Dictionary.com

What Character Was Removed from the Alphabet?

ampersand

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.

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

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(801) 568-7000 P Cullimore Jr.

(801) 568-7711 F (CEO)

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1,079 Comments

  1. 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.

    Reply
  2. 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?

    Reply
    • mom -  April 28, 2015 - 8:06 am

      jknknknknknknknknknk

      Reply
      • Lol -  May 3, 2015 - 9:12 pm

        Write some proper English please, ‘mom’

        Reply
    • 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. ;)

      Reply
      • 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.

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

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

      Reply
  3. 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!!”

    LOL

    Reply
    • 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”.

      Reply
      • 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”

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

          INFORMATIVE*

          Reply
    • Re -  April 30, 2015 - 8:39 am

      well u found this discussion so u have no life either

      Reply
      • 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

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

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

      Reply
      • 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.

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

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

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

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

    Reply
    • 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

      Reply
      • 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.

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

      Lmao!……..that was funny.

      Reply
    • 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?

      Reply
  5. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
          • 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

            Huh?

          • 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.)

          Reply
          • 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

          Reply
          • 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.

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

          True

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

          Look at the Grand Canyon

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

            flood evidence

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Reply
      • 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.

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

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

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • 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?

          Reply
          • 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.

        • 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?

          Reply
          • 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. :~)

          Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
        • 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.

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

      Yo what up

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

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

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
          • 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”

        • 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.

          Reply
          • 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.

          Reply
      • P.C. -  March 17, 2015 - 7:51 pm

        Isn’t it obvious? Obama.

        Reply
        • metankfrank -  April 30, 2015 - 6:38 pm

          borrrrrrrrrrring!

          Reply
        • Onyx -  May 5, 2015 - 7:34 am

          ha ha ha yes blame him

          Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • 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…

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
    • 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?

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
    • poop -  April 3, 2015 - 11:45 am

      hi

      Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
    • Viva -  April 17, 2015 - 6:41 am

      Bunkum!!

      Reply
    • 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

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  6. 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.

    Reply
    • 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!

      :-(

      Reply
      • 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!

        Reply
  7. 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.

    Reply
    • Mallory -  February 20, 2015 - 6:56 pm

      It most likely isn’t an ampersand and that’s why it wasn’t included. :)

      Reply
      • 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’.

        Reply
    • 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.

      Amie

      Reply
  8. 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&.”

    Reply
    • 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:
      #%*&!!!

      Reply
    • alain smithee -  February 12, 2015 - 7:40 am

      Based on your description, I’m guessing that the ampersand should be classified as a ligature.

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  9. English lover -  January 25, 2015 - 9:34 am

    ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!ampersand!!!!!!ampersand!!!!!ampersand!!!!AMPERSAND!!!

    Reply
    • Tammy -  March 1, 2015 - 1:00 pm

      Wow & WOW even more! & that is too, 2 many &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&!!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
      • FiOS-Dave -  March 29, 2015 - 10:12 pm

        I think your keyboard has a stuck key

        Reply
  10. Alizah -  January 22, 2015 - 5:43 pm

    This is so not true!!

    Reply
    • Meredith Gregory -  January 23, 2015 - 10:12 pm

      Really!?

      Reply
  11. 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 :-).

    Reply
    • Brooke -  January 17, 2015 - 10:45 am

      ABCD puppies? LMNO puppies! OSAR! CMPN!?

      Reply
      • joann -  February 25, 2015 - 8:07 am

        HERE IS ONE – ABCDEM goldfish, MNO goldfish, OSAR , CEMPN??

        Reply
        • Richard -  February 25, 2015 - 8:12 am

          CORRECTION – ABCD goldfish, MNO goldfish, OSAR, DLAR, CEMPN??

          Reply
          • 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

      Reply
  12. 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???

    Reply
    • Brooke -  January 17, 2015 - 10:48 am

      Zed’s dead! Didn’t you see the movie?

      Reply
      • Captain Quirk -  January 22, 2015 - 2:39 am

        Whose motorcycle is this?

        It’s a chopper, baby.

        Reply
        • Serena -  February 24, 2015 - 2:04 am

          Word!

          Reply
      • walter -  January 22, 2015 - 5:49 am

        what movie :p

        Reply
        • walter -  January 22, 2015 - 5:51 am

          do you guys watch dragon ball z you should check it out xD

          Reply
        • JenD -  January 22, 2015 - 3:13 pm

          LoL – Really? Have you never seen Pulp Fiction?

          Reply
      • JenD -  January 22, 2015 - 3:11 pm

        Buahahaha… good one. I would “like” this comment but i don’t see how

        Reply
      • Meredith Gregory -  January 23, 2015 - 10:05 pm

        Brooke, The movie you’re referring to is, “Fred’s Dead”.

        Reply
        • 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).

          Reply
          • 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.

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • 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.”

          Reply
      • Griff -  March 1, 2015 - 4:34 pm

        It is ZULU. XRAY YANKEE ZULU

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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”.

        Reply
    • Oregon Bird -  February 9, 2015 - 2:40 pm

      Zed is alive and well in Canada, A

      Reply
  13. Don -  January 2, 2015 - 5:46 pm

    I thought every elementary school kid knew that TWA were also missing “because they flew away.”

    Reply
    • 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! :)

      Reply
  14. 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.”

    (boom-tish!)

    Reply
    • 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. :>)!

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  15. lou -  December 18, 2014 - 6:21 am

    et also means “and” in French! Pretty cool when languages link up like this.

    Reply
    • Suhani -  December 21, 2014 - 8:52 am

      of course!!

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
          • 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.

          Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
        • _______ -  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!

          Reply
          • horner -  January 29, 2015 - 11:03 pm

            biddy

          • 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.

        • 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.

          Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • 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..

          Reply
          • _______ -  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.

          Reply
          • 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!

          Reply
          • _______ -  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?

          Reply
          • 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??

        Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
    • Bernard Lutz -  March 2, 2015 - 1:28 pm

      Precisely correct, Craig.

      Reply
  16. Mark Marcus -  December 14, 2014 - 5:30 pm

    (:

    Reply
  17. P -  December 11, 2014 - 1:36 pm

    It seems strange to have comments dating back to 2011 on an article dated “February 25, 2014″.

    Reply
    • Sara -  December 18, 2014 - 4:20 pm

      I agree 100%.:)

      Reply
    • L -  January 3, 2015 - 7:17 pm

      TIME TRAVEL

      Reply
    • 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 ?”

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
  18. champtay000 -  December 4, 2014 - 5:46 pm

    Find the 8 : &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&8&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    Reply
    • Raymond -  December 10, 2014 - 6:45 pm

      next to the &

      Reply
    • Jacqui Hong -  December 15, 2014 - 1:25 pm

      I can’t find it!

      Reply
      • MGA -  January 8, 2015 - 6:12 pm

        Use Ctrl + F

        Reply
        • eustacia -  March 4, 2015 - 9:45 am

          good idea

          Reply
      • Jim -  February 13, 2015 - 1:17 pm

        Its above the &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&s.
        took me a while to find it.

        Reply
        • robin -  May 15, 2015 - 7:13 am

          What is i need to know now ahhhhhhhh

          Reply
      • I love numbers -  February 15, 2015 - 1:00 am

        count 121 &s from the rear, you’ll find it :D

        Reply
    • Thomas -  December 24, 2014 - 10:21 am

      Found it!

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • I found it -  January 24, 2015 - 3:12 pm

          Ike

          Reply
      • 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 ;)

        Reply
    • Zed Matthews -  January 11, 2015 - 10:20 pm

      After “Find the” and before the colon.

      Reply
      • eustacia -  March 4, 2015 - 9:46 am

        lol so funny!

        Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • Jaj -  January 17, 2015 - 7:04 pm

        Sorry; right bump.

        Reply
    • Meredith Gregory -  January 23, 2015 - 10:22 pm

      Right after “the”. As in “find the 8″.

      Reply
    • I found it -  January 24, 2015 - 3:12 pm

      I found it on the ipad

      Reply
    • _______ -  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.

      Reply
      • _______ -  January 26, 2015 - 8:50 pm

        *I

        Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
    • David Lee -  January 29, 2015 - 7:38 am

      STOP! You’re hurting my eyes!

      Reply
    • krsytofyr -  February 5, 2015 - 3:02 am

      idiot

      Reply
    • Right there -  February 6, 2015 - 1:54 pm

      The ’8′ is about 122 characters in, starting from the right side of the ‘&’ line.

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • eustacia -  March 4, 2015 - 9:44 am

      I found it. cool riddle.

      Reply
    • Stephanie -  March 19, 2015 - 3:52 pm

      I FOUND IT

      Reply
    • 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
      ampersand

      & 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)

      Reply
    • 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
      ampersand

      & 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)

      Reply
  19. 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

    Reply
    • 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”.

      Reply
      • nichole -  December 16, 2014 - 10:54 pm

        i learned it x, y, z and start again

        Reply
    • Charles -  December 21, 2014 - 8:22 am

      Only if you learned your alphabet from Sesame St, I think, so ha!

