 2014 - 1:30 pm

      I’m not fully sure what you’re saying here.
      There certainly are people (including myself) who end their “ABC” recitals by saying “W, X, Y, Z” (omitting the word “and”).
      Plus, I don’t think many people would say “and zed” if “Z” were followed by another character, such as “&”. In that case, it would be “X, Y, Z, and &”, which, spoken aloud, would be “zed, and and”. If I’m understanding the article correctly, “per se” was added to split up the two spoken “ands”, making it “zed, and per se and”.

      • nichole -  December 16, 2014 - 10:54 pm

        i learned it x, y, z and start again

      • Hooo -  June 10, 2015 - 10:15 pm


    • Charles -  December 21, 2014 - 8:22 am

      Only if you learned your alphabet from Sesame St, I think, so ha!

    • Paula -  January 2, 2015 - 6:49 am

      The whole point of the article is that there was a 27th character.
      Back then, they DID say W, X, Y, Z AND per se and.

  46. Ron -  November 12, 2014 - 6:35 am

    Yes! I agree, there are 26 letters in the Alphabet, & only 2 or maybe 3 can be written-differently.
    Q, q, 2
    What are the others?

    • kaylee -  November 13, 2014 - 12:28 pm

      i agree

    • kaylee -  November 13, 2014 - 12:29 pm

      I agree too !

    • max -  November 19, 2014 - 12:41 pm

      I Agree i’m 11

      • max -  December 8, 2014 - 5:50 am

        max is the dumest person on the planet :)

        • Simon -  December 25, 2014 - 7:03 am

          No, the dumbest person on the planet is the one who can’t spell ‘dumbest’.

          • Balista -  January 22, 2015 - 9:54 am

            Ha Ha, I Know Right (IKR)

          • IRONY -  February 11, 2015 - 9:43 pm

            That would be max

      • Stephanie -  March 19, 2015 - 3:55 pm

        i’m 11 too. i turned 11 yesterday.

    • liz -  November 20, 2014 - 10:11 am

      :) cool

    • awesomeness -  December 7, 2014 - 4:47 am

      I have to disagree with you(sorry). There is a problem with what you said:
      they are not the same thing written differently
      I know my alphabet and numbers and I am positive:
      Q,q=letter (I can not argue that these are different, one is capital, one is lower case)
      I am not trying to be argumentative, just trying to tell what is true.

      • Leah -  December 15, 2014 - 7:39 am

        The capital letter Q in cursive looks identical to the number two, so in that case it is not a number.

        • Serena -  February 24, 2015 - 2:15 am

          Whew. So glad to see ^^ that.

        • Penny -  October 22, 2015 - 1:32 am

          Maybe in the cursive you learned (probably Zaner-Bloser), but not in the cursive I learned in school.

    • Emily -  December 16, 2014 - 9:19 pm

      4 is also written differently

    • Turtlesquirrel -  January 6, 2015 - 4:31 pm

      well, I’ve counted…. there’s Qq Bb Dd Rr Aa Gg Jj Ee & Yy :D

    • vanted -  June 10, 2015 - 10:21 am

      There were at one time 27 letters in the alphabet. I can’t reproduce it here but it looked very similar to the letter “y” but also the number 3. I agree, difficult to combine these in your head but it was used as the sound “th”. In handwriting, it was contracted to the letter y so when you see the word “ye” it was pronounced “the” “Ye olde English tea shoppe” is correctly pronounced “The old English tea shop”

    • jayjar88 -  September 7, 2015 - 3:59 pm

      I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “written-differently.” However, by looking at the “Q, q, 2″ you typed, I’m guessing you’re talking about script style, not combining letters. Although your 1st sentence indicates the joining together of 2 or more letters to form a symbol. So, kind of confusing because of those contradictions (& I’m assuming that I’ve understood correctly what it is that you typed & how you meant it).

      If it’s the joining together of letters to form a symbol, my understanding of that is insufficient to the point that I’d not be able to give a good opinion on the subject. However, if it’s about script style, I’m tolerably knowledgeable on that subject.

      There have been many script styles over the millennia, and still are, in both manuscript & cursive.

      So, all letters of the alphabet have been affected in that way, at one time or another. (How ever it may seem, I’m not boasting or bragging. Just indicating my proficiency level) I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful or specific, but i hope this helps.

