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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1,633 Comments

  1. Gaurav -  February 6, 2016 - 1:13 am

    Hey Guys,

    Now English is not my first language, so I need the hivemind to help me settle this. I have always been of the belief that the symbol &’s function is slightly different than the word ‘and’.

    For instance:

    INCORRECT
    She wore blue jeans, a red shirt, & brown shoes.

    CORRECT
    She wore blue jeans, a red shirt, and brown shoes.

    CORRECT AMPERSAND USAGE
    She wore blue jeans, a red & black shirt, and brown shoes.

    After reading this article I feel I have been way off base. What does the hivemind think?

    Reply
    • Jacquelyn Hyde -  February 8, 2016 - 2:36 pm

      Gaurav,

      Of course I can’t answer for the entire hivemind, but here’s my take on it. You are correct in each case and well-stated too, particularly as regards the “red & black shirt” (though I’d have worn black boots). However, as you may have gathered, I’m not a great fan of the ampersand, but since you’ve elected to use it you could leave out the second comma. Note that had you written ‘She wore blue jeans, a red and black shirt, and brown shoes’ the comma remains optional since it doesn’t affect our understanding either way. Stylistically, I’d have left it out.

      What bothers me more is your misuse of ‘than’: “…slightly different than the word ‘and’.” Though popular in North America, ‘than’ is wrong; it is not strong enough for the degree of separation you require here. You should use ‘different from’, keeping ‘different than’ as a (rare) relative-comparator i.e, more/less, bigger/smaller, hotter/colder. Thus if we compare black with white, using grey, we might say that grey is less ‘different than’ white is from black, or that black is more ‘different than’ grey is. Make sense?

      Nothing to do with any of that, but while I’m on, I can’t help noticing that the words ‘myself’ and ‘yourself’ are making deep inroads into the public consciousness, notably by the many who don’t know whether to use ‘I’ or ‘me’, when refering to ‘you and I’ or ‘you and me’. They don’t realise that ‘I’ and ‘me’ constitute a variable feast. Supposed to conceal this grammatic limitation, it is in fact, a dead giveaway.

      I’ve just been looking at stuff, like ‘thorn’ and things, now apparently gone. I’ve long wondered about ‘thee’, ‘thou’, ‘thy’ and ‘thine’, as featured in the Christian Bible and similar ancient writings, whereas we now use ‘you’ and ‘yours’. It seems that Latin had its equivalent of our once-common* ‘you’ (*see anon) but that it was used in the accusative mood (or mode).
      Now, correct me if I’m wrong but it seems to me that this accusative mood is very direct, whereas ‘thee’, ‘thou’ etc are polite, less ‘in yer face’, and that Latin also had its equivalent of ‘thee’ etc; something less accusative. Should this be the case then we seem to be moving into an even politer mood where ‘you’ is becoming less common and the egregious and face-slap-provoking ‘yourself’, is more often than not used by strangers trying to sell you something, as though ‘you’ were too direct, and therefore impolite.

      I think this comes from North America, which has a short but lengthening history of fear of the (crudeness of the) English language. To illustrate:
      In North America we no longer go to the shop, but to the store. We do this in Great Britain too. What used to be a shop is a store and a supermarket is a superstore. A shop, you’ll recall, is where things must be bought in order to possess them, whereas one can enter a store and simply take stuff, a store is where stuff is kept; there’s no implication of the nasty business of fiscal exchange, actually parting with one’s hard-earned money. This, remember, happens almost invariably via the creditcard, (even less painful if we say it quickly, as one word) another painless transaction, involving no expense of filthy lucre. Heaven forbid we soil our hands with such as that! (And don’t you just love the way you can lay that card onto the face of the device? Money was never so easily spent!)

      We no longer ‘have’ stuff, we ‘own’ it. “I own a set of these,” said the assistant pro, proudly demonstrating a set of Wilson’s best clubs. Great ponce! And nothing is second-hand nor used any more; it is all ‘pre-owned’. We don’t even buy stuff, we take it, or get it; ‘Oh, I’ll take two of those.’ Or ‘Oh, can I get a coffee in here?’

      Defecation and urination too have long gone out of fashion. We went to the urinal but I don’t think we ever went to the defecatory, but to the lavatory (from ‘lave’, to wash). Then that became too much and so we had to go to the toilet, another wash-word and little to do with our real reason. Now, of course we go to the ‘rest room’, presumably to rest; well, we do in North America. Blimey mate, whatever next?

      Toot-toot.

      Jackie.

      Reply
  2. Post169 -  February 5, 2016 - 6:59 pm

    I would really like to know more about the %, which I intuitively call the “percent sign”, but after taking Java programming in high school, I always think of as the “modulo”.

    Reply
  3. John -  January 31, 2016 - 5:34 pm

    Eons ago in the UK there was another symbol I recall being used as an equivalent to the & it was a like a t without the right hand bottom serif but with a flattened loop on the left hand serif.

    Reply
    • Rox -  February 9, 2016 - 3:20 am

      Was it a bit like one of your American yellow ribbons ? I never looked on this as separate from & , I think it was just a rough handwritten attempt at & .

      Reply
  4. widgel -  January 26, 2016 - 11:38 pm

    Can ‘&’ function both as an uppercase and lowercase letter (not necessarily at the same time, but possibly)? If so, are both uppercase and lowercase ‘&’ written in the same manner? If not, I find it strange that it would be a part of the alphabet. Perhaps I lack knowledge from the history of the alphabet, but in our modern alphabet, all letters function as both uppercase and lowercase letters. Could this be another reason for removing ‘&’ from the alphabet?

    Reply
    • widgel -  January 26, 2016 - 11:43 pm

      (By “If not,” I meant if ‘&’ cannot function in both uppercase and lowercase. I did not mean if ‘&’ is not written the same way in both uppercase or lowercase.)

      Reply
    • Mike -  February 9, 2016 - 9:15 am

      Uppercase and Lowercase refer to the boxes letter and character blocks were pulled from when constructing printing press plates. I believe the & had already been removed from the alphabet prior to the advent of that noble device.

      Reply
  5. jencool -  January 18, 2016 - 12:27 pm

    It looks like a stick man is draging his butt on the floor

    Reply
    • Don Knox the Informer -  January 21, 2016 - 12:06 pm

      Never done any ‘draging’. Would scraping or scratching have the same satisfactory effect?

      Reply
    • Quincy -  February 5, 2016 - 9:14 pm

      Great now I can never unsee that.

      Reply
  6. Jenny -  January 11, 2016 - 12:52 pm

    I thought that the description on this page of a letter that was removed from the alphabet might be referring to the ‘thorn’ that had the ‘th’ sound and results in quaint signs like ‘The Olde Coffee Shoppe’ being written as ‘Ye Olde Coffee Shoppe’

    Reply
    • Will -  January 21, 2016 - 3:32 pm

      I agree with Jenny. I thought thorn too.

      Reply
      • Matthew -  February 6, 2016 - 5:27 am

        “I thought thorn too.” Now THAT’S funny…ABSOLUTELY brilliant….congratulations…..wish I’d thought of it myself

        Reply
    • Jacquelyn Hyde -  January 21, 2016 - 4:17 pm

      Hmm. Interesting.

      Reply
  7. D -  January 10, 2016 - 7:30 pm

    & phoned home,

    Reply
    • hi -  January 11, 2016 - 9:37 am

      ???

      Reply
      • E -  January 12, 2016 - 6:36 pm

        E.T. phone home ;)

        Reply
        • Don Knox the Informer -  January 21, 2016 - 11:27 am

          I think he’s disconnected.

          Reply
          • Don Knox the Informer -  January 21, 2016 - 11:29 am

            As in, ‘I don’t think he made the connection’.

    • abbykimchi -  January 11, 2016 - 2:33 pm

      so you wouldn’t an amperstand in a sentence? like for example, “I am going to the store, then I shall go to the park, & then I shall come back home.”

      Reply
      • Jacquelyn Hyde -  January 13, 2016 - 9:32 pm

        abbykimchi 11.1.16

        so you wouldn’t an amperstand in a sentence?
        I wouldn’t understand it in a sentence!
        No, more seriously, you could, but it lacks style; rather like ‘I did this for the 5th time (instead of ‘I did this for the fifth time.’

        J.

        Reply
        • DATS ME -  January 17, 2016 - 6:50 am

          I can see &

          Reply
        • Peter B -  January 17, 2016 - 4:42 pm

          William Blake used the ampersand all the time.
          Would you say he lacked style?
          (Well I hope not)

          Reply
          • Jacquelyn Hyde -  January 22, 2016 - 2:44 am

            Peter B – 17.1.16.
            William Blake used the ampersand all the time.
            Would you say he lacked style?
            (Well I hope not)

            Well, Peter B (lake?), it looks as though you’ve got me there. I don’t like Blake but I wouldn’t deny his talent. And I wouldn’t say he lacks style either; not at all.

            (Inevitably) However, we need to compare like with like. I don’t think it reasonable to compare Mr. Blake with the rest of us; the mad genius was writing well-crafted poetry, not shopping lists. I think we can give him poetic licence.

            Thanks for your crit though.

            Incidentally folks, utility words, such as ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘with’ etc are more easily called to the screen than is ‘&’, if you set up your processor to do it. It’s dead easy. Try it.

            Jackie.

        • Myself -  January 19, 2016 - 8:11 pm

          Great article, but most of the commentors need to get out more. Seriously. 1500 plus comments critiquing each other’s grammar and dialectical differences. Slap yourselves repeatedly about the head and shoulders and go out for a beer or something. Sheesh….

          Reply
          • Krystal -  January 20, 2016 - 3:58 pm

            (said the person, critiquing others for critiquing others, also sitting on their computer, and in no position whatsoever to criticize)

            @myself: And so the pot called the kettle black.

          • Vincent St Hubbins -  February 1, 2016 - 8:50 pm

            Jacquelyne,

            You say utility words such as ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘with’ etc are more easily called to the screen than ‘&’ is. You make it sound as though these words exist somewhere in the computer. Do they – and how do we get them up on the screen, please?

            Vincent.

          • Soulvei -  February 5, 2016 - 5:33 pm

            Do you find this kind of stimulating conversation in a bar? If you do then please tell me which public house you frequent so that I can get in on the fun!