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  20. 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.
    Example:
    Q, q, 2
    What are the others?

    Reply
    • kaylee -  November 13, 2014 - 12:28 pm

      i agree

      Reply
    • kaylee -  November 13, 2014 - 12:29 pm

      I agree too !

      Reply
    • max -  November 19, 2014 - 12:41 pm

      I Agree i’m 11

      Reply
      • max -  December 8, 2014 - 5:50 am

        max is the dumest person on the planet :)

        Reply
        • Simon -  December 25, 2014 - 7:03 am

          No, the dumbest person on the planet is the one who can’t spell ‘dumbest’.

          Reply
          • 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.

        Reply
    • liz -  November 20, 2014 - 10:11 am

      :) cool

      Reply
    • awesomeness -  December 7, 2014 - 4:47 am

      I have to disagree with you(sorry). There is a problem with what you said:
      Q,q,2
      they are not the same thing written differently
      I know my alphabet and numbers and I am positive:
      2=number
      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.

      Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • Serena -  February 24, 2015 - 2:15 am

          Whew. So glad to see ^^ that.

          Reply
    • Emily -  December 16, 2014 - 9:19 pm

      4 is also written differently

      Reply
    • Turtlesquirrel -  January 6, 2015 - 4:31 pm

      well, I’ve counted…. there’s Qq Bb Dd Rr Aa Gg Jj Ee & Yy :D

      Reply
  21. Phil Apino -  November 11, 2014 - 4:10 am

    why are ( ) called parentheses

    Reply
  22. 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

    *MINDBLOW*

    Reply
    • Alexandra -  November 17, 2014 - 10:00 pm

      MY LIFE IS A LIE

      Reply
      • bob -  November 20, 2014 - 2:46 pm

        yes it is

        Reply
      • 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.

        Reply
        • 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.

          Reply
          • 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!

          Reply
      • 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 :-)

        Reply
      • Aunty Mabel -  January 28, 2015 - 7:01 am

        i agree

        Reply
    • Candace -  December 5, 2014 - 8:58 pm

      Great catch Epic! Makes sense to me ~ :)

      Reply
    • Serena -  February 24, 2015 - 2:16 am

      20 points for the most relevant comment.

      Reply
  23. Spencer -  October 26, 2014 - 8:08 pm

    Great article ! Thank you.-

    Reply
  24. 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 […]

    Reply
  25. 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, […]

    Reply
  26. 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 […]

    Reply
  27. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • BZ -  January 30, 2015 - 11:53 am

        Does this mean I can have my π and eat it too?

        Reply
  28. 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.

    Reply
    • julieq -  September 30, 2014 - 5:33 pm

      I have heard of it

      Reply
  29. sp khangam siro -  August 30, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    i never knew :-D

    Reply
  30. Sean -  July 15, 2014 - 9:53 pm

    That’s so cool. Amazing.

    Reply
  31. Shayree -  July 15, 2014 - 9:50 pm

    This is crazzy lol. I never knew about this. :D

    Reply
  32. BASTA! -  May 2, 2014 - 10:17 am

    “When a word comes about from a mistaken pronunciation, it’s called a mondegreen.”

    Incorrect. Mondegreens are mishearings, not mispronunciations.

    Reply
    • uyyyyalex -  May 5, 2014 - 9:48 am

      pimps&hoesss ….pimps up hoes down! northside homieee x4 503 4x
      14 :: vc cant stop wont stop foo ;)

      Reply
      • Driftboy -  June 22, 2014 - 11:09 pm

        shiiiid homes, its cold as a trick and its finna get worse on a hitta ya popta, so be a pimp & bring em hoes ouchea so we can cop em brawds jeah! ;-)

        Reply
      • SharPhoe -  September 17, 2014 - 1:24 pm

        I think I need a dictionary to translate what you just said.

        Reply
        • Elizabeth -  October 13, 2014 - 10:46 am

          Me too, SharPoe! :)

          Reply
        • Jackdafish -  November 24, 2014 - 10:10 am

          A dictionary? I think it’s a whole different language! We need a translator. Anyone speak rap?

          Reply
    • uyyyyalex -  May 5, 2014 - 9:50 am

      stomp a southsider/scrap vato!!!!

      Reply
    • Bella -  May 12, 2014 - 12:38 pm

      uyyyyalex, why the hell did you write that on BASTA!’s comment? lol, whatever

      Reply
    • wejiharfuisnd -  June 8, 2014 - 7:55 pm

      “Mondegreens are mishearings, not mispronunciations.”
      Incorrect. Mondegreens are misinterpretations, not mishearings.

      Reply
    • wejiharfuisnd -  June 8, 2014 - 7:57 pm

      PS. mishearings isn’t a word, idiot. I’m a 6th grader and I knew that in 2nd grade. (I knew that because I actually thought it was a words, but then my teacher got mad at me for using it!)

      Reply
      • WellPlayed -  June 15, 2014 - 10:49 am

        Actually, mishearings is a word. It’s not a word just because your handy little spell-checker put a squiggly red line under it. It’s the present participle of mishearing.
        And if you’re trying to act cool that you’ve learned that in 2nd grade, I suggest you go do your L.A homework, because your literary facts are utterly wrong.

        Reply
        • GRAMMAR NAZI -  July 22, 2014 - 3:35 am

          “Actually, mishearings is a word. It’s not a word just because your handy little spell-checker put a squiggly red line under it. It’s the present participle of mishearing.”

          Actually, it’s the present participle of mishear. Busted.

          Reply
          • Joshua -  August 23, 2014 - 11:34 pm

            Well played grammar nazi

          • sabrina bobo -  September 6, 2014 - 9:45 am

            cv b1

          • Steve Mitchell -  October 7, 2014 - 5:08 pm

            A Canadian Grammar Nazi correction.

            Mishearings [ note the plural form ] is a plural noun, NOT a present participle, as are Mondegreens, mispronunciations and misinterpretations.

            Please exercise more care in writing corrections and comments.

            Have a productive day, everyone !

      • Mickinbrussels -  October 22, 2014 - 1:31 am

        Please do yourself a favour lad: never – ever – believe a teacher, particularly if she’s an American 2nd grade teacher pontificating about English. They’re notorious, having been known to correct everybody from Shakespeare to Mark Twain.

        Reply
    • Kelly -  October 9, 2014 - 10:10 am

      Great catch and thanks for clarifying the meaning.

      Reply
      • Kelly -  October 9, 2014 - 11:17 am

        …and I mean the first clarification. The rest of you are just rufflepuffs.

        Reply
        • Victoria -  October 27, 2014 - 4:07 pm

          hufflepuff* HAHA AM I RIGHT POTTERHEADS

          Reply
    • Todd -  October 18, 2014 - 7:32 pm

      Exactly right. That happens all the time when listening to songs, especially if they have a loud accompaniment which tends to drown out the enunciation of the words. The term “mondegreen” came from a mishearing of the lyrics of the 17th century Scottish ballad “The Bonnie Earl o’ Moray”, which is written and sung in Scottish dialect. In part, the words are: “Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands, / Oh, where hae ye been? / They hae slain the Earl o’ Moray, / And Lady Mondegreen.” Except that the actual closing words are “They hae slain the Earl o’ Moray / and laid him on the green.” “Laid him on the green” was misheard as “Lady Mondegreen”.

      Reply
      • Mickinbrussels -  October 22, 2014 - 1:55 am

        Thank you so much for that Todd! You’re right about the prevalence of mondegreens in modern songs too – particularly for those of us who are hard of hearing.My all-time favourite was the much repeated, “Go and get stuffed! Go and get stuffed!” for the comparatively inadequate, “going gets tough, going gets tough . . .”

        Reply
        • Lojay -  December 22, 2014 - 11:50 am

          Interesting background! My favorite two: “I’ll never be your pizza burnin’ ” (–”beast of burden”); “Hold me closer Tony Danza” (–”Tiny Dancer”).

          Reply
    • Ratchet -  January 6, 2015 - 11:04 am

      “comes about from” is the same as “is misheard as” to me. Isn’t hearing something mispronounced and making a determination of what was heard the same as mishearing something pronounce correctly and making a determination on what was said? If a tree falls in a forest and the only person that is present is deaf, was the sound of the tree falling heard by the deaf person? What if a blind person hears a tree fall but didn’t see it? Did it really fall? If I had typed this reply and then deleted it, did I really reply?