  47. Phil Apino -  November 11, 2014 - 4:10 am

    why are ( ) called parentheses

  48. Epiccnerdd -  October 28, 2014 - 6:39 pm

    a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, and, z=SONG
    a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, &, z, =what we are ACTUALLY saying


    • Alexandra -  November 17, 2014 - 10:00 pm


      • bob -  November 20, 2014 - 2:46 pm

        yes it is

      • Steve -  November 23, 2014 - 2:27 am

        Absolutely correct. Life, like anything else, is a product of its creator. You cannot create life, therefore it is not really your life. Ownership remains with its creator. You have, however, been charged with the responsibility of the path and the trail of 1 life. That is, where it is lead (path) and the everlasting impact it makes along the way (trail). It’s a big responsibility, so make the owner proud.

        • Julia Alaniz -  November 25, 2014 - 8:30 am

          Steve, yes, life belongs to its creator. However, since I did not choose my parents, my race, my gender, my physical/mental acumen/characteristics, my country/year/era of birth, or any such similar “choices”, my creator also chose for me all I do/don’t do–according to his plan. I am His vessel and humbled by that. I don’t believe in free will. I do believe in His will.

          • Candace -  December 5, 2014 - 8:52 pm

            Julia, you are wrong… we do decide everything prior to our birth. We are here for learning and lessons on our path. “He aka our Creator” is one with us. Don’t take away your connection with “Him”. After all, you are not a slave, you are in his light.

          • Galen -  December 8, 2014 - 4:22 pm

            Julia I wish I had your Faith :-) Working on it. Until I reach my pre-chosen destination, just wish to thank you for your contribution and apparent spiritual achievement :-)

        • Kristina Ciminillo -  November 28, 2014 - 12:27 pm

          Amen brother Steve!

      • Galen -  December 8, 2014 - 4:36 pm

        I would like to believe that it is not the case Alexandra. But no-one can offer any understanding or help without intell :-) Hope all is ok Alexandra :-)

      • Aunty Mabel -  January 28, 2015 - 7:01 am

        i agree

    • Candace -  December 5, 2014 - 8:58 pm

      Great catch Epic! Makes sense to me ~ :)

    • Serena -  February 24, 2015 - 2:16 am

      20 points for the most relevant comment.

  49. Spencer -  October 26, 2014 - 8:08 pm

    Great article ! Thank you.-

  50. A Soup of an Alphabet | Michigan Standard -  October 7, 2014 - 12:01 am

    […] its name changed thanks to school pupils. The pupils, reciting their alphabet, ended with “XYZ and per seand“; per se means “by itself.” Just as “et” was slurred […]

  51. A Soup of an Alphabet | Economic Collapse Net -  October 6, 2014 - 10:21 pm

    […] its name changed thanks to school pupils. The pupils, reciting their alphabet, ended with “XYZ and per seand“; per se means “by itself.” Just as “et” was slurred together to form the &character, […]

  52. A Soup of an Alphabet – LewRockwell.com -  October 6, 2014 - 10:04 pm

    […] its name changed thanks to school pupils. The pupils, reciting their alphabet, ended with “XYZ and per seand“; per se means “by itself.” Just as “et” was slurred together to form […]

  53. Rox -  October 6, 2014 - 1:35 pm

    Two other letters were removed from the English alphabet when printing was introduced from countries which did not use them, ð (eth) and þ (thorn). They were both replaced by th.

    • Rox -  October 6, 2014 - 1:39 pm

      It’s interesting , isn’t it, that you are looking at these originally Anglo-Saxon letters on your computer screen in 2014 ? Most printers have never been able to cope with them, but any computer can . However, they did go on being used in handwritten English for some time, even after printing was in use.

      • BZ -  January 30, 2015 - 11:53 am

        Does this mean I can have my π and eat it too?

  54. DAVid -  September 24, 2014 - 4:58 pm

    Writers should pretend that that cannot hyperlink to anything. Instead of saying “find out here” when referring to a fact directly relevant to the article’s discussion, the writer should take the trouble to say, however briefly, what it is he wants the reader to find out about. That text can then include a hyperlink to a lengthier discussion. But strive for a self-contained article as opposed to requiring the reader to scurry aross the Internet to grasp what you are saying. Read a Wikipedia article on science and do the opposite of that.