        • Jacquelyn Hyde -  February 1, 2016 - 7:27 pm

          On 11.1.16, abbykimchi wrote:
          “so you wouldn’t [use] an amperstand [ampersand] in a sentence? like for example, “I am going to the store, then I shall go to the park, & then I shall come back home.”

          No, I wouldn’t; I can’t see any reason to do so. However, there is a few places where its use may contribute to a message’s clarity. A piece’s style etc is, I think, exceeded by the need to communicate most effectively; the point is well illustrated in this short tale about the Hand brothers, intrepid venture booksellers in the early 1900s, who went into business together. They were quite picky and so when they employed a signwriter to paint the firm’s name over the shop, they were at pains to instruct him as to the precise height, colour and font of the letters.

          Hand & Hand was the ingenious name they chose and instructed the artisan accordingly.
          He made a splendid job of it; gold over dark green, modified Times Roman font, ten inches high and slightly stretched, it was so placed that the ampersand was smack in the middle of the sign, whose name was, of course, equally spaced from the ends. And just a tiny tad too much.

          The twee bros Hand were impressed, no doubt. However, being ‘quite picky’ they couldn’t help but agree that it would have been better to have had, as they put it to the signwriter, “…just a little bigger gap twixt Hand and and and and and Hand. (You’ll need care with your pronunciation, of course, not just a repetition of the same dull ‘and’ sound.) The signwriter understood it, and had I not wanted to make the point about communication I’d have written it as he saw it: ‘Hand and & and & and Hand’.

          I think this to be a clear case for the ampersand’s use, no? (As a matter of faint interest, this half-witted robot, my computer’s all-seeing checking device, has refused to withdraw its ugly, wavy red lines from under the last three ‘and’ words; it had no such problem with the bit I wrote using the ampers&.) (Hm!)

          Toot-toot,

          Jackie.

          Reply
      • JMH... -  January 25, 2016 - 3:48 pm

        Don Knox the Informer 21.1.16
        “As in, ‘I don’t think he made the connection.’

        No, I heard he made the connection but there was no reply.

        Reply
      • Laurent Écrivain -  February 3, 2016 - 10:19 pm

        The “&” is not really appropriate in a sentence. It’s mostly used in titles.

        Reply
        • HopeJD -  February 7, 2016 - 8:18 am

          To add to all this, at some point the “&” symbol or character was replaced by something that represents the word “and”. It is drawn like a small stick with a loop with an undercurve at the end of it. IMHO it was created as an abbreviation or a shortcut say if someone were writing a quick message and didn’t want to be bothered by writing out a big word like a-n-d. Sarcastic humor. I’ve been using this particular symbol since grade school. Open.

          Reply
    • widgel -  January 26, 2016 - 10:03 pm

      hahaha, funny. et phoned home. nice

      Reply
    • ';K;'LK' -  February 4, 2016 - 10:59 am

      ASDFA

      Reply
  8. swapankumarbasu -  December 25, 2015 - 8:03 pm

    excellent.

    Reply
    • Mike the Real -  January 1, 2016 - 5:42 pm

      swapankumarbasu 25.12.15

      “excellent.”

      What is?

      MtR.

      Reply
    • Diviya -  January 5, 2016 - 2:23 pm

      I never knew that. That’s so cool !!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
    • Jacquelyn Hyde -  January 21, 2016 - 2:14 pm

      Yeah, nice one Krystal.

      Myself: “…most of the commentors need to get out more.” Did you mean, ‘commentators’?
      Easy, innit? Coming back?

      Jackie. (Presses the Go stud, turns to the audiance and laughs.)

      Reply
      • Nancy -  January 22, 2016 - 12:13 pm

        Jackie, Here is just one definition from the internet:

        A commentator commentates events (like sport games on radio and TV) according to attributed time slot. That’s why he has to fill with words the pauses in games, events, etc.

        A commenter, on the contrary, comments.
        ………..
        definition of commentate = report on an event as it occurs, especially for a news or sports broadcast; provide a commentary

        Reply
        • Nancy -  January 22, 2016 - 12:17 pm

          One more thing:

          commentor is also gramatically correct although apparently rarer. Personally I like to write it with “or.”

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 25, 2016 - 2:15 pm

            Nancy 22.1.16

            “Jackie, Here is just one definition from the internet…”

            Well, thank you for that, Nancy. I’d assumed, erroneously perhaps, that ‘Myself’ had made an error there, where it looks as though ‘commentor’ is what s/he meant. (My vague dictionary didn’t understand that word.)

            Believe it or not, I had yet to encounter the word and if you, personally, like to write it with “or”, then that’s good enough for me, and so, so shall I. Oh, especially since it is “‘gramatically’ correct”. (Hmm. It didn’t understand that one either. Sorreee.)

            All in good fun, girl. Watch this space.

            Jackie.

  9. BUNNIES -  December 16, 2015 - 10:48 pm

    Doesn’t ‘&’ mean ‘and?’ I wonder how that was ever in the alphabet…

    Reply
    • R -  January 2, 2016 - 6:03 pm

      Didn’t you read the article?

      Reply
    • Emma -  January 11, 2016 - 1:43 pm

      I thought that too!

      Reply
      • daija oden -  February 3, 2016 - 2:39 pm

        NOBODY CARESSSSSSS EMMA

        Reply
    • Don Knox the Informer -  January 21, 2016 - 12:03 pm

      Most letters evolved from a pictorial origin, the shape representing an object. Egyptian Hieroglyphics are the best known. Over time and usage changed these shapes as scribes tended to abbreviate the work involved for shorter, quicker versions.
      The sounds that became associated with the various letters is an interesting theoretical science category all of its own.
      A script that does not follow this process is ‘Ogham” which would seem to have evolved from hand signals, number of fingers associated with a vertical ‘arm’. What you might call another branch of the linguistic tree.

      Reply
    • jacquelyn Hyde -  February 3, 2016 - 5:44 pm

      Bunnies:

      “I wonder how that was ever in the alphabet…”

      Simple; it wasn’t.

      Read the article then the various comments.

      Jacquelyn.

      Reply
    • Soulvei -  February 5, 2016 - 5:37 pm

      Comments like this boggle me.

      Reply
  10. Anonyus -  December 11, 2015 - 6:51 pm

    Ph.D King
    If you are looking

    Reply
    • Kay -  December 16, 2015 - 4:34 pm

      Please define: “Anonyus” -

      Reply
    • Mike the Real -  December 17, 2015 - 8:17 pm

      Well I’m not.

      Reply
      • widgel -  January 26, 2016 - 10:12 pm

        Hahaha! Well, he’s not. There you have it, folks!

        Reply
    • Gaurav -  February 6, 2016 - 1:22 am

      “Ph.D King
      If you are looking”

      Donkey Kong when I am not?

      Reply
  11. Saint Jimmy -  December 8, 2015 - 10:29 am

    I’ve never, in my life, found someone with less of a life than Jacqelyn Hyde. How can I ensure they read this? Probably spell something wrong. I remember when I was twelve and went around correcting spelling and grammar. Now to summon them so they can read my internet angst.

    Your laughable, Jay-kwell-in.
    You’re no-lifing is tempered only by your superiority complex.
    Their is no way you are in a romantic relationship.
    If you are, there head must be on backwards.

    Brace yourself, guys. Jacqelyn Hyde should be here any minute.

    Reply
    • Beverly -  December 13, 2015 - 9:07 am

      Oops! Saint Jimmy
      It’s ‘You’re laughable’ not ‘your’.

      Reply
      • Deb -  December 16, 2015 - 8:38 pm

        This was obviously his point.

        Reply
      • Saint Jimmy -  December 22, 2015 - 12:54 pm

        The real sad thing is that you only found one of the several intentional errors I made. I got a chuckle out of it, though. So, you know, thank you!

        Reply
        • Vincent St Hubbins -  January 22, 2016 - 4:41 am

          Saint Jimmy – December 22, 2015

          ‘The real sad thing is that you only found one of the several intentional errors I made…’

          No Jimmy. The real sad thing is you.
          Thing is, we found all your errors, not just the intended ones.
          You sad man.

          Vincent.

          Reply
    • Jake Simons -  December 14, 2015 - 5:01 pm

      You’re a faggot Jimmy. If all you do is comment on how people have no lives, you’re the real one who doesn’t.

      Reply
      • JEEEZ!! -  December 15, 2015 - 11:08 am

        Rude Much?

        Reply
        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 2, 2016 - 3:26 pm

          Elaine, 2.12.15.

          Sorry, I owe you an erratum.
          Here’s you:
          “Sorry for that last sentence.…But it proves what I meant, none of us have or use perfect grammar.”…
          It certainly does; here’s me:
          DELETE
          ““…none of us have or use perfect grammar.” Okay, catch this, kid: ‘None of us HAS or USES perfect grammar.’ (Sorry for the shouting caps; this site doesn’t do italics.)”
          INSERT
          None of us has NOR uses perfect grammar. (Only without the ‘shouting’.)

          It’s a small change, I know, but perhaps you’ll recall that old school rule, “Either, or – neither, nor.” This rule (A sentence that starts with a negative should follow with a negative.) is fairly well followed by most writers as far as “Either, or – neither, nor,” goes, but it tends to stop short of just about everything else.
          I realise there are cases where a double-negative reverses the meaning; i.e, ‘I haven’t got no money.’ but here of course, the two rules are mutually exclusive and so neither is applied.
          Jackie.

          Reply
          • #penguins_are_awesome!!! -  January 8, 2016 - 5:23 pm

            Um dude. You do know that this IS a comment section on how ‘&’ was the 27th letter right??!!! This really isn’t the place for you to say sorry or whatever to your friend or something ok?!?!?!

          • Don Knox the Informer -  January 21, 2016 - 11:35 am

            None of us have use for perfect grammar ‘cos not one of us has.

        • HopeJD -  February 7, 2016 - 8:26 am

          ok, let’s just take it outside. we are here to educate, be educated and just have fun with words. As a writer, I find it quite interesting.

          Reply
      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 17, 2015 - 3:11 pm

        Beverly 13.12.15 and Jake 14.12.15:

        How nice to read those first two responses which, whilst not actually supportive of me are at least against Saint Jim-jams. Thank you both.