      Reply
      • Bard -  February 3, 2015 - 12:55 pm

        Worst case of apples and oranges mixing I have ever seen. Sounds are not just caused by the interacting movements of objects, they are also the very vibrations themselves. Therefore, it matters not if human or any other infinitesimal ear is there to notice, or even how minute the vibration may be, it still exists. This, regardless that the deaf person hears not and the blind person sees not. The “impact” of this truth is manifest to the deaf and the blind person alike, especially when in close enough proximity to feel the vibrations, which can take more than one form, et. wind, concussion, &c.
        Besides which, the point of this altogether too frequently used argumentative fallacy is to try and state that there are no absolutes; also a fallacy. How can there be absolutely no absolutes? To wit, the argument is stated, “If a tree in the forest falls and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound?” Frankly, to argue from this notion is logic fit only for the scarecrow and not worthy of an answer. Further, it goes without saying, if the tree fell, well, then the tree fell.
        Ratchet, even if your response is a cogent, well thought out and logical one, if you post it in a language that no one on this planet can understand, then it is not a reply. I would even argue that it doesn’t matter who else can read it with understanding, if the bloggers of “&” didn’t, then it is still not a reply.
        FYI, ask any computer HDD media expert and he, or she, will tell you that if you delete your response, it is still there on the hard drive. Alas, your tree is still making sounds even though no one is hearing them. Now, if you get yourself an overwriting program…well that’s a philosophical gnat for straining some other time.
        Finally, the answer to your question, Ratchet, is “No.” Regardless of misinterpretations. The thing mispronounced is in error from the speaker, and the thing misheard is a corruption of the receiver. Students, the lesson here is: to not learn the folly of others, rather, learn from their folly and don’t repeat it. If’ns et dosna sond ye kina tha th’ reight wey, thn’ tha chances is tha it isna.

        Reply
        • FiOS-Dave -  March 29, 2015 - 10:19 pm

          What was all that about “Sea Snot”?

          Reply
      • FiOS-Dave -  March 29, 2015 - 10:18 pm

        No, you would have to ply again.

        Reply
  33. onlinezinas.blog.com -  May 1, 2014 - 10:07 am

    She does the “skin” work, which means she must harvest
    skin from a deceased body to be used for burn victims and other tragedies that affect one’s skin.
    Even if your efforts improve you will still need
    to overcome this negative impression you’ve left.
    TJ Philpott is an author and Internet entrepreneur based out
    of North Carolina.

    Reply
  34. PX -  April 28, 2014 - 4:58 pm

    Her & I.
    If you are curious who ‘Her’ is, then follow @phillipxiang on Instagram.
    We have photos and videos… of us… making out… etc…

    Reply
    • Bella -  May 12, 2014 - 12:39 pm

      wtf

      Reply
      • Lily -  November 20, 2014 - 6:03 pm

        EXACTLY WTF!

        Reply
  35. chris -  April 15, 2014 - 6:15 pm

    Excellent info dict.com. Actually sounds believable, too, unlike most of what I find on the internet!

    Reply
  36. Lori -  April 1, 2014 - 5:42 am

    History of Language – &

    Reply
  37. Quicksilver -  March 19, 2014 - 3:25 am

    “Over time, ‘and per se and’ was slurred together”. These changes were not the result of perennial drunkenness or laziness. They happened because of a natural language process called sandhi, which affects speech sounds at word boundaries.

    Reply
    • chris -  April 15, 2014 - 6:13 pm

      otherwise known as a slurring of words you pedantic moron. Where does it say slurring has to be from drunken or disability?

      Reply
  38. Someone Over The Rainbow -  March 17, 2014 - 5:43 pm

    #Love&Peace

    Reply
  39. CeriCat -  March 17, 2014 - 2:20 pm

    And then we have the thorn (th sound) which fell out of usage with modern printing and the typefaces had no thorn it was replaced frequently with the y which is where all Ye olde time shoppes came in.

    Reply
  40. CAS -  March 17, 2014 - 8:54 am

    I bet in the new world of texting and oft-abbreviated online communications that the “&” could very well come back into its own.

    Reply
    • BEARFAMILY -  July 22, 2014 - 7:31 am

      R U OK???

      Reply
  41. Chad C. -  March 15, 2014 - 8:39 am

    In regard to the percent sign (‘%’), percent means the amount has been divided by 100. The two “bubbles” around the slash likely represent the divisor (100). 60% = 60 / 100

    Reply
    • Retired -  July 23, 2014 - 2:24 pm

      Anyone who’s ever paid a real-estate tax knows that a percent sign with two 0’s in the denominator (‰) is read “per mill” and means that the number has been divided by 1,000. For example, if your property-tax rate is 48 mills, you pay 48‰ of the value of your property. (You can find the character on Character Map if you look hard enough. In Times New Roman, it’s almost at the bottom.)

      Reply
      • W.J.R.Jeffrie IV -  September 29, 2014 - 12:36 am

        @Retired –
        Awfully sorry, but it looks like you’ve just bitten your own tongue. It makes perfect sense that Chad here was talking about the “two bubbles” as in % …. not ‰. I’ll demonstrate why.

        First, let’s take % apart and see the result:

        o = first “bubble”
        / = virgule
        o = second “bubble”.

        I see rather clearly two zeroes and a virgule there, not three zeroes and a virgule. Now let’s look at ‰, shall we?

        o = first “bubble”
        / = virgule
        o = second “bubble”
        o = third “bubble”…?!

        He would have said, “The /three/ “bubbles” around the slash likely represent the divisor….” if he had meant that it was ‰ (which has 3 zeroes) and not % (which has 2 zeroes…which is precisely what he said).

        Reply
        • Mallory -  February 20, 2015 - 8:42 pm

          Hugely pointless reply other than the first sentence. Your attempt to look intelligent only served to make you look like a pretentious douche bag, congrats on that. :)

          Reply
  42. Writerbyter -  March 11, 2014 - 3:03 pm

    I always thought the character of an Ampersand ‘&’ came about as a quick writing of ‘et’–the Latin for ‘and’ and that later printmakers and typographers created the ‘&’ character for printing presses and later–typewriters. >0<

    Reply
    • chris -  April 15, 2014 - 6:17 pm

      Isn’t that what the article says?

      Reply
      • Lily -  November 20, 2014 - 6:21 pm

        exactly people READ THE ARTICLE IF YOU ARE GOING TO COMMENT!!!!

        Reply
  43. hectorjay -  March 11, 2014 - 2:48 pm

    The origin of the dollar sign comes from the overlaying of the letters U & S as in “United States” currency. eventually the bottom rocker was omitted leaving the dollar sign as an “S” with two vertical lines superimposed. My dollar sign Key only shows one vertical line instead of two, still suggesting the Dollar Sign.

    Reply
    • cybert00th -  November 23, 2014 - 2:27 pm

      The change in the dollar sign from two verticals to one has likely come about from all the stretching those dollars have endured over the years… and also represents the change in how “United” these states are these days: no longer united from coast to coast ["| |"] we mostly all hang together by a single thread ["|"].

      Reply
      • FiOS-Dave -  March 29, 2015 - 10:25 pm

        And likely by the skin of your ‘S’

        Reply
  44. Jones -  March 11, 2014 - 2:48 pm

    It’s not unlikely that the percent symbol came from or is related to the fractional notation. x/y is a relationship between two numbers – “x is to y”. Look at the division symbol •/• (the slash is generally more horizontal to completely horizontal) and percent symbol %. The basic difference is whether the circle is empty or filled.

    Perhaps the people who came up with the symbols used them to show whether or not the math is to BE done (•/•) or is ALREADY done (%). After all when you do the math on 3/5 you end up with 60%.

    Reply
  45. wolf tamer and iron miner -  March 6, 2014 - 4:04 am

    I agree with RS. Where did the % sign come from? It looks like a fraction…

    Reply
  46. RS -  March 4, 2014 - 2:28 pm

    Where did % come from? I guess $ came from S (for shilling) and €.

    Reply
  47. RS -  March 4, 2014 - 2:26 pm

    Where did % come from?

    Reply
  48. LEE SIN -  March 4, 2014 - 5:46 am

    e + t =&
    lol

    Reply
  49. zeb -  February 26, 2014 - 9:15 am

    Wait a sec…make that “elemenopee”!

    Reply
  50. zeb -  February 26, 2014 - 9:13 am

    Wonder what the letters “L”,”M”, “N”, “O”, and “P” may evolve to? “elomenopee”? Let’s see a symbol for that…

    Reply
    • Ferus -  October 1, 2014 - 11:06 pm

      “And” is a word, which is why it makes perfect sense for it to evolve into one symbol. “LMNOP” isn’t a word. Why would we make a symbol for it? That’s the same as comparing the compacting of the word “dollar” (a word) into $ and “ZXRFGHM” (not a word) into a symbol… o_o

      Reply
  51. Mick -  February 12, 2014 - 6:19 pm

    Really cool! I knew it used to be a letter but its naming! Sensational! :)

    Reply
    • Michael -  December 21, 2014 - 9:59 am

      To answer the question: What letter of the Alphabet was left out. ? .
      Alpha. (Never thought He was a gambler.)

      Reply
  52. Jinx Hunter -  January 23, 2014 - 3:06 pm

    I never knew this was called an “ampersand” and I certainly never would’ve guessed that it WAS a letter in the alphabet. You guys may be wanting that letter back, but I’m gonna lay low on this one. Hmm, amazing

    Reply
  53. An Awesome Minecrafter -  January 22, 2014 - 2:00 am

    Yay for mondegreens! ;) They are the underdogs of word evolution.