        I’m always a tad disappointed when those such as Jim-jams take my work as an expression of superiority, (as if I needed it) and in the process quite missing its serious purpose, which is to help others and to engage in serious discussion. Still, I suppose it takes all sorts, and besides, superiority is such a relative term. Were is not for the likes of Mr Pyjamas here, there would be nobody to whom to be superior – and thus, no superiority.

        Let me remind you of your contributions if I may (in case this doesn’t go where I’ve placed it):

        Beverly- December 13, 2015 – 9:07 am
        Oops! Saint Jimmy
        It’s ‘You’re laughable’ not ‘your’.
        Quite right too, Beverly. But there’s a load more yet. See you again farther down the piece.

        Jake Simons- December 14, 2015 – 5:01 pm
        You’re a faggot Jimmy. If all you do is comment on how people have no lives, you’re the real one who doesn’t

        Hmm, I’m not too sure that commenting on other people’s lives necessarily makes poor Jimmy a homosexual, but you may be right. Perhaps you’re invoking some other meanings of ‘faggot’? What I wonder is how the fellow can so readily judge another’s life or the lack thereof. I think he probably judges others by himself; it’s a common enough trait among the untutored and ill-informed. Why not sit back with Beverly and imagine this silly person cringing. Perhaps he can learn a little something after all?
        Both of you, why not just sit back and relax, watching as I strip this boy’s simple and foolish challenge to pieces?
        Right, here we go:

        Saint Jimmy- December 8, 2015 – 10:29 am
        This essay gets off on the wrong foot; there’s a logical error in the opening sentence – if indeed it is a sentence(?).

        ERROR 1 “I’ve never, in my life, found someone with less of a life than Jacqelyn Hyde.”

        Quite apart from the unstylish and boring repetition of ”life”, Jacqelyn Hyde is a person, not a life.
        Your opening gambit would be less laughable, Mr PeeJays, had you not omitted the simple word ‘has’.
        Thus: ‘…with less of a life than Jacqelyn Hyde has.’ Or, with a rather pale shade of erudition, ‘…with less of a life than has Jacqelyn Hyde.’ Either of these would have got a point, in fact the second would have 1.5 points for its possessing superior (there’s that word, James, ‘superior’) poetics. However, (comma) no points for that one.

        ERROR 2 “How can I ensure they read this?”

        Well, it’s written in English; were it written in American the writer would wonder how he could ‘insure’ etc.
        But, who’s this? Young Pyjamas began with (the lovely Miss) Jacqelyn Hyde, then in the very next sentence she suddenly metamorphoses into two people! No wait! Oh, I get it, as I’m sure some of you have already; it’s this old Jeckyl and Hyde thing. Well well, some of us are so easily confused.(Shakes head and grins; clearly this has happened before.)

        ERROR 3 “Probably spell something wrong.”
        Oh no, you can do much better than that. Watch and learn.

        Absolutely no marks for this, not even one; it’s not even a sentence. Next time, Jacket and Trousers, use a semi-colon; they look like this (;) Research this item for homework. Have it to me by Monday.

        “I remember when I was twelve…” When was that, Sunshine, last month? “…and went around correcting spelling and grammar.”
        Now there’s a bold claim, young shaver, except that the computer looks after you’re(‽) spelling, though I don’t doubt that the grammar and punctuation are (or should it be, ‘is’? What do you think, Jimbo?) original – most original in fact. (Laughs up sleeve.)

        ERROR 4 “Now to summon them so they can read my internet angst.”

        Oh dear; we’ve fallen into that single/plural thing again, have we? Maybe work on the maths a bit, or at least simple arithmetic, before getting onto the hard stuff like English, hmm?

        ERROR 5 They’re really ramping up here aren’t they, Jimmy? “Your laughable, Jay-kwell-in.”

        May I refer you to Beverly, quoted above, and again here?
        “Oops! Saint Jimmy
        It’s ‘You’re laughable’ not ‘your’.”
        (Er – a comma after “laughable” isn’t essential, Beverly; it just carries that little extra bit of style. Sorry about that, but I hope it helps.)
        She’s right though, Jammy; you are laughable. I like that in a clown.

        ERROR 6 “You’re no-lifing is tempered only by your superiority complex.”

        “You’re”??? “You’re”??? Now Beverly and I have both had a go at you on this – and still you get it wrong! What’s the matter with you? Eh?

        ERROR 7 It ain’t a complex; oh no, this is the real thing, baby – as far as you’re concerned.

        ERRORS 8&9 “Their is no way you are in a romantic relationship.
        If you are, there head must be on backwards.”

        I’ll be generous here. As you can see, I think it always pays to be nicer than necessary. I reckon you’ve switched those two just to tease – because surely no-one, not even you, can be that stupid?

        ERROR 10 “Brace yourself, guys. Jacqelyn Hyde should be here any minute.”

        Brace yourselVES, guys.” It’s that old number thing again.You just can’t get it right, can you?

        Well, that “any minute” was more than a week. Sorry about that – been busy with other things. But I think that takes it up to eleven! And why not?

        So, young Trousers, you thought you’d muscle in on the big girls, did you? Not so easy, is it? Still, you’ve got perhaps your highest score ever. What’s that? In your life‽ (By the way, wait till you do score with a girl – I reckon you’ll love it.) Meanwhile you’ve written ten sentences – and all of them wrong! You’ve scored eleven out of ten. Well done. You clown.

        Jacquelyn Hyde.

        Reply
        • Saint Jimmy -  December 22, 2015 - 12:51 pm

          Please shorten and resubmit, Jacky. Then I’ll read it.

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 1, 2016 - 6:36 pm

            Saint Jimmy- December 22, 2015 – 12:51 pm

            “Please shorten and resubmit, Jacky. Then I’ll read it.”

            No, certainly not. See below.

            Saint Jimmy- December 22, 2015 – 12:54 pm

            “The real sad thing is that you only found one of the several intentional errors I made. I got a chuckle out of it, though. So, you know, thank you!”

            Ah, so you HAVE read it then. See? Just another bridge too far.

            Er – “…several intentional errors…” Yes, we know; we knew all along; all we needed was the proof. Thank you for that.
            (The transposed ‘their’ and ‘there’ were the clinching giveaway.) Foolish boy – you overstretched yourself there, didn’t you? Eh?

            Btw, here’s you; “…you only found one of the several…” Still having problems with the numbers, then?

            Jackie

          • Don Knox the Informer -  January 21, 2016 - 11:39 am

            What is the short version of ‘pedantic’? Maybe a little less of a lot more? Hate to go on about it though.

        • Mike Seckerson -  December 24, 2015 - 7:29 am

          Jackie, girl. (I trust I may call you that?)

          I’m sorry to say that for all your cleverness, ‘our’ esteemed grammar queen, you’ve missed a foolish and glaring item of logic in Saint Pyjamas the Gormless’s juvenile essay – what,that or which, I think you’d be pleased to call egregious.

          After his, ’Their (lol) is no way you are in a romantic relationship.’ Of course, he gives no reason for his singular deduction. I can’t see that he has one (pardon me but I find you very attractive, at least I like to read your writing style – blonde too, eh?); I expect he’s just jealous.
          Then he emphatically renounces his firm stance on your love life ‘no way’ with his back-pedalling ‘If you are, there (lol again) head must be on backwards. The fool has contradicted himself and taken all the wind from his sails. What an idiot.

          He’s also, which you might have missed, switched from singular to plural yet again; I reckon it’d be better as “their HEADS must be on backwards.”
          I wonder what his problem is?

          Btw, thank you for doing me the honour of quoting me in yours to Bill Gates. Very gratifying.

          Keep going, girl and stay critical ‒ it does ’em good.

          Love,

          Mike.

          P.S. I liked the awful Santa joke, but whilst I’m on, how’s this for a mod?
          Question: What’s this? Oh, Oh, Oh.
          Answer: It’s Santa talking backwards for Christmas.
          AND A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR READERS‼

          M.

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 25, 2016 - 3:11 pm

            Don Knox the Informer 21.1.16 (2)

            “What is the short version of ‘pedantic’? Maybe a little less of a lot more?…”
            No, Don; that was – dead right, spot on, quite nice. [‘Nice’ – look it up. OED:18th Cent. ‘Quite’ - ditto.]

            Another offering from the above commentor: (See, Nancy?)

            “None of us have use for perfect grammar ‘cos not one of us has.”
            Nice, neat & clever try, Don, but this time no cigar: ‘None of us has…’

            [None – a compression of ‘no-one’. Thus ‘No one of us hazzz’. [No one of us > no-one of us > none of us.] Thus, ‘None of us has a use for perfect grammar ‘cause none of us has.’
            There’s little value in a circular argument, I think.

            Jacquelyn Hyde.

        • Jimmy -  December 28, 2015 - 10:45 pm

          Actually Jackie, if you search for ‘practice’ on this site it will tell you it’s both a noun and a verb. I actually have some guitar instructional books written by an Englishman and he always spells it with a ‘c’.

          What I’d like to know is, why do English people spell words like ‘data’ and ‘China’ but pronounce them ‘dater’ and ‘Chiner’? And at the same time they say “ca” when it’s spelled ‘car’. (Lots of misplaced R’s :)

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 4, 2016 - 4:01 pm

            Jimmy 28.12.15

            “…if you search for ‘practice’ on this site it will tell you it’s both a noun and a verb.”

            We’ve been here before, and so has ‘our’ Bill Gates, but let me remind you, this site is written in American, which is not a language but a Creole, an English dialect, a deliberately simplified version of an ‘original’ (I’m sure I can hear the multiple clicking of safeties (safetys?) coming off as the Coo Clucks Clan on both sides prepare their final say) and proper language. As such it uses a simple version of the original, where ‘practice’ is both noun and verb.
            However, in the original, the verb is spelled ‘practise’ and if I write that there is no such verb as ‘practice’ and no gerund neither, then I am writing in English, strictly English. It’s not that I never write in dialect nor Creole, nor any of many variants, but I choose when I do, as in, for example, “ain’t”. Okay?

            “…some guitar instructional books written by an Englishman and he always spells it with a ‘c’.”