    Reply
  54. 7bombs7bombs7bombsAgain -  January 21, 2014 - 10:14 pm

    777&&&777&&&777 BOMBS U AGAIN DICTIONARY.COM

    BOMBBOMBOBMBOBKBBMBOMBOMBOBMOBMOBMOMBOMBMBOMBOMBOMBOBMOBMOBMOBOMBOMBOBMOBMOBMBOMBOMBOBMOBMOBMOBMOBMBOMBOMBOBMOBMBOMBMBOMBOMBOBMOBMOBMBOMBOMBOBMOBMOBMBOMBOBMOBMBOMBOBMBOBMBOMBMOM

    Reply
  55. I like cats -  January 21, 2014 - 2:09 pm

    meow

    Reply
  56. I like cats -  January 21, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    I like cats, and I already knew this! and i’m only 10! but wait what about the and sign I use? the one that looks like a capital b?

    Reply
  57. Isaac -  January 20, 2014 - 3:27 pm

    I wonder what the 69th letter of the alphabet would be? O.o :3 lol

    Reply
  58. fdtrdtffdrdrrddd -  January 20, 2014 - 11:17 am

    it looks like the and symbol =)

    Reply
  59. fdtrdtffdrdrrddd -  January 20, 2014 - 11:16 am

    it looks like the and symbol

    Reply
  60. pancakelover27 -  January 19, 2014 - 2:20 pm

    wow! who would’ve guessed?

    Reply
  61. mondegreen | PolyglotFun -  January 18, 2014 - 7:59 am

    [...] – Dictionary.com – Wikipedia – Holorime – Wikipedia – Mondegreen – Wikipedia – Vers holorimes – [...]

    Reply
  62. Riya Patel -  January 16, 2014 - 2:09 pm

    I never knew that, interesting.

    Reply
  63. EllaBleu -  January 16, 2014 - 9:51 am

    Am I the only person that thinks of the band Of Mice and Men when I see an ampersand?

    Reply
  64. hey -  January 15, 2014 - 5:12 pm

    I THINK THIS IS REALLY WEIRD DON’T U? -_- -.- :) :( :0 :O :o :D D: (<——-some of my faces when I was reading this)

    Reply
  65. Isaac -  January 13, 2014 - 5:30 pm

    *mind blown*

    Reply
  66. Liliana -  January 12, 2014 - 3:42 pm

    wow, & is a letter!?

    Reply
  67. Oleg -  January 11, 2014 - 12:39 pm

    I would like to know about why the letter “s” was written elongated sometimes, resembling the “f” letter.

    Reply
  68. An Awesome Minecrafter With Awesome Minecrafting Friends -  January 10, 2014 - 10:58 pm

    @Erika:
    It is a symbol for “and.” Which is why it’s better off as a symbol rather than a letter.

    Reply
  69. Gordy Angster -  January 10, 2014 - 11:49 am

    The extinction of a letter
    Not a very usual thing to hear or think about and yet it happens every once in a while

    Reply
  70. BigFatWhiteGuy -  January 10, 2014 - 10:12 am

    Eminem is the same as an M&M. Hard on the outside and black on the inside. Also, Jesus&Mary sittin in a gutter….hehehehe. It sucks to be white :(

    Reply
  71. StarryMountain -  January 9, 2014 - 8:02 pm

    How about the letters “Þ” and “Д, which used to be in the English alphabet but are no longer. They were both replaced by “th”. I would love to know why/how.

    Reply
  72. lol cute ;) -  January 9, 2014 - 4:47 pm

    awesome, neva knew dat!

    Reply
  73. Erika -  January 9, 2014 - 1:31 pm

    I thought it was some sort of symbol for “and” that’s what I was tought.

    Reply
  74. krumble1 -  January 9, 2014 - 1:18 pm

    So then, could I substitute “&” for “et” in words like Chevrol& (Chevrolet), s& (set), or quart& (quartet)? :)

    Reply
  75. Jellicle -  January 9, 2014 - 10:27 am

    “&: The Extraterrestrial” Sounds like Spielberg has a new hit.

    Reply
  76. LOL -  January 9, 2014 - 6:06 am

    Im cool

    Reply
  77. Me -  January 8, 2014 - 10:01 pm

    Is M&M’s a word? If it is, there might be many other words you can create. If there are, are there any words with ampersands (&) in them in Dictionary.com?

    Reply
  78. why do you want my name -  January 8, 2014 - 4:04 pm

    i think hat it was smart to remove that letter. you can not put & in any word, can you? and that is the whole purpose of the alphabet

    Reply
  79. Chuck -  January 8, 2014 - 10:49 am

    I agree Hunter.

    Reply
  80. hunter -  January 8, 2014 - 10:47 am

    losers

    Reply
  81. wolf tamer and tree puncher -  January 8, 2014 - 2:46 am

    We still sing this in the alphabet song: “W, X, Y, _&_ Z.” I’m kind of surprised no one commented that this should NOT be a letter because it stands for a word rather than a sound. But then, judging from the fact that many of you did not know the information contained in the article, I wouldn’t expect many of you to realize that. Get a life, people!

    @Evan:
    “Et cetera” is Latin for “and the rest.” It’s used when you have a long list of similar things and you don’t want to list all of them: “She has every kind of novel imaginable – sci-fi, romance, adventure, etc.”

    @Chika:
    I agree, I just call it a squiggle. I use it after a quotation, just before the name of whoever said the quotation. In the font Footlight MT Light, this: – looks like this: ~, only tilted.

    @Antinus Maximus:
    No. Dictionary.com IS my Facebook. ;)

    @boobookittybang:
    Wow, you’re right. I never thought of it that way before! :)

    jamya – April 19, 2012 – 2:46 p.m.
    wow i dont have a face book but this is the next best thing to it ik im a weirdo <3

    Reply
    • Ferus -  October 1, 2014 - 11:08 pm

      ~ tilde…

      Reply
  82. Cheri -  January 7, 2014 - 4:20 pm

    That’s so funny I didn’t know that

    Reply
  83. Judith Singer -  November 18, 2013 - 8:20 am

    To Shah Danyal who asked about the origin of “et al.” : “et” of course means and “al.” is an abbreviation of “alia”, meaning “others”. It means “and others” and is generally used only when referring to people. If only “al” is used rather than “alia”, “al” should have a period as befits an abbreviation.

    Evan: “et cetera” means “and the rest”, and can be read simply as that. There is an implication though that it means a little more specifically “and the rest of such thing things” so that the things referred to but not named should be of the same nature as the ones expressed.

    “et seq.” (figured I’d toss that in) is an abbreviation for the Latin “et sequentes” or “et sequentia”, meaning “and that which follows.” Itis used almost exclusively in law or academic articles.

    Ethan: “W” as a vowel: most Scrabble players know, and are grateful for, the word “cwm”, which is the Welsh term for a valley or more specifically a cirque (“a steep bowl-shaped hollow occurring at the upper end of a mountain valley, especially one forming the head of a glacier or stream.” – standard definition used by many dictionaries). It is pronounced “coom”. Remember that “W” is “double u”, not “double V” notwithstanding the way it is written in print, and “double u” as a vowel pronounced “oo” makes sense.

    Reply
    • Ferus -  October 1, 2014 - 11:22 pm

      To add, the English and American ‘w’ comes from the Middle English usage of ‘u’ instead of ‘v’, interchanging the two letters quite often for the different sounds. So back when ‘w’ entered English, which was early on, it really was a double v: “Haue an caire, deare Sir, and giue an ould Friend a crvst of breade”. But then major changes shifted us farther from our German roots and now we have W… which many people write like a double u (“ω”) anyway.
      And I’m very sure cwm isn’t a valid English word, and when I’ve ever played Scrabble we were only permitted to use words in the English and American English dictionaries.

      Reply
  84. john -  October 22, 2013 - 12:28 pm

    (\__/)
    (=^.^=)
    (“)_(“)

    Reply
  85. john -  October 22, 2013 - 12:25 pm

    awesome!!!!!!!!! &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&7 ;);););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););););)
    ;)

    Reply
  86. john -  October 22, 2013 - 12:21 pm

    I think I should spread that to the world.
    Hey world there was a 27th letter :)

    Reply
  87. Erica’s Errors: Company names -  October 3, 2013 - 8:22 am

    [...] Ltd. (limited), LLC (limited liability company), etc. (et cetera). Some names include and, some an ampersand, and some start with the. What are the [...]

    Reply
    • law doc -  November 16, 2014 - 2:25 pm

      “What are the […]? = [ellipsis]

      Reply
  88. Hannah -  September 30, 2013 - 4:59 pm

    weird that is.

    Reply
  89. William -  September 24, 2013 - 10:25 am

    The combination of “oe” or “ae” as in foetus and Caesar are essentially diphthongs pronounced as one sound. They have been bonded, forming a ligature to produce one sound, not two. Some in English once had a dieresis (2 dots) over a vowel when two vowels came together as in the word oogonium, which I thing is a spore. In German they use an umlaut; in French it’s a dierese, and I think it’s a trema in Spanish.

    Reply
  90. David -  September 16, 2013 - 6:04 pm

    I didn’t know that either LOL and my teacher was like, OMGYG2BK!

    Reply
  91. Anonymous -  August 19, 2013 - 12:30 am

    That was freakin awesome to know I bet u no-one knew that

    Reply
  92. kid -  July 24, 2013 - 6:50 pm

    Can’t wait to see the comments pass 1000!

    Reply
  93. Bamboo -  July 24, 2013 - 6:48 pm

    I could careless about the post…the comments are what’s amazing!!

    Reply
  94. Dragon -  July 24, 2013 - 6:47 pm

    look at the amount of comments! amazing they haven’t blocked it yet…

    Reply
  95. Sam -  July 15, 2013 - 5:44 pm

    lol i’m the 700th comment

    Reply
  96. _____________ -  June 25, 2013 - 12:10 pm

    THATS SOOOOOOOOO COOL I DIDNT KNOW THAT WOAH AWESOME

    Reply
  97. Arslan -  June 25, 2013 - 4:31 am

    That’s amazing!!! I never listened before……..

    Reply
  98. Naveen -  June 7, 2013 - 4:31 pm

    I have learn a lot I become intelligent

    Reply
  99. Gazza -  May 29, 2013 - 12:05 pm

    Etcetera actually is Latin for “and again”. Spelt Et Cetera

    :-)

    Reply
  100. Ethan -  May 26, 2013 - 1:01 am

    I agree, BOBBY BLUEBEAR

    :0

    Reply
  101. BOBBY BLUEBEAR -  May 22, 2013 - 10:01 am

    I think that the true engish literature was among the aglo saxons as they created many charcters in our alphabet today such as the letters ‘F’ and ‘U’ – anyway thats what I read.

    Reply
  102. BJ Davis -  May 17, 2013 - 10:59 am

    Wonderful comments with incredible information. Everyone should participate in dialogue like this. I’ve learned so much just reading about the ‘&’. Thanks everyone!

    Reply
  103. Sac a main Guess -  May 14, 2013 - 9:07 pm

    What’s up colleagues, its wonderful article regarding educationand entirely explained, keep it up all the time.

    Reply
  104. Sepehr -  May 11, 2013 - 7:00 pm

    here comes a new letter!

    Reply
  105. Sepehr -  May 11, 2013 - 6:59 pm

    It’s just awesome.

    Reply
  106. Sepehr -  May 11, 2013 - 6:57 pm

    Wow

    Reply
  107. SkythekidRS -  April 29, 2013 - 6:54 am

    For example, shoes, pants, &c. By the way the & in the picture is butter.

    Reply
  108. Ishwar -  April 18, 2013 - 10:14 pm

    Awesome, just awesome…

    A very nice read and a great article!

    Reply
  109. Jeff -  March 18, 2013 - 4:07 pm

    (Jon, et al): Characters that are tied together (ae, oe, fi, and so forth) are called “ligatures” (meaning tied together). Many modern electronic fonts have them. Some fonts have tem in separate versions, sometimes called “extended fonts” or “expert fonts.”

    Reply
    • Leonard Seastone -  November 5, 2014 - 5:12 am

      Ae and oe are dipthongs, joined as one sound and so are represented as joined letters. Ligatures, such as fi, fl and ff, are joined letters that were kerned and did not set properly and would break when type was made of metal. Ok, kerns are parts of the letterforms that over hang the body of the metal type. The overhanging terminus of the “f” interferes with the the point of the “i” and so the the two pieces of type could not be well set together. Hence ligatures, which is different than dipthongs. Although a dipthongs could be seen has having the appearance of a ligature, nut not it’s purpose.
      But there is an even older reason for ligatures. Following the calligraphic form of joining two or more letters together, Gutenberg’s original invention of movable type had many ligatures. This also allowed him to more easily set justified columns of type. (justified means aligned on right and left edges of the column.)
      In metal each piece of type was called a sort, and unlike the ease of a keystroke there were limited quantities of these letters, these sorts. If you ran out of one and could not finish your work the frustration could be great.
      You were out-of-sorts!

      Reply
      • FiOS-Dave -  March 29, 2015 - 10:39 pm

        Since at least the 17th century ‘sorts’ has been the name of the letters used by typographers. This usage is referred to in Notes on a Century of Typography at the University Press Oxford 1693–1794 and is nicely defined in Joseph Moxon’s Mechanick Exercises, or the Doctrine of Handy-works – Printing, 1683:

        “The Letters… in every Box of the Case are… called Sorts in Printers and Founders Language; Thus a is a Sort, b is a Sort.”

        For sets of type blocks to be ‘out of sorts’ would clearly be unwelcome to a typesetter. That terminology could be the source of the phrase and the notion is certainly a tempting one. We need to be cautious with that attribution however as the above citation is pre-dated by one from The proverbs, epigrams, and miscellanies of John Heywood, 1562, which makes no explicit mention of typesetting:

        Fit (adj): disordered, out of sorts

        That unusual definition of ‘fit’ is, oddly, almost the opposite of our current usage of the word as an adjective.

        It may well turn out that pre-1562 citations that refer to typesetting will be found; after all, Gutenberg invented moveable type printing in around 1440. Until then, I’m sure that many people will opt to believe that ‘out of sorts’ derives from typesetting. All I can do is present you with the evidence as I find it and let you come to your own conclusions.

        http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/out-of-sorts.html

        Reply
  110. Carol McAuliffe -  March 6, 2013 - 5:23 pm

    How did this sign @ get started???

    Reply
  111. John Hay -  February 23, 2013 - 3:35 pm

    Okay, we got rid of the ‘&’; now we can start bulldozing ‘x’.

    Reply
  112. REV B R JONES -  February 20, 2013 - 12:52 pm

    I recall, in 1949, Mrs. Omadel Reed taught us kindergarteners the alphabet adding “ampersand” at the end. It we never mentioned, however, after I commenced into grade school, consequently I was grown before I knew what the Sam Hill she was talking about.

    Reply
  113. epicassassinninja -  February 12, 2013 - 12:57 pm

    I didn’t know there was a 27th letter of the alphabet.Maybe we can use it in the future.

    Reply
  114. abby10648 -  February 8, 2013 - 11:39 am

    i wish it still was…….. it would make life much easier. :\

    Reply
  115. Charles -  January 29, 2013 - 2:41 pm

    USA and United States of America
    Which one is acronym and which one is antonym?
    Help!

    Reply
  116. Zoey -  January 17, 2013 - 2:24 pm

    I’d be cool if LMFAO became a letter
    I’d be like the band

    Reply
  117. Epichackermunkey -  January 10, 2013 - 12:01 pm

    oh dear god .-.

    Reply
  118. kisha -  January 3, 2013 - 3:34 pm

    good

    Reply
  119. rik -  December 19, 2012 - 2:26 pm

    Jon those are letters in french the combined letters

    Reply
  120. DISHA -  December 11, 2012 - 2:45 pm

    COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!i did not know that

    Reply
  121. Madison -  December 11, 2012 - 1:05 pm

    OMG i did not know that it is soooooooo insteresting
    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    Reply
  122. BaiYun -  December 3, 2012 - 2:43 pm

    Wow, that’s pretty awesome.

    Reply
  123. atutor -  November 27, 2012 - 8:05 pm

    w would be a good one is it two u.s or its own letter and what does it mean and the q. is it related to the g? the x too! and last where do I find the next post about this topic?

    Reply
  124. Kristonn -  November 27, 2012 - 10:30 am

    ” Wow Interesting I my self didn’t know that Cool and I Am A Sixth Grader .!

    Reply
  125. random guy -  November 25, 2012 - 8:35 am

    :P :P :D random stuff

    Reply
  126. carrie -  November 21, 2012 - 2:58 pm

    wow i’m flabberasted never would have guessed!!!!!!! :p

    Reply
  127. suckER -  November 20, 2012 - 5:40 pm

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& is so awesome!!!! but doesn’t it go “Y & Z”?

    :D :) :( :P
    ————–. that’s spit. :D is : and D, :) is : and ), same thing with everything.

    SO BYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  128. ELO333 -  November 18, 2012 - 3:35 pm

    OHHHH… so that’s why we say, “Y and Z”… or, “Y & Z”

    Reply
  129. Tiffany -  November 18, 2012 - 9:10 am

    :) :( :D

    Reply
  130. Tiffany -  November 18, 2012 - 9:09 am

    weird:):(:D

    Reply
  131. Lil angel24/7 -  November 18, 2012 - 6:42 am

    Wow, I do use that “letter” every day ;)

    Reply
  132. Jacob -  November 17, 2012 - 9:01 am

    Don’t we still use “and” when we say the alphabet? W X Y and Z

    Reply
  133. Mikki -  November 16, 2012 - 8:34 pm

    WOW!! THAT IS SO, SO INTERESTING!! :)

    Reply
  134. Miami catering -  November 15, 2012 - 9:16 pm

    Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness on your publish is simply excellent and that i can suppose you are an expert in this subject.
    Fine along with your permission let me to snatch your feed to stay updated with approaching post.
    Thank you a million and please continue the gratifying work.