            Yes, that is as may be, but he’s wrong; sadly, there are so many sloppy English, both speakers and writers; and note, just because he’s English and plays the guitar, doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s right – an authority on his own language; he’s probably made other errors too, like ‘a dice’ when the singular of ‘dice’ is ‘a die’. Many English fall for that one, especially maths writers when dealing with elementary stats and probability. The list is a bit long…

            Now we’re at the point which interests me most: accents and pronunciation: “…why do English people spell words like ‘data’ and ‘China’ but pronounce them ‘dater’ and ‘Chiner’?

            The simple answer, Jimmy, is, they don’t. But the fact is that, unlike most Americans, data’s first ‘a’ rhymes with ‘today’ (and I reckon the yanks have it closer to being correct, i.e. like its Latin root) the second ‘a’ sounds less like an ‘a’ than a short ‘u’.
            So, two versions then: short and flat, to rhyme with ‘cat’, and the longer, taller, rhyming with stray. (Stray cat, get it?) The second syllables are generally sounded by both countries’ speakers as ‘uh’, as in ‘datuh’. So, nobody says ‘data’ nor ‘China’ in English; we say ‘datuh’ and ‘Chinuh’.
            Note, in major America, your example ‘dater’ sounds more like ‘dadrr’. You’ll need care with your ‘r’ sounds, Jimmy, since they’re one main difference between English and American pronunciations.
            A dramatic example of that occurred when I was in America for Christmas. We had curry. I used the word in English and one chick said, “Whaddid yew say – crry, was that?” I repeated it. She copied, with something like, “Cuwwy?” It really sounded kinda cute and we played with it awhile, but she never spoke Spanish to me. (You need to know the song to get the joke – hands up all who do! (Freddy Fender)) Neither could she say ‘curry’. (I do 30+ hugely different accents; Americans hardly ever do anything but their own.) Now here’s the point: the American ‘r’ is so highly rolled that it almost obliterates any adjacent vowel. This never (I think) happens in England.(Unless you know better.)
            ‘Dahtuh’ whose first syllable rhymes with the English ‘car’, bears no serious examination because it is no more than poncery. (Poncery: Making a word sound more important, or ‘upper-class’ than it is.

            Finally, at last:
            “…at the same time they say “ca” when it’s spelled ‘car’”

            Now, N.B. (Note Well) ’car’ spelled thus should not be used to describe the word ‘car’, because this implies a rolled R at the word’s end. (carr.) The closer spelling is ‘cah’, since within the Home Counties (those immediately surrounding London), the ‘r’ at a word’s end is almost never pronounced, unlike the rest of England, and Ireland, and Scotland, where it is, though not in Wales.

            It’s just a tad over 140 words but I hope it helps.

            Jackie.

          • just some random kid -  January 5, 2016 - 10:59 am

            um Jimmy sorry to be critical but the answer to your question is that the British can say it how they like as long as its the way the word was said when it was invented and the correct pronunciation eg: the British say China as Chiner just because that is how the word is pronounced as in English we have silent letters and additional letters Yet the British can and have the right to pronounce it this way as the language is theirs as most country’s have languages named after them or a tribe or a certain history piece eg: French-France Spanish-Spain German-Germany Most country’s in Europe and Asia have languages named after there country Same with a few African Countrys and Oceanian Countrys but most Colonys use Languages that belong to the original country eg: America Uses a language that isnt its own it uses english as its main language so therefore english belongs to the english as there is an american english but that only contains a few words that are different eg armour and armor or colour and color therefore the english have the upmost right to say it like that as it is there language like for example my name is Damian most people say Day-me-an but its actually pronounced Da-me-an as it is my name and thats the way it was pronounced when given to me thats how it is no mater what anyone says my name is Damian pronounced Da-me-an or like how you get names that are english but pronounced completely different to how there spelled eg: sioban wich is pronounced Shuh-vaw-n and that name actually is english plus compare how you say these words thought though threw through they sound similar and different and they are all english words british words in the british language

        • Norrie -  December 30, 2015 - 8:25 am

          Jacquelyn

          You are just the type of person I’ve been looking for!
          Once, in a pub argument, I claimed that The United States of America does not have a proper name. My argument being that the word ‘United’ is an adjective and the words ‘States’ and ‘America’ are both nouns.
          My argument is that, as The United Kingdom of Great Britain etc. is not a country, but is comprised of its parts, countries England, Scotland and Wales (Northern Ireland) then The United States of The American Continent cannot claim to be a country. Am I correct?
          Sorry about my grammar (and my grandad).

          Norrie

          E&OE

          Reply
          • Norrie -  December 30, 2015 - 8:30 am

            Sorry, I repeated myself
            with the words ‘My argument is’.

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 4, 2016 - 5:21 pm

            Norrie 30.12.15

            Jacquelyn

            “You are just the type of person I’ve been looking for!”

            Okay.

            “Once, in a pub argument,”…

            Oh, those crazy, wonderful, pub arguments! How well I recall. What a hoot they were! Still are, come to that.

            “…I claimed that The United States of America does not have a proper name. My argument being that the word ‘United’ is an adjective and the words ‘States’ and ‘America’ are both nouns.”

            Well so far, Norrie, you’ve proved that a hot tea-pot doesn’t exist; neither does a cold one. Your argument being that the words ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ are adjectives and the words ‘tea’ and ‘pot’ are nouns. I think there may be something not quite right in there.

            “My argument is that, as The United Kingdom of Great Britain etc. is not a country, but is comprised of its parts, countries England, Scotland and Wales (Northern Ireland) then The United States of The American Continent cannot claim to be a country. Am I correct?”

            I think not. There are two main grounds for this: The United Kingdom is (ostensibly) ruled by a king. North America, by a president; so the UK has a valid claim to being a country, ruled by a king. When its inhabitants go to war they do so, or so they are told, ‘for king and country’.
            Next, you must compare like with like: if it were true that The United Kingdom is not a country, but comprises its parts, then why should this also apply to North America? Surely North America also comprises its parts, though not all of these are countries.
            Let me put it slightly differently: you said, “The United States of The American Continent cannot claim to be a country.” Yet you appear to admit to its being a continent. I presume you’re sticking with that? Only if you are, then if The United States of America is a Continent, then so is Great Britain.

            Sorry about that, Norrie; your grandparents too. (Though as ever, I appreciated the joke.)

            Here’s another argument for you: You may be familiar with the swivel-eyed comedian, Marty Feldman. There is a few net interviews available. There may be one where he’s just returned from The States, to which he refers as the Untied States, (note the spelling) his reason being that they are anything but united, and this seems to be true in many important ways, many of them legal. Researching this for an imminently forthcoming book, I found that what is a crime (such as incest) in this state, is not so in the next; you cannot marry your adopted ‘sibling’ here, whereas you can just across the state line; siblings can marry if they weren’t raised together, with all the attendant dangers therein. United? Hardly.

            Regards,

            Jackie.

            E&OA (accepted).

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 5, 2016 - 10:55 am

            Norrie 30.12.15 – 8:30 am

            “Sorry, I repeated myself
            with the words ‘My argument is’.”

            That’s okay; no apology necessary.
            Well, I did think it a bit boring, but here’s a tip:
            1 Write yer stuff in the sand box of a new page in Word.
            2 Save and close it.
            3 Reopen it – after a break.
            4 Copy it. [This is best done in 'View' and 'View Side by Side'.]
            5 Compare the two.
            6 Make changes.
            7 Repeat 3 – 7 inc. until you’re happy with it.
            8 Block, copy and paste to the blogsite.
            9 Send it, then re-read it to find what’s still not good about it.
            10 Now comes the most important bit: Relax, stop criticising it, then enjoy it.
            11 It still may not be any good but if you’ll apply the “Relax, stop criticising it, then enjoy it.” rule you can be happy.

            12 Er – don’t be tempted to apply 11 on its own; the “Relax, stop criticising it, then enjoy it” rule is useless without plenty of practise — that’s ‘practise’, punters. If you want to learn a language, not just a dialect, then watch this space…

            Jackie.

        • Just Rich -  January 2, 2016 - 8:22 am

          This may be tad inappropriate, but are you single Ms. Hyde? After reading your articulate, humorous and elegant prose, I may be in love with you. In short, your style and wit are appreciated. You are very classy and intellectually stimulating. Thank you.

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 4, 2016 - 10:47 pm

            Just Rich – 2.1.16

            Hello, Rich.

            Well, I don’t know quite what to say. Whilst I appreciate your approach and style, I have to tell you of certain contractual restrictions and obligations; there’s a limit to what I can divulge, including my martial status – sorry, marital status. However, I’ve checked with my publisher, Caveat Lector, and established that I can put out the item called About The Author, which is part of the regular publicity anyway. It’s a draught of a proposed interview for The Times. I hope it helps.

            “Jacquelyn Hyde is an ancient name and a nom-de-plume to boot. Erstwhile engineer and lecturer in various subjects, Jackie is pretty much a permanent student. An honours graduate of the Open University, she majored in English Literature, with Popular Culture on the side.
            ‘That wasn’t half a good course,’ she insists, litotically. ‘Everyone said so.’

            Her slightly enigmatic, slightly post-modernist style is best slightly described. It consists in words roughly cobbled together on a page, added, subtracted, then tweaked and tweaked until she gives up.
            Writers call it honing.

            She aims for a smooth, poetical style; stylish, without being stylised. Or is it the other way about? I asked her. She doesn’t know. (And I don’t think she cares.)

            Passionate about language and a humorist at heart, her pet hates are litotes, (see the second paragraph), split infinitives, (see the beginnings of old Startrek re-runs, boldly gone), bad scansion and mindless corporate slogans, especially those that expect you to answer them: “Why Not?”

            Of grammar she says, ‘When I was a kid at school they said, “Remember the Golden Rule,” whatever that was. And they also said, “Never start a sentence (which must contain at least a noun and a verb. Hey, that might have been the Golden Rule!) with ‘And’ or ‘But’”. But I outgrew them. And it works. Go for the poetic effect,’ she says. ‘Every time.’ (See Literary Notes.)

            My next question returned a puzzled frown. ‘Vocabulary?’ she teased.
            I explained anyway.