    Reply
  135. Valentina -  November 15, 2012 - 3:55 pm

    I just called it the and sign….I never knew there was a 27th letter!

    Reply
  136. jeavon -  November 15, 2012 - 1:21 am

    lol that so cool i learnt something 2 day hehehe :0

    Reply
  137. sweet brown -  November 14, 2012 - 7:38 am

    AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!?

    Reply
  138. no one in particular -  November 13, 2012 - 2:53 pm

    I think that it is dumb to have 27 letters in the alphabet. 26 is enough. It doesn’t even look like a letter, just a random symbol that someone decided should be a letter. We went from 24 letters, to 26 letters and now people are confusing us with 27 letters. Also, this is something lol my friend showed me. :8(0)!!!!! Old Grandpa!

    Reply
  139. Kevyn -  November 12, 2012 - 7:16 pm

    And here I thought that I was the only person who randomly looked at stuff like this on the internet…I had no clue that as many people as this were interested in random bits of info.

    Reply
  140. colin -  November 12, 2012 - 5:19 pm

    why does everyone assume it was the last letter? -_- maybe it was before “a” or in the middle or something. and by the way, these guys were right. there’s 2 b’s in the article on dolce & gabbana

    Reply
  141. LillyR -  November 10, 2012 - 8:12 pm

    I already knew it was called the ampersand… And I’ve always said “y and z” not “y, z, and,” so I wasn’t really surprised upon finding out it was part of the alphabet at one point.

    Reply
    • CONGRATULATIONS -  September 16, 2014 - 6:59 am

      this is the most useless internet comment of 2012!!

      Reply
  142. Anonymus:) -  November 8, 2012 - 7:41 pm

    (\__/)
    (=^.^=)
    (“)_(“)
    .

    Reply
  143. Anonymus:) -  November 8, 2012 - 7:40 pm

    And/& this is cool. &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    Reply
  144. reiley -  November 7, 2012 - 6:09 pm

    omg

    Reply
  145. reiley -  November 7, 2012 - 6:09 pm

    fascinating! but why dont they use it now????????? wait sorry i know. but sooooooooooooooo coooooooooooooooool

    Reply
  146. anthony -  November 7, 2012 - 3:33 pm

    &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&!!!!!!!!!!
    thats so cool!!!!!!

    Reply
  147. solidad -  November 6, 2012 - 2:12 pm

    thats so coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool.

    Reply
  148. doylan -  November 6, 2012 - 1:23 pm

    woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww:):(

    Reply
  149. Nathaniel -  November 5, 2012 - 3:55 pm

    Wow! Never knew that! Maybe $,@, and* follow
    the same thing LOL

    Reply
  150. David Spain -  November 4, 2012 - 5:49 pm

    Use an ampersand [&] as a conjunctive within clauses (where Latin uses –que) and the conjunctive ‘and’ between clauses (where Latin uses et). Never use ‘and’ within a clause.

    As regards distinguishing between these levels of conjunction, English as commonly used is at present syntactically deficient & inferior. However, English is a living language and this can be rectified by awareness & discipline. The ampersand is pronounced ’n’.

    Reply
  151. Josh -  November 4, 2012 - 11:21 am

    IMPOSSIBRU! hahahaha cool

    Reply
  152. merry lucas -  November 1, 2012 - 4:18 pm

    wow .

    Reply
  153. Josh B -  November 1, 2012 - 3:46 pm

    furthermore miss moo, you seem to have the intelligence of a small abandoned ape with no sense of sight, hearing, or smell, emphasis on smell.

    Frankly, I must say you rather smell like one too.

    Reply
  154. Josh B -  November 1, 2012 - 3:44 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,Z, &.

    Samantha Moo or whatever, I went to private school. You should really check out Bo’s page. Random facts. I am a 6th grader in public school now and happier. So if you would kindly stop making people such as my self feel inferior and unimportant, it would be a widely appreciated gesture.

    Reply
  155. Tahseen -  October 30, 2012 - 8:54 pm

    We also learned what @,etc, and i.e means. The one article where latin actually helps you understand something…

    Reply
  156. Tahseen -  October 30, 2012 - 8:47 pm

    It is so cool how & is the 27th letter of the alphabet because in latin we just learned all about it and the latin word et. I dont know why they got rid of it…..

    Reply
  157. suckERS's brother -  October 30, 2012 - 4:52 pm

    TOMMOROW IS HALLOWEEN SO GET DRESS UP PEOPLE! LOL YAY LOL YAY LOL

    I AGREE WITH MY BROTHER JON A NERD

    OK!!!! AMPERSEN AND IS A ??????? LOSER!OK? PLZ LISTIN ][]LOSER LOSER LOSER LOSER IS U

    Reply
  158. suckERS -  October 30, 2012 - 4:45 pm

    JON REAL NERD(JUST KIDING, U ARE, IF U READ THIS) ~ IS THE COOF, OK? I LIKE THE GUY WHO MADE -COOF-!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  159. Alexis -  October 29, 2012 - 5:03 pm

    Coolio! &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&& :)

    Reply
  160. SHayes -  October 29, 2012 - 11:12 am

    you learn something new everyday. :)

    Reply
  161. shyam -  October 29, 2012 - 7:40 am

    wow
    omg

    Reply
  162. Caitlyn -  October 23, 2012 - 4:19 pm

    In what position was this “letter” in?

    Reply
  163. purple -  October 23, 2012 - 3:07 pm

    Wow. I never new. :)

    Reply
  164. alyna -  October 23, 2012 - 2:46 pm

    thats cool

    Reply
  165. minecraft -  October 23, 2012 - 2:28 am

    LOL I didn’t know that

    Thanks dictionary.com

    Reply
  166. eriexid840 -  October 22, 2012 - 7:15 pm

    never knew dat. :O

    Reply
  167. Alex -  October 22, 2012 - 7:13 pm

    eeeeeeeppppppppiiiiiiccccccccc B)

    Reply
  168. Alex -  October 22, 2012 - 7:11 pm

    i’ve been using that symbol and i never knew it was a letter! :D

    Reply
  169. Alex -  October 22, 2012 - 7:10 pm

    so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! never knew that!

    Reply
  170. kaylea -  October 21, 2012 - 1:48 pm

    thats cool :) did anyone notice though it looks like a guy dragging his but on the floor & O.o

    Reply
  171. seraffyn -  October 20, 2012 - 11:09 am

    Oh and, samantha monroe, clearly the world is a much brighter place because it has you in it!

    Reply
  172. seraffyn -  October 20, 2012 - 11:02 am

    Why is ‘W’ called ‘double U’ instead of ‘double V’? Clearly it looks like two V’s close together, not U’s. I’ve always wondered about that.

    Reply
  173. Nofoyo -  October 18, 2012 - 12:30 pm

    Hey, i just noticed something, when you say, “A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,” and so on, until the letters,”X,Y, & Z” DONT YOU SEE?!?!?!? THE WORD AND (&) IS IN IT!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  174. Mia -  October 16, 2012 - 2:37 pm

    NERDY NUMMIES!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Reply
  175. Mia -  October 16, 2012 - 2:37 pm

    This is pretty cool,but to long.

    Reply
  176. TayTay -  October 16, 2012 - 1:20 pm

    THAT IS SOOOOO COOOOOOLLLLLLL!!!! I would have never thought of that :)

    Reply
  177. Jenna -  October 16, 2012 - 8:04 am

    I didn’t know that.. lol

    Reply
  178. brian -  October 15, 2012 - 7:36 pm

    Daemon
    awesome to learn about this its coooooooooooooooolllllllllllllllllllllll

    Reply
  179. kat -  October 15, 2012 - 7:31 pm

    WHAT THE HECK !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
    :P

    Reply
  180. Amanda :) -  October 15, 2012 - 5:08 pm

    That’s so weird, considering that we are STILL using that symbol.

    Reply
  181. marisol -  October 14, 2012 - 5:04 pm

    that is so cool
    &
    :P

    Reply
  182. sheree -  October 11, 2012 - 1:25 pm

    I did not know that

    Reply
  183. Broniez4Eva -  October 10, 2012 - 3:59 pm

    LOL.

    “X, Y, Z, and and!” :P

    Cool.

    Reply
  184. Shayla -  October 9, 2012 - 9:28 am

    That is sooooooooooooooooooooo cool and to know that! I had no ideal that “and” was apart of the alphabet ever. I feel smarter than a 5th grader. LOL!!!!!! I can’t to go share with my kids.

    Reply
  185. someone -  October 7, 2012 - 11:45 pm

    wow i never knew that cooool

    Reply
  186. Zoë M. -  October 6, 2012 - 6:14 pm

    Higlac- i thought “umlaut” was the name for the two dots over a vowel, like ë….if its not, then what is???

    Reply
  187. Danna -  October 4, 2012 - 6:13 pm

    WOW LOL NEVER KNEW THAT!!! :)

    Reply
  188. Kathleen -  October 4, 2012 - 5:35 pm

    Fascinating! Thanks for the history of this symbol.

    Reply
  189. AttaUr Rehman -  October 2, 2012 - 12:03 pm

    what is civil engineering material and concrete tecnology

    Reply
  190. Devin -  October 1, 2012 - 6:24 pm

    Some people mentioned the ~ line. That (key) is called the tilde key. BUT that line is not the the tilde. This ` is the tilde. (Not to be confused with the apostrophe: ‘ ). I usually say it is a squiggly or wavy line. But MY question is, what are these: { } called. My math teacher called them fancy brackets, but it is clear that is not the name.

    Reply
  191. SILLYGIRL -  September 30, 2012 - 3:07 pm

    This is so awesome!

    Reply
  192. Me -  September 26, 2012 - 4:45 pm

    I knew that I learened that in Kindergarden

    Reply
  193. kyle -  September 24, 2012 - 1:43 pm

    what is this, * ,called?

    Reply
    • law doc -  November 16, 2014 - 2:30 pm

      asterisk

      Reply
  194. Emily R -  September 24, 2012 - 12:39 pm

    This is the best thing I’ve ever read.

    Reply
  195. Max Nocerino -  September 19, 2012 - 3:54 pm

    Never even crossed my mind that they originally had a 27th letter in the alphabet, amazing.

    Reply
  196. Joe -  September 18, 2012 - 2:01 pm

    Cwrth is also a word
    So W is a vowel in some cases

    Reply
  197. Geek Me « Alberty's Blah Blah Blog -  September 18, 2012 - 7:13 am

    [...] “The Hot Word” article from Dictionary.com sprung a few surprises on me. First, that the ampersand was an ancient Latin creation, the cursive amalgam of e and t for “et,” the Latin word for “and.” But it wasn’t named until the 1800s. Seriously. [...]

    Reply
  198. Trenity -  September 17, 2012 - 2:28 pm

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! I didn’t know that! So coooool ”&” weird at the same time. I’m telling my friends ”&” family about that sooooooooooooo cooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  199. katelyn -  September 17, 2012 - 2:22 pm

    i did not know that thanks

    Reply
  200. katelyn -  September 17, 2012 - 2:20 pm

    keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwlllllllllllllllllll

    Reply
  201. Dr. A. Cula -  September 17, 2012 - 5:30 am

    I’m gonna ask people who know what an ampersand is to say “and per se and” and see if they come up with ampersand. Thanks for the tongue twister.

    Reply
  202. Dominique -  September 13, 2012 - 6:27 pm

    Nerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrdah! Wow, i’m a little scared. I actually found that INTERESTING. am I crazy?! OMG WTH…lMHO! lololololol!!!!! ^ v ^

    Reply
  203. nathan -  September 12, 2012 - 2:12 pm

    wow i had no idea that & was a letter in the alphabet!!!!!

    Reply
  204. Sam -  September 11, 2012 - 5:48 pm

    What about the hash tag #?

    Reply
  205. Logan -  September 11, 2012 - 8:08 am

    I had NO IDEA that there were any letters DELETED from the alphabet, and I’m supposed to be a SPELLING GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  206. Errorness -  September 10, 2012 - 1:31 pm

    That’s…weird…

    Reply
  207. Jessica -  September 8, 2012 - 2:17 pm

    Wow I always thought it was just the short form of and

    Reply
  208. Jasmine -  September 7, 2012 - 1:12 pm
    Reply
  209. Jasmine -  September 7, 2012 - 1:10 pm
    Reply
  210. gary -  September 7, 2012 - 7:15 am

    I didn’t even know that.

    Reply
  211. scotty baller -  September 6, 2012 - 9:00 am

    This is rachet

    Reply
  212. ESC -  September 6, 2012 - 1:31 am

    In ‘et cetera’ there is an ‘et’ in ‘cetera’, so could it be ‘& c&era”?

    Reply
  213. Jam M. -  September 5, 2012 - 3:07 pm

    OMG ( GASP ) I never knew this! This is sssssssssssssooooooooooooo cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m like totally going to send this to my friends “&” families! BTW I’m also going to tell them how cool HOTword is! Tee Hee!

    Reply
  214. error -  September 4, 2012 - 2:12 pm

    AWSOME!!

    Reply
  215. samantha monroe -  August 30, 2012 - 5:52 pm

    I already knew that, you all are stupid if you didn’t know that. Clearly you all went to public school ,because you would have known this if you all would have gone to private school like me they teach you everything there. The only reason I am on the site because my sister did not know what she was doing,and typed in dicktionary and it brought her here. that is how she spelled it not me. Obviously I know the alphabet and how to spell.Thank you for spending time reading my post. That just goes to show that any of you have lives .Bye! :)

    Reply
  216. On-One Inportant -  August 30, 2012 - 8:48 am

    :( Spelled my name wrong..

    Reply
  217. On-One Inportant -  August 30, 2012 - 8:48 am

    Cool did not know that…

    Reply
  218. Katlyn -  August 29, 2012 - 1:50 pm

    Wow! A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, W, X, Y, Z, &

    Reply
  219. Melvin -  August 29, 2012 - 12:28 pm

    i still sing it like that but i never knew this lol

    Reply
  220. Rodney -  August 28, 2012 - 2:04 pm

    So ampersand doesn’t seem to have ever been a proper letter, but a word–since it signifies a conjunction, and not a sound for building words, like all the other letters are.

    Reply
  221. L -  August 14, 2012 - 12:46 pm

    Discovery! Wow & Wow!

    Reply
  222. Yhu'r Mom -  August 13, 2012 - 4:13 pm

    .______________________________. Uhmmm, Hi.! (/.\) c:

    Reply
  223. XD -  August 13, 2012 - 4:12 pm

    -_______- People And Their Dumb Comments… Smh.

    Reply
  224. Yhu'r Mom -  August 13, 2012 - 4:10 pm

    Bwahahahahaha.! Uhmmm ._____. … Hi.! (/.\)

    Reply
  225. Dual Blade -  August 13, 2012 - 2:39 pm

    Wow… Such letter is a loner…:/

    Reply
  226. Olivia -  August 12, 2012 - 4:20 pm

    THATS SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i <3 this site

    now i can use & with pride.

    ok here it is: the @ symbol. WHY is there a circle there?!?!??!!? it drives me crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  227. spiwarc -  August 11, 2012 - 7:10 am

    Makes sence when kids sing a-b-c…x-y-&-z but didn’t know it used to follow the z rather than precede it.

    Reply
  228. mehguy -  August 11, 2012 - 1:13 am

    hmm… very interesting :3

    Reply
  229. Emily -  August 8, 2012 - 10:56 pm

    is that why we sometimes sing “w, x, y, AND, z” so it sound better than singing “w, x, y, z, and per se and”

    Reply
  230. WOW -  July 31, 2012 - 3:31 pm

    Cool but what are the origins of : !@#$^*,?/>. and~ ?

    Reply
  231. MX -  July 30, 2012 - 3:44 pm

    You should write about the relationship between 8 and the infinity symbol.

    Reply
  232. Ray -  July 27, 2012 - 12:59 pm

    ‘Awww—Come–on–”

    1. When, did the Romans-themselves of the 1st century write in minuscule font–? They wrote in majuscule… “ET”

    2. Uncial (rounded uppercase “ƐƬ ƸƮ”) came along in the 3rd, century…

    3. And none of your examples, and, none of the available fonts on a major word-processing-app, show anything nearly, like, the origin of the “&”-form (so it doesn’t show: but must be told) that it was like an uncial-E-crossed… like the way we write ‘Rx’ as R-crossed (Latin for R[eceive] or R[emedy])…

    4. And, I prefer the E-vertical-slash which itself is probably based on the abbreviation for ET, E-apostrophe, (apostrophe indicates letters skipped)… like the C-slash ₵¢₡ for C[ents], and the S-slash $ for dollars (but that’s another story, probably for promoting the S[ilver-dollar])…

    5. And– we finally note, that, the Wingding-& happens to be particularly popular these days (beginning Friday)  especially in gold… GO $!

    Reply
  233. Somebody -  July 26, 2012 - 2:06 am

    This is very interesting! Never heard before!

    Reply
  234. Adam -  July 24, 2012 - 1:33 pm

    Oh…. that’s why we say “Y and Z”… or “Y & Z”

    Reply
  235. srikusumanjali -  July 24, 2012 - 6:58 am

    THANK YOU !

    Reply
  236. Michael brown -  July 21, 2012 - 4:43 am

    I would like to know the Origen of the @ symbol. In English we refer to it as “at” but in Spanish it is known as arroba. What is the correct English term for this simbol?

    Reply
  237. Chris -  July 18, 2012 - 8:41 am

    WHOAman……no idea

    Reply
  238. Postman -  July 17, 2012 - 6:08 pm

    Do V, W, X and Y have a derivative relationship?