            ‘Oh,’ she said. ‘Well, what’s the point of using a simple word when a complex one does just as well, and usually much better? “Simplicity only makes things easier for simple people to think they understand.” It’s one of Faughty’s,’ she explains, though I sense she’s laughing at herself.

            Like her work, her humour is well honed. Perilously close to the surface, it conceals a grim intent. ‘There is,’ she says solemnly, ‘no joke without fire. It’s another Faughtian adage,’ she recalls with a discerning wink.
            I asked about her influences. ‘Well, the usual suspects of course: Atwood; Dickens; Heller and Hemingway, (not the solicitors); Spilligan, and Willy the Shake. And of course, Austen and Wolfe (not the shipbuilders). And, what’s the name of that other woman, the one who wrote Fifty Shades of Grey? Oh, and not forgetting Old Possum’s Book of Practical Clichés. But mostly I think, the Irish philosopher, the late W.D.Faughty(!).’

            There’ve been so many stories about the late W.D.Faughty(!), the colourful, second-hand car-dealer who’d changed gear in mid-career, going on to manage a ménage (a garage, actually,) of dim rock and roll stars of the mid to late sixties. He made a fortune at it then gave it all away; mostly – as a result of several court cases – back to its rightful owners, the dim rock and roll stars of the mid to late sixties, whom he used to manage (well, that’s the rumour anyway), to become an impoverished hermit, which is to say, a poor philosopher, in the ivory tower of a small, discreet, and unmentionable university. It was there I met Jacquelyn, while studying for our Masters’ under (the weight of) the great W.D.Faughty(!).

            Faughty has written many learned papers, the most controversial of which is surely his (failed) Ph.D. thesis. It is titled suggestively, On the Perfidy of Inanimate Objects and is a splendid, magnificent, if somewhat welterweight item. Written during a brief bout of slimming, and thus in his non-lunch breaks, it is a real triumph of style over sustenance, which is still giddily discussed in concentric circles, and elliptical guesses thereat, these many years later.

            I frowned for she had called him “the late W.D.Faughty(!)” complete with the (optional) exclamation mark, which turns out to be due to a christening altercation between his atheist parents and a slightly deaf and very vindictive vicar of Christ.

            I was surprised; I knew all about Faughty’s living will, I even went to his living funeral, but I didn’t know he’d actually died.

            ‘Not quite,’ she smiles, a tiny glint in her eye. ‘At least, he wasn’t first thing this morning – well, second thing actually. His seminars should start at nine – but he never comes before ten past.’

            That, at least, is true.

            Mickey T’Hereal.

          • #penguins_are_awesome!!! -  January 8, 2016 - 5:24 pm

            You sure your rich??

        • Madison Gomez -  January 3, 2016 - 10:20 am

          I’m going to have to say before I saw this I thought “She is going to correct at least 10, although none of these would be something the average person would find, so you would probably use a website like grammarly.com or something similar” yet now that I am thinking about it, the amount of mistakes you made in this is probably about 15x that of Saint Jimmy’s. I am not picking sides or arguing like a 2-year-old girl, but I do support Saint Jimmy’s point.

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 4, 2016 - 9:38 pm

            Madison Gomez 3.1.16

            Hello, Madison.

            Welcome to the arena. ““She is going to correct at least 10…”

            I presume that you refer to me, as ‘she’, in which case let me deal with you peremptorily. You scored 4/10. It was rubbish; too much for me to bother with, to discuss in detail.

            Moving on then, “I am thinking about it, the amount of mistakes you made in this is probably about 15x that of Saint Jimmy’s.”

            You don’t really believe he’s a saint, do you? But yes, I think you do. Okay, sonny; you can talk the talk, (at least, you can babble the babble,) but can you walk the walk? Let’s see your ‘probable’ 150 mistakes! Hmm? Nah, I bet you can’t even find five! Go on, I dare you to try. Go on, do it.

            No? Okay, now here’s the classic, the one that lost you most marks, four to be exact: “I am not picking sides (n)or arguing like a 2-year-old girl…”
            A two year old‽ And a girl‽ Oh dear, “The lady protests too much, methinks.”
            ‘How strange it is that we betray all in our denial of that of which we were not accused.’ Arguing like a 2-year-old girl is exactly what you do, though I suspect an unfortuitous miscalculation; I think you meant twelve. Listen, can you come back in ten years? Will they let you? Hmm?

            I doubt that you understand much of that, but there are those who will; this is for them.

            Again: “I am not picking sides or arguing like a 2-year-old girl, but I do support Saint Jimmy’s point.”

            Okay, Madison, here’s your last chance: what is Saint Jimmy’s point?

            Just one more thing: you’re not in the same school class as Saint Jimmy, are you?

            Dr J M Hyde.

        • Jeanne -  January 3, 2016 - 1:07 pm

          I think I love you, Jacquelyn Hyde.

          Reply
          • Jeanne -  January 3, 2016 - 1:12 pm

            Or….Jacquelyn Hyde, I think I love you. Of course, which ever suits you.

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 6, 2016 - 7:32 pm

            Jeanne – January 3, 2016 – 1:07 pm & 1:12 pm

            I think I love you, Jacquelyn Hyde. Or….Jacquelyn Hyde, I think I love you. Of course, which ever suits you.

            Well Jeanne, this is very interesting and I wonder why you feel this way when you know so little about me: my favourite colour, music, boyband, perfume and so on. Do you think you could write and say more?

            I can tell you this: there was a TV writer whose work I loved; I thought, ‘I wish I could write like that, and I’d so much like to meet her. I haven’t but I heard her on the radio, Desert Island Discs, where guests talk about themselves and choose eight records they’d take to an island if they were stranded there.

            As a comedy writer she was, of course, asked about her influences, and did she like Shakespeare?
            “Mmm – he’s okay.”
            I thought, ‘That’s just what I’d say.’

            Well her first record choice just knocked me out; it was my all-time favourite Pink Floyd track. Her next had the same effect. I was more and more amazed as her musical tastes and mine were so coincidental. Five out of the eight were faves and I bought the other three right away. Isn’t that amazing? Does this ring a bell with you?

            Take care,

            Jackie.

        • Dano -  January 12, 2016 - 8:08 am

          Ms. Hyde wrote, “I’m always a tad disappointed when those such as Jim-jams take my work as an expression of superiority … and in the process quite missing its serious purpose…”

          From the perspective of parallel structure I understand it would be more correct to use “take my work” and “miss its purpose”, or restructure the first part to use “taking”.

          However, given Hyde’s acuity with grammar, I am wondering if it’s more a question of style than correctness.

          Reply
          • Jacquelyn Hyde -  January 12, 2016 - 5:33 pm

            Dano. Nice one!

            First, let me take your point – absolutely.

            Thank you for that, and thank you too for the possible get-out, namely, ‘style’; a very plausible suggestion, incidentally.

            I don’t know whether you’ve seen my reply to Just Rich’s post of 2.1.16, which includes a piece titled ‘About the Author’ where a journalist explains, “She aims for a smooth, poetical style; stylish, without being stylised…” (What a ponce the fellow is, to be sure!)

            He then mentions the Golden Rule &c. “Never start a sentence with ‘And’ or ‘But’”. Her next two sentences commence with ‘And’ and ‘But’. [But I outgrew them. And it works.] “Go for the poetic effect,” she says. “Every time.” That’s three sentences which aren’t: “But I, And I,” and “Every time.”

            So here we have it – Poetics. Of the divers theories about writing style, two favourites are: ease of reading, and the text’s appearance on the page. Leaving aside the latter, it seems that reading ease comes from rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, assonance et al. So the good doctor Hyde spends much of her time honing these, as well as eliding foolish blunders of course…

            Now compare:
            “I’m always a tad disappointed when those such as Jim-jams take my work as an expression of superiority…and in the process quite miss its serious purpose…” with
            “I’m always a tad disappointed when those such as Jim-jams take my work as an expression of superiority…and in the process quite missing its serious purpose…”
            Yours is better by parallelity of structure of course, though I think mine to be just a tad more poetical.

            Incidentally, I’ve just seen a good example of poetics in motion, thus: “From the perspective of parallel structure…” Recognise it?

            Well I’ve enjoyed our little chat; perhaps we should do it more often.Yes?

            While I’m on, it was Claudio who wrote to tell of his writing method: “In emails I make short sentences and use an abundance of commas: ( see the semicolon) then I use Google translate. I also translate my text back to check it. It works well. It is a catastrophe without the commas.”

            [Catastrophe or catastrophic comes from the Greek: ‘down’ and ‘turning’.]

            ‘It is a catastrophe without the commas’ caused me to think that perhaps a catastrophe is a part of speech, so a catastrophic sentence is one without any commas!

            Claudio, please don’t think that I’m laughing at you, or at your expense; your writing’s terrific for a non-native speaker. In fact, if you can see this (fairly subtle) joke, I reckon you’ve got it pretty-well cracked.

            My regards to you both.

            Jacquelyn.

        • No one youd know -  January 12, 2016 - 1:35 pm

          Penguines etc.

          Mind your own business, you ignorant troll.

          Reply
          • Jacquelyn Hyde -  January 29, 2016 - 6:51 pm

            Dano
            Yours of 12.1.16 has caused me to think about parallel structure, which phrase I confess was new to me. I realised that it is a device I’ve avoided either liminally or subliminally these many years.

            Repetition can get boring, of course, as well as making for an easy, even persuasive read. The trick, as in life, is to tread the best path twixt novelty and boredom. It is here that each sentence must be assessed on its own merits.

            Here’s something denser than the example used in our previous correspondence. First, perfectly parallel:
            The priest speaks; he draws back the curtain and Kelly hears a reassuring sound; it is the magic of a partly understood language as he makes the Latin blessing: “In nomine patris et filii et spiritus sanctus.”

            Four present continuous verbs in one sentence. I think it’s getting too much; it’s overloaded, especially where the three feature closely together. I modify it slightly, putting a gerund between two of the three.

            The priest speaks, drawing back the curtain and Kelly hears a reassuring sound; it is the magic of a partly understood language as he makes the Latin blessing: “In nomine patris et filii et cetera.”*

            Now, I think that’s easier on the mind. Pity the poor reader, who has to wade through hundreds of pages of this stuff to find out whodunnit.

            *The change is to show that I really do care about the ampersand – just not enough to use it in conversation.

            Jacquelyn.

        • Jacquelyn Hyde -  January 15, 2016 - 6:19 pm

          #penguins_are_awesome!!! – 8.1.16
          “Um dude. You do know that this IS a comment section on how ‘&’ was the 27th letter right??!!! This really isn’t the place for you to say sorry or whatever to your friend or something ok?!?!?!”

          “Dude”‽ “Dude”‽ Where do you get off, you creep‽ Dude is for blokes, not doctor ladies. Ms, Jackie and Jacqueline are all female; did you miss that simple point, er – Dude?
          I expect so, since anyone who thinks this site IS STILL a comment section on how ‘&’ was the 27th letter, or whatever, as it was back in 2011, is many miles behind most of the rest of us. You need to revise ‘the story so far’.
          Like most critics here, you start badly and then get worse; in this case culminating in your very ill-advised, “This really isn’t the place for you to say sorry or whatever to your friend or something ok?!?!?!.” (What’s up, can’t you do this ‘‽’). Wrong! It IS EXACTLY the place to apologise (apologise: that’s posh-speak for saying “sorry or whatever…”) In civilised, polite society, people make mistakes, just as they do in your red-neck area (only perhaps less often). When they do, they apologise (apologise: that’s posh-speak etc.).
          I’m intrigued by your odd notion of apologising “…or whatever(,) to your friend or something…” Or something ― what’s that, a chair, a pencil “or something”? Hmm; seems a touch unnecessary to me. What are you, nuts ‒ as well as a very rude little bantling‽ (Look it up.)
          Let me iterate the classic words of “No one youd know”, complete with his or her spelling and punctuation errors: “Penguines etc.
          Mind your own business, you ignorant troll.”
          Oh, btw: Your punctuation is crap.
          See to it.

          J.M.Hyde

          Reply
        • jeff smart -  January 29, 2016 - 3:54 pm

          Get a life,Bro.

          Reply
          • jacquelyn Hyde -  February 2, 2016 - 7:56 pm

            Yeah, that’s right; I agree: get yerself a life.
            Jacquelyn.

      • Saint Jimmy -  December 22, 2015 - 12:57 pm

        Jakey, I don’t know what you’re trying to say, my man. Is calling me a homosexual supposed to offend me if I unapologetically like the same sex? Oh, you meant ‘faggot’ as in ‘annoying’. No, yeah, no arguments there.

        Reply
        • jacquelyn Hyde -  February 2, 2016 - 8:23 pm

          Saint Jimmy.
          No arguments??? And yet, “No, yeah,” Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? It’s the shortest argument I’ve ever read!

          While I’m on:
          Your rude little piece of 8.12.15 treated us to this gem: “I’ve never, in my life, found someone with less of a life than Jacqelyn Hyde. How can I ensure they read this? Probably spell something wrong.” Yes Jimmy and so you did. ‘Jacquelyn’ is spelled with a U. Or was that another of your ‘deliberate’ mistakes?
          J.

          Reply
    • Kay -  December 16, 2015 - 4:30 pm

      their head not there head, are you a stupid head?

      Reply
    • Kay -  December 16, 2015 - 4:50 pm

      Saint Jimmy, you require a proofreader/editor such as I am. Please check your misuse of the words “their” and “there”and “your” and you’re” . I won’t even mention your tortured sentence structure or your grammar and punctuation discrepancies. You’re more to be pitied than censured. I love language arts. Yours is killing me. KMN (Kill me now)

      Reply
      • Saint Jimmy -  December 22, 2015 - 12:52 pm

        ———The Point——–>
        Your head: O

        Reply
        • Jacquelyn Hyde -  January 15, 2016 - 6:47 pm

          Madison Gomez 4.1.16

          Recall my inviting you to redeem yourself somewhat by finding and announcing your favourite saint’s point?
          Well, you lucky person, it seems that Sonny Jim’s done the job for you. Fed up with making a fool of himself with his silly writing and dodgy arithmetic he’s tried his hand at another medium, and I think he’s finally found his forte ‒ cave painting! Look here:

          Saint Jimmy – December 22, 2015 – 12:52 pm
          ———The Point——–>
          Your head: O

          Doesn’t mean anything but it’s much better than his previous efforts.

          Jacquelyn Hyde.

          Reply
    • DenDen -  December 21, 2015 - 6:08 pm

      “Another Oops” …. Saint Jimmy
      It’s ‘their head’, not ‘there’.

      Reply
    • John Molloy -  December 29, 2015 - 8:32 pm

      Ahhh! so yu think yer pretty smart thar Saint Jimmy me lad. but whilst I wus
      readin yurs and Jacky’s fussin, I come to the conclusion that you and yer darlin Jacqelyn were one in the same!….busted! Hello Jekyll and Hyde!.

      Reply
      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 4, 2016 - 11:22 pm

        John Molloy 29.12.15.

        “Ahhh! so yu think yer pretty smart thar Saint Jimmy me lad. But…I come to the conclusion that you and…Jacqelyn were one in the same!….busted! Hello Jekyll and Hyde!.”

        Oh dear, not another genius who believes he’s cracked the convoluted Davincian Code of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Will I never be rid of these idiots?

        Saint Jimmy, would you like to reply first here?

        Yours temporarily,

        Dr Jackie.

        Reply
        • Jacquelyn Hyde -  January 15, 2016 - 7:05 pm

          John Molloy – 29.12.15

          “…I come to the conclusion that you and yer darlin Jacqelyn were one in the same!…busted! Hello Jekyll and Hyde!”

          John, John; how could you possibly do me such a disservice? I think it likely that some punters write under different names, but isn’t it enough that I have to go round wiping that spalpeen’s bottom for him without your conflating me with him. You should be ashamed of yerself.

          Jackie.

          Reply
    • Andrew Heenan -  January 19, 2016 - 5:42 pm

      Well, Jimmy, you’re a spiteful little bully, aren’t you?
      Let’s all hope that Jacqelyn Hyde has big friends.
      Or finds other ways of sorting out your bullying.

      Reply
      • Jacquelyn Hyde -  January 21, 2016 - 3:56 pm

        Andrew:
        Thanks. Yes, Jimmy is all you say, and more, but I think I have the boy sorted; he won’t do it again – well, not if he has any sense. If… … …
        Jackie.

        Reply
  12. Suppo -  December 7, 2015 - 9:03 pm

    Now I am confused. What is the correct and proper name of the “at” character @ ?

    Reply
    • icequeenxoxo -  December 13, 2015 - 10:31 am

      lol idk but im confused too

      Reply
      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 19, 2015 - 12:49 pm

        Bill Gates 11.12.15
        Where are you, Bill? I can’t find you. Look, I’ll just drop this here, I’m sure you’ll pick it up.

        “Actually Jacqueline, it can be spelled practice or practise.”
        Bill (is that THE Bill Gates or another one?),
        Did I ever say it can’t? I think you’ll find not. I can’t be arsed to search now but… Iook, I shouldn’t do this but I think I can quote Mike Seckerson, who says somewhere: “You see, ‘practice’ is a noun, and if Mark wants to improve his ampersand-writing skills, then he will need to ‘practise’, which is a verb (that’s a ‘doing word’) instead of simply talking about practicing, since there is, in fact, no such thing.”
        So, practise is the verb, well it is in English; what you people do is your own affair. I know, it’s a fine line and it took me quite some time to suss it out. Oh, btw, Professor W.D.Faughty says that most Americans speak not English but American Creole. And he should know.

        “And also, if you’re so picky don’t say btw for by the way.” [“And also”? What can he mean? And why use that rather juvenile tautology? And why to me of all people?]
        Come off it, Bill; suppose I told you not to use USA, CIA, FBI, GMT andor many others. Eh? Listen, buddy; you don’t tell me what to do without I tell you too.You got that, you savvy? [Btw, I’m not calling you a savvy, you understand (that’s two vees, not a dubbya) – it’s American for ‘understand’.]

        One thing I do with language is attempt to master it (or at least mistress it), otherwise it’ll master me. That includes picking which words I choose to use, or not, and that includes several of the currently ubiquititous acronyms, okay? One I sometimes find useful is ‘btw’; another is ‘bioya’, which I think was coined by an American redneck friend. Bright, successful and rich, he remains a redneck for all that. So, bioya.

        “One more thing, my computer says “practise” isn’t a word but practice is so there.”
        Hmm. Let me quote Faughty again: “The fact is, Jackie, you write very good English, whereas this poor fool only reads in American.” You may recognise that from an earlier remonstrance.
        Your computer, Bill, is an idiot. Programmed by Americans, it misses out many perfectly useful words, others it mis-spells hopelessly. Btw, never trust an American programme (nor a dictionary, it seems) to guide you through the English language. They’re as clueless as they are arrogant.

        Addendum to that:
        “Actually Jacqueline, it can be spelled practice or practise.”
        Actually, Bill, it can be spelled Jacqueline or Jacquelyn.
        In fact, I’ve tried both, and Jacquelyne too, just for some extra quaintness, and all in all I think I prefer mine. What do you think?

        Jacquelyn.

        Jacquelyn.

        Reply
        • Thornicium -  December 22, 2015 - 12:06 am

          I don’t know who this Jacquelyn Hyde is, but I think I’m in love with her.

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 6, 2016 - 8:30 pm

            Thornicium 22.12.15.
            I’m sorry not to have replied before; I guess I missed you in all the excitement! Would you very much mind sharing Jeanne’s for now; I’d have sent you much the same letter anyway.I’m sure you can understand that.

            Regards,

            Jackie

  13. madison -  December 7, 2015 - 1:07 pm

    thats soo cool i always though that that was just the and sine

    Reply
  14. RyuKing18 -  November 29, 2015 - 7:10 pm

    Nice blog, I didn’t know that “&” was apart of the alphabet.

    Reply
    • Jaguargirl8336 -  December 2, 2015 - 9:26 pm

      Yeah…

      Reply
    • madison -  December 7, 2015 - 1:09 pm

      ya same

      Reply
  15. Ffffffff -  November 29, 2015 - 5:46 pm

    That is really cool
    You learn something new everyday

    Reply
    • GrammarNazi -  December 13, 2015 - 4:04 pm

      *every day. Everyday is an adjective.