    Reply
  239. Hatsune Miku -  July 17, 2012 - 2:01 am

    Hi! It Hatsune Miku! Ampersand is very unusual and very ironic. But good to know. ^_^

    Reply
  240. wearelegion -  July 14, 2012 - 2:37 pm

    I take it there are a lot of youngsters who replied to this. A 50s kid would know this unless the wool blanket of the 70s was pulled over their eyes prematurely. Schools don’t take the time to teach kids to write cursively as they did when I was a lad. Penmanship was something teachers were pretty strict about in elementary school as it was one of the tools that got you through the rest of your education. There were no computers or word processors and not every family had a typewriter lying about. Homework was handwritten no matter the subject and your grades could suffer if illegible. Multipaged essays were a true test of one’s ability to write. The ampersand was something I learned about early in life and used in my essays. Some teachers were impressed that I knew to use such.
    I would like to see a random sampling of handwritten essays from students in today’s high schools/colleges.

    Reply
  241. Joe -  July 13, 2012 - 10:43 pm

    Why do they teach children X, Y, Z, AND now I know my A, B,C,’s next time won’t you sing with me?

    Reply
  242. Johnny -  July 13, 2012 - 1:23 am

    Aww!! This is cool… Like me.. :P

    Reply
  243. latoya -  July 12, 2012 - 8:49 am

    wow. that’s so cool!

    Reply
  244. anonymouse -  July 11, 2012 - 1:02 pm

    to me i think tht waz retarded and alysha wat ever ur name is you and jon are retarded u to should go out ill call the retard couple ur wedding present a leather helmet and a drule cup lol.

    Reply
  245. Im Awesome -  July 9, 2012 - 6:27 pm

    oh and tim you left this post on my birthday! cool! 8)
    lol.
    rofl!
    lolz
    lmao
    and on and on and on……
    C’ya Guys! I’m AWESOME! 8) 8D

    Reply
  246. Im Awesome -  July 9, 2012 - 6:25 pm

    lolz i use that word everday except i dont say ampersand i do & rofl i didnt even know what it was called! hahahahhaha 8) :)

    Reply
    • BEAR -  July 22, 2014 - 7:36 am

      S&CASTLES

      Reply
  247. Faith Maurice -  July 9, 2012 - 7:22 am

    Unknown on April 7, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Anyone know what “Emancipation” means?

    @ unknown: emancipation is the act of freeing something or someone, emancipating them. It comes from the Latin noun emancipationem.
    For example, the Emancipation Declaration signed by President Abraham Lincoln stated that the US civil war was the war to free or “emancipate” the African-American slaves.

    Amadudin on June 1, 2012 at 10:56 am

    alway wanted to know whats is the name for this sign. >>> #

    @Amadudin: # I believe this is called an octothorpe

    Reply
    • Lily -  November 20, 2014 - 6:18 pm

      um… had nothing to do with this article!!!

      Reply
  248. Doodle guy -  July 9, 2012 - 5:44 am

    ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?ampersand?

    Reply
    • Lily -  November 20, 2014 - 6:17 pm

      you REALLY need a life if you have this much time…

      Reply
      • Aunty Mabel -  January 28, 2015 - 7:11 am

        na just the skill to copy

        Reply
  249. krislyn -  July 6, 2012 - 7:25 pm

    whooo thats so cool its so cool its really was really different backthan cool :P :D
    <3

    Reply
  250. tim -  July 1, 2012 - 6:23 am

    So ampersand was once in the alphabet? Oooh im going to sing the alphabet diff from everyone else now. :)

    Reply
  251. hollie wright -  June 29, 2012 - 5:50 am

    hi this is so kwl lol <3 sxxxx!!! ! !!! ! ! etrodtkdzgjdzr

    Reply
  252. matt -  June 28, 2012 - 9:43 pm

    So, does this hold up in court?? I’m being sued by a company with “and” in its name, but court papers have “&” in name??????????? Anyone???

    Reply
    • Lily -  November 20, 2014 - 6:16 pm

      um… have you even read this article?!?!? this has nothing to do with this so…

      Reply
  253. LB -  June 28, 2012 - 11:02 am

    I believe it could still be there which is clearly evident in the singing of the ABC’s…
    W, X, Y & Z. I vote we count it!

    Reply
  254. Whats a name? -  June 27, 2012 - 12:02 pm

    LAST! no little person can sneak up behind me again!

    Reply
  255. Mini Wembo -  June 27, 2012 - 11:11 am

    I genuinely enjoyed reading about this ‘and per se and’ now I can boast about my knowledge and how so totally clever I am! ;P

    Reply
  256. hehehehe -  June 27, 2012 - 8:03 am

    neat!!! ty dictionary.com!! lol

    Reply
  257. Ranya -  June 27, 2012 - 1:02 am

    I never knew that! but… how come?

    Reply
  258. LJ -  June 26, 2012 - 2:19 pm

    … where’d my “ly” go in Seriously? You might have had the same issue… LOL! :)

    LJ

    Reply
  259. LJ -  June 26, 2012 - 2:16 pm

    Very interesting….Well done. Just one catch… the mouse rollover for the pix, the word ampersand needs edited… ; ) No worries. If you are hiring an editor, let me know! Serious, well done.

    Best regards,

    LJ

    Reply
  260. Viljuskari -  June 26, 2012 - 3:50 am

    Hello, awesome website. All of the topics you posted on were very interesting. I tried to add in your RSS feed to my news reader and it a couple of.
    1

    Reply
  261. shrey@...... -  June 24, 2012 - 3:22 am

    I wud luv 2 knw……….frm wer……..’@’ ………….’#'……………….. ‘=’ n other symbols originated……..!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ……………..odrwise d info bout……’&’…………ws f@b….. :D….. :-O
    gnna share it wid ma frndzz…… :) :)lol!!!!!!!
    thnxx dictionary.com …………. ;)

    Reply
  262. shrey@...... -  June 24, 2012 - 3:06 am

    wooooaaa………..its..rely coooool 2 knw such @m@zing facts…….
    per se…….lol!!!! ;)

    Reply
  263. sonia -  June 23, 2012 - 10:52 pm

    Finding that out was so freakin AMAZIIIING!!! :D
    wow …. just unbelievable

    Reply
  264. Effi -  June 20, 2012 - 4:42 pm

    where does & go in the abc song?

    Reply
    • Lily -  November 20, 2014 - 6:13 pm

      at the end. at least when it was still in the alphabet…

      Reply
  265. me -  June 19, 2012 - 1:27 am

    coolios

    Reply
  266. lkw -  June 18, 2012 - 12:28 pm

    wwwwwwwwwwwwooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh

    Reply
  267. Anna -  June 15, 2012 - 12:41 pm

    Well you learn something new every day! Another factoid for my next quiz night!!!

    Reply
  268. ohin -  June 14, 2012 - 3:06 pm

    lol

    Reply
  269. Lavern Avant -  June 14, 2012 - 2:34 pm

    I love it, “and per se and”. Learning is so wonderful.

    Reply
  270. tupoun -  June 14, 2012 - 9:19 am

    “Very cool – thanks. I had an international technology instructor ask me once about the symbol “@”. We refer to it as the “at” symbol, but he would ask his students if they knew of another name for it. One of his northern European students referred to it as a “schnabel A”, with the “schnabel” being the word for what an elephant has on its face – its trunck. Wonder if there is another name for the “@” symbol.”

    In Czech we call it “zavináč”. It means rollmop :D

    Reply
  271. whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa -  June 14, 2012 - 12:11 am

    Why not trying to say this to everyone:
    Alpha Kenny Body
    or even better:
    You’re Sofa King Gay

    Reply
  272. Galadriel -  June 13, 2012 - 5:05 pm

    omg sooooooooo coool that is pretty knifty

    Reply
  273. Shadow -  June 13, 2012 - 1:14 pm

    Another interesting question, would be the purpose behind symbols such as {} and [] and what makes them different from (). I am also interested in the history of | and now the letter I, but the little line which shares a key with the \.

    Reply
  274. Shadow -  June 13, 2012 - 1:12 pm

    I would like to know about the ~ sign. I use it all the time when I’m happy, but to be honest, I’m not quitre certain of its purpose. Either that, or I would like to know what ` is for, and what seperates it from its akin cousin ‘.

    Reply
  275. dinolvr93 -  June 5, 2012 - 9:03 am

    i want a taco
    i cannot have one right now :(

    Reply
  276. Vanessa -  June 2, 2012 - 11:18 pm

    Yet again, agree with John but this is cool also!Never noe abt this!

    Reply
  277. Question Mark -  June 2, 2012 - 3:48 pm

    Where does dictionary.com get all of this information? After reading this, I tried to find out more online (like why it was taken off), and I couldn’t find anything!

    Reply
  278. Greg York -  June 2, 2012 - 8:59 am

    Shouldn’t that be: Which character was removed from the alphabet…?

    Reply
  279. Amadudin -  June 1, 2012 - 10:56 am

    alway wanted to know whats is the name for this sign. >>> #

    Reply
    • Sandra -  January 8, 2015 - 9:05 pm

      That is the pound sign.

      Reply
  280. Stacy -  May 30, 2012 - 6:46 pm

    i could have sworn “&” was the shorter way of writing “and ” i geuss we learn something new everyday.

    Reply
  281. logan&paddy -  May 30, 2012 - 6:34 am

    cool & exiting. Cause knowledge is power! :)