      Reply
  16. Andy -  November 11, 2015 - 5:46 am

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

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

      Wow, cool. Very deep, thanks.

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

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

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

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

      Incorrect to say You let he…..

      Reply
      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 3, 2015 - 3:02 am

        Jeannie 12.11.15

        I daresay you are correct in your quotation: ““Let him who hath the wisdom””…

        However, I suspect that Andy, who appears unable, unwilling, or just plain too busy to reply to punters’ questions, has (perhaps erroneously) placed it within his speechmarks, thus: “‘Let he who hath the wisdom compute the number of the beast’”.

        According to my limited knoweldge I think that in doing so he has ‘translated’ it into modern English, using a slight variation of the regular structure: Subject, Verb and Object. (In fact it is Subjects[3], Verbs[3] and Object[1].) (Thus the Subjects and Verbs are the joint winners in this weeks’ competitive quotations game. Hooray!)

        Thus: Let[v1] he[s1] who hath[v2] the wisdom[s2], compute[v3] the number of the beast[o1], where ‘the number of the beast’ is the object and not just ‘the beast’.
        In modern English the objective case ‘him’ is incorrect.

        Andy11.11.15

        You say that your chosen information doesn’t appear in any history books for ecclesiastical reasons. Are these those of secrecy?
        You seem to know enough about this stuff to answer my long-time question: I also presume that ‘the beast’ is the devil, satan, lucifer & co (all that crowd), but why a number, and W.O.E. (why on Earth) should it be 666?

        Or do you make it all up as you go along? I expect that looks ruder than I intended, but, especially when you write that Py was given to us by the gods; (what effing gods‽‽‽ These are all mythical, the same as God is! And 3.142 is Pi, not Py, nor pie)

        Your stuff begins to look as fantastical as that god-awful bible itself.

        Regards to both

        Jackie.

        Reply
        • Gary T -  December 9, 2015 - 2:45 pm

          Jackie – 12-3-15
          The number “666″ is quite commonly understood to be “…the number of the beast,” but the actual biblical verse reads (The precise wording depending upon which version of the Bible is consulted): “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast; for the number is that of a man, and his number is 666.” (Rev. 13-18)

          The important distinction in the verse is that 666 is the number of a MAN. The Book of Revelations continues-on with further description of the evils associated with this man. Each of the letters of the alphabet in Hebrew as well as in Greek has a numerical value. If you add together the numbers associated with a name, the sum is the number of that man. Many possible combinations of letters will add up to 666, and many candidates have been nominated for this infamous number. The most likely is the emperor Caesar Nero who reigned from 54 to 68 AD, the Greek form of whose name in Hebrew letters gives the required sum. (The Latin form of this name equals 616, which is the reading of a few manuscripts.) Nero personifies the emperors who viciously persecuted the church. It has also been observed that “6” represents imperfection, falling short of the perfect number “7,” and is represented here in a triple or superlative form.

          Roman coins typically bore the emperors image, so you were obliged to carry the “mark of the beast” in order to engage in commerce.

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 17, 2015 - 4:17 pm

            Gary T.

            Thanks very much for that – most enlightening. I had no idea that the letters and numbers had a direct correlation, though I wonder what practical use it had – I mean giving a man a number.
            And a woman? (No, I don’t mean giving him a number and a woman; I mean what of women, or didn’t they count?)

            Now I take it from your quotation, “…the number of the beast; for the number is that of a man, and his number is 666.” that the writer perceived man and beast to be the same entity. Or have I got it wrong? (Though I daresay that in Nero’s case it wasn’t far out.)
            I also presume, perhaps unwisely, that the numbers run from alpha=1 to omega=25 or thereabouts, a total of about 75 rather than about ten times that amount, or is my opening presumption totally out?
            Finally, and I bet this will read as more facetious than is intended: If “6” represents imperfection, falling short of the perfect number “7,”, does 8 similarly represent imperfection, falling long of the perfect number?
            And more finally still, why 7?

            Regards,

            Jackie.

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 18, 2015 - 4:53 am

            Thanks for that, Gary.

            You say, “…you were obliged to carry the “mark of the beast” in order to engage in commerce.”

            Hmm. Pretty much like today’s bankers then. Boo-boom!

            Regards,

            Jackie.

          • Chauze -  January 1, 2016 - 12:07 pm

            Someone once said,”…the Book of Revelations…” Perhaps they meant the book of Revelation. I had a very helpful gentleman correct me on that point some time ago. He was discreet in his helpfulness so as not to make me cry in front of the girls,

        • Emmie -  December 11, 2015 - 8:43 am

          Jackie,

          How can you say the Bible is “god-awful” when you have just stated that God and gods are mythical. lol

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 18, 2015 - 5:30 am

            Emmie:

            “Jackie,
            How can you say the Bible is “god-awful” when you have just stated that God and gods are mythical. lol”

            Thanks for your question, Emmie. Now, I could point out that I used the ‘awful’ bit in an older form than we generally do today, as in ‘full of awe’, largely replaced by ‘awesome’ in North America.
            But that ain’t the way of it.
            I could also point out that I spell ‘god’ with a lower-case G, since its existence has yet to be proved. And I quite fail to see the point of giving a proper noun to a non-existent entity.
            And that is the way of it.
            Or I could say that the bible, religion and god are three of the worst things that god ever created. And I think that gets closest to replying to your queston. It’s a paradox, you see.
            However, here’s an erratum for you:
            Delete: ‘These are all mythical, the same as God is!’
            Insert: ‘These (gods) are all mythical, the same as the real one!’

            I don’t suppose that helps you, but I think it an improvement on the original and I welcome the chance to change it
            I still don’t suppose that helps you, since you don’t believe you don’t believe in myths. But you do.
            As someone wisely wrote on this site a few days ago (and I paraphrase) We don’t know anything, we can’t; we only think we do.
            Er – lol?

            Jackie.

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 28, 2015 - 8:32 pm

            Souldefenestrator 15.12.15

            “perhaps, our blonde-proud grammar queen, we could leave the clowns and amateurs out of the gender box?”

            Well, get you, defenestrator (long time since I used that word). “perhaps, OUR blonde-proud grammar queen…” But “Our”‽ In yer dreams, Matey. However, “blonde-proud” what a splendid concept!
            Be sure I’ll use it.
            LATER. I’ve used it! Tucked away on page 77, chapter 11, in the notorious sex scene; you’ll recognise it as yours, you can’t miss it. And that shall be your reward. Thank you.

            All right then, here it is:
            …Impressed, and quite on impulse, she touches his forearm, very gently, surprised at its muscular hardness. She doesn’t know why; she’s never touched a boy’s body before, not even Pat Dry’s, especially an older boy. Oh, other girls, of course, particularly blonde-proud Julie, a real blonde, with whom she changes in the school’s swimming cubicles and compares their changing bodies, both by looky-lookie and touchy-feelie, but that’s different, all the girls do that; that’s just being a girl…

            Now, as to leaving the clowns and amateurs out of the gender box, well I take your point, of course but I think you ‘ll agree that the facts speak for themselves in that most of these amateur clowns title themselves as males – and thus do they write. Moreover, many of them have the manners of red-neck farm animals. So vague apologies, though I don’t think I’ve written unduly pejoratively, nor out of order.
            Er — “more on this later?” I hope so; I look forward to it.

            ’Bye now,

            Jackie.

            Souldefenestrator – 16 December, 2015
            “Here is you:
            Terry and Neil:
            Just a couple of words, guys. (A couple‽)
            Here is me:
            Terry and Neil:
            Just a couple of word guys‽
            ~dō”

            Yes, very good, very droll, very subtle, if somewhat inapposite. And I do like the “~dō”.

            JMH

        • john mceiver -  December 15, 2015 - 8:22 am

          If god is “mythical”, are all spirit experiences likewise imaginary? I’m curious about your opinion. Have you ever had an out-of-body experience? Can something (spirit) immaterial by nature, be empirically investigated?

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 23, 2015 - 2:34 pm

            john mceiver 15.12.15
            If god is “mythical”, are all spirit experiences likewise imaginary? I’m curious about your opinion. Have you ever had an out-of-body experience? Can something (spirit) immaterial by nature, be empirically investigated?

            Dear John, as the saying goes.

            I shall take singly your most interesting and challenging e-mail in three parts and hope they generate the interest that the subject deserves.
            Of course the easy reply to yours is, ‘Yes, of course they are, same as god is; how could you think otherwise? However…

            Your opener, “If god is “mythical”, are all spirit experiences likewise imaginary?” seems to suppose that all spirit experiences are formed of the same stock. I am not sure that this is so. If I may refer very briefly to the concept, free will, then it could be supposed that each of us has a mind different from all others. This mind is formed in part from our genes and in part from our experiences. Clearly, if we accept this premise then it is obvious that each individual is highly individual.

            Next, I think we must consider both internal and external origins of spiritual phenomena. First the internal: The Catholic Church, for instance, is rightly wary of enthusiasm, this may lead to such phenomena as the stigmata; replicas of the nail marks in poor Christ’s hands, where his people nailed him to a cross-beam . These usually occur on the hands of enthusiasts, whom I would class as harmlessly mad. Beatlemania was another, milder example of a similar manifestation. Victorian women too, would faint at ‘the drop of a hat’ and though this was doubtless a result of social conditioning, it was perhaps also due to excessive corsetry.
            Alerts among you may notice that we are moving towards the external factors of spiritual experience, as indeed we are.

            It was another elective; this time in the care of a declared religious enthusiast, a Jew and a rabbi. Sounds like the start of a bad joke, but no, that comes later. This was all one man – and did he sock it to us‽ A WW2 soldier, he and others were sent somewhere – they knew not where – in a covered truck. At one point yer man felt ill. It was a terrible ague, which grew until he could no longer sit but lay retching and writhing on the floor. It lasted for a half-hour or so. When they eventually reached their destination their leader said, ‘I watched you, Goldstein, but I could do nothing to help, for such is the way of such things. By the way,do you know where we were at that time?’
            ‘No, sir,’ said our lecturer, ‘we common soldiers are told nothing that could be tortured out of us in the event of our capture, as you well know.’
            ‘Well, I will tell you – I can now. The time you were so afflicted was when we were passing through Auschwitz!”

            Picture this: the men are in a covered vehicle, with the back sheet covering their rear view. I don’t know whether Auschwitz has a special sound, nor whether our soldier/tutor had been there before, as he would have to in order to recognise the sound. There are no ways he could sense the place, yet he felt its presence (in his soul?).
            Now, as you may imagine, we were hugely moved by this man’s tale, but no-one I’ve spoken to can account for it, except for the possible existence of cultural memory. This is still at the theory stage.
            There is ESP (Extra-Sensory Perception), though this is far from being deemed more than a party trick, along with many other, highly convincing, stage illusions.
            It is possible that there are things beyond the range of the human senses, such as sound beyond 20kHz and and 9Hz. Have you ever heard the Earth move? 9Hz is said to be its natural resonant frequency; sights beyond infra-red and ultra-violet.

            I could go on but mercy calls. You ask whether I’ve ever had an out of body experience.Well yes, I think so; the first time I was out of my mind and the second time I was not. A seriously life-chaging event had me so far down into depression that my mind partly closed down. I shan’t bore you with the details but later, in psychiatry, as I was improving, we played Trivial Pursuit, in teams. I was still pretty ill and didn’t understand much of it but I recall (apparently) sitting behind myself, watching me play. So that one was caused, I’m certain, by (temporary) insanity.

            The next time was during a lecture, one of my own, and it was so affective that I made it my goal; each time I went to work on the students I strove to achieve this.
            I have a relaxed, easy-going way of teaching. The group is in my absolute control, but its members are unaware of that, let alone how I do it. The trick is, of course, quiet, teacher enthusiasm.
            Anyway, one day I got the notion that everyone’s mind was in the same place. I was describing a process, using language that was easily accesible to all. The point here is that the students didn’t have to translate my words into those that made sense to them in their own terms. We were thinking as one. It was then that I left the room, stood behind me and watched myself teaching. It lasted for several minutes. I’ve tried it ever since; sometimes I get close but I’m not yet good enough.

            I could go on but may I leave your last point until later? I fear that I’ve long exceeded the 140 word limit!

            Regards,

            Jackie.

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 23, 2015 - 3:22 pm

            john mceiver 15.12.15
            If god is “mythical”, are all spirit experiences likewise imaginary? I’m curious about your opinion. Have you ever had an out-of-body experience? Can something (spirit) immaterial by nature, be empirically investigated?

            Dear John, as the saying goes.

            I shall take singly your most interesting and challenging e-mail in three parts and hope they generate the interest that the subject deserves.
            Of course the easy reply to yours is, ‘Yes, of course they are, same as god is; how could you think otherwise? However…

            Your opener, “If god is “mythical”, are all spirit experiences likewise imaginary?” seems to suppose that all spirit experiences are formed of the same stock. I am not sure that this is so. If I may refer very briefly to the concept, free will, then it could be supposed that each of us has a mind different from all others. This mind is formed in part from our genes and in part from our experiences. Clearly, if we accept this premise then it is obvious that each individual is highly individual.

            Next, I think we must consider both internal and external origins of spiritual phenomena. First the internal: The Catholic Church, for instance, is rightly wary of enthusiasm, this may lead to such phenomena as the stigmata; replicas of the nail marks in poor Christ’s hands, where his people nailed him to a cross-beam . These usually occur on the hands of enthusiasts, whom I would class as harmlessly mad. Beatlemania was another, milder example of a similar manifestation. Victorian women too, would faint at ‘the drop of a hat’ and though this was doubtless a result of social conditioning, it was perhaps also due to excessive corsetry.
            Alerts among you may notice that we are moving towards the external factors of spiritual experience, as indeed we are.

            It was another elective; this time in the care of a declared religious enthusiast, a Jew and a rabbi. Sounds like the start of a bad joke, but no, that comes later. This was all one man – and did he sock it to us‽ A WW2 soldier, he and others were sent somewhere – they knew not where – in a covered truck. At one point yer man felt ill. It was a terrible ague, which grew until he could no longer sit but lay retching and writhing on the floor. It lasted for a half-hour or so. When they eventually reached their destination their leader said, ‘I watched you, Goldstein, but I could do nothing to help, for such is the way of such things. By the way,do you know where we were at that time?’
            ‘No, sir,’ said our lecturer, ‘we common soldiers are told nothing that could be tortured out of us in the event of our capture, as you well know.’
            ‘Well, I will tell you – I can now. The time you were so afflicted was when we were passing through Auschwitz!”
            Picture this: the men are in a covered vehicle, with the back sheet covering their rear view. I don’t know whether Auschwitz has a special sound, nor whether our soldier/tutor had been there before, as he would have to in order to recognise the sound. There are no ways he could sense the place, yet he felt its presence (in his soul?)

            Now, as you may imagine, we were hugely moved by this man’s tale, but no-one I’ve spoken to can account for it, except for the possible existence of cultural memory. This, I think, is still at the theory stage.
            There is ESP (Extra-Sensory Perception), though this is far from being deemed more than a party trick, along with many other, highly convincing, stage illusions.
            It is possible that there are things beyond the range of the human senses, such as sound beyond 20kHz and and 9Hz. Have you ever heard the Earth singing? 9Hz is said to be its natural resonant frequency; sights beyond infra-red and ultra-violet.

            I could go on but mercy calls. You ask whether I’ve ever had an out of body experience.Well yes, I think so; the first time I was out of my mind and the second time I was not. A seriously life-chaging event had me so far down into depression that my mind partly closed down. I shan’t bore you with the details but later, in psychiatry, as I was improving, we played Trivial Pursuit, in teams. I was still pretty ill and didn’t understand much of it but I recall (apparently) sitting behind myself, watching me play. So that one was caused, I’m certain, by (temporary) insanity.

            The next time was during a lecture, one of my own, and it was so affective that I made it my goal; each time I went to work on the students I strove to achieve this.
            I have a relaxed, easy-going way of teaching. The group is in my absolute control, but its members are unaware of that, let alone how I do it. The trick is, of course, quiet, teacher enthusiasm.
            Anyway, one day I got the notion that everyone’s mind was in the same place. I was describing a process, using language that was easily accesible to all. The point here is that the students didn’t have to translate my words into those that made sense to them in their own terms. We were thinking as one. It was then that I left the room, stood behind me and watched myself teaching. It lasted for several minutes. I’ve tried it ever since; sometimes I get close but I’m not yet good enough to do it every time.

            I could go on but may I leave your last point until later? I fear that I’ve long exceeded the 140 word limit!

            Remind me to mention the numinous and fairy tales.

            Oh, yes! The threatened joke.
            Question: What’s this? Oh, Oh, Oh.
            Answer: It’s Santa talking backwards.
            Boo-boom‼

            Regards, and a merry xmas to all our readers.

            Jackie.

          • PVaculla -  December 31, 2015 - 2:47 pm

            I actually came to this blog via the dictionary, blog being a verb, a noun and a sphere. And into a space dominated by individuals who insist on baiting one another over grammar, and spelling.
            The query about God being mythical, spirit experiences imaginary, and out of body experiences, are all subjective.
            Near Death experiences and out of body experiences were/are completely different. I personally have had two near death experiences.
            God is the physical name given to us to envoke the feeling of hope. Our angels are with us everyday, to those of us who have always had special,or imaginary friends. ( and not psychiatric patients) who are sensitive to vibrations, auras, feelings, if you wish a name ESP. We are all born sensitive and at the age of 8 my parents took me to a Child Psychologist, and after numerous tests et al he asked me if I had any questions. I asked him if as human beings are we born with the inherent knowledge of right and wrong or is it a learned behavior? He stood up and asked me who told me to ask that question? I said no one is there an answer, and his reply was we are born naïve but become products of our environment and we learn by example. We learn to tune out our intuition and become desensitized by violence.
            The near death experiences, were comfortable, I was in no pain, my deceased family members I cherished were with me, we did not speak aloud our thoughts were our words. There was great warmth and immense love, and the choice to stay or the choice to continue, to fight, to struggle, and you know its not going to be easy. For me it was a simple choice because of my children, the second time I did it for myself.
            Out of body experiences are easily achieved with intense meditation.
            ESP: ever phone someone and they say I was just picking up the phone to phone you. Hmm
            In the immortal words of JKRowling JUST BECAUSE IT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR HEAD DOESNT MEAN ITS NOT REAL.

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

      Pythagoras was a person, a mathametician.

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

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

        Reply
        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 18, 2015 - 5:56 am

          John Gunter:
          “make that a mathematician. (probably a better speller too)”

          Nice one, John.

          Jackie.

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 19, 2015 - 10:54 am

            Gary T (& anyone else who’s interested):
            The quotation, “…the number of the beast; for the number is that of a man, and his number is 666.” has, to my mind, two, perhaps three possibilities:

            The first is that the writer knows who that man is, for example, Nero, and I think this a reasonable assumption, especially if that is what his name numbers.

            Next, he** doesn’t know who that man is, and so it is just a man, any man; one whose number is 666 (and of course there may be many of them). That number is, as we have seen, made from the numeric values of the letters of his name.
            **Normally I’d write ‘he or she’, but see below.

            Finally, ‘a man’ could refer to man in general; Man, in fact, which is to say, mankind.

            Note well that there is no mention of woman in all this, and this is one reason why I so despise this god-awful book (er – that’s ‘awful’ in its modern sense, Emmie). The writers’ names are all men’s and I think it right to say that the Bible is filled with heroes but not one heroine – unless you consider Jesus’s mother – or the Magdalene to be one?

            The ridiculous fantasy of Adam and Eve‽ Nothing more than an introduction to the notion of the man as the One, and the woman as the Other. Preceding the invention of anaesthetics by several thousand years by god’s removal of Adam’s rib while he slept, it still pervades people’s unwitting thinking.

            I went to an elective on this kind of stuff; it was mostly attended by well-educated and feisty women, members of a Creative Writing class, who I expect were pretty clued up on feminism – not that I want to bang on about that here, you understand, except to give you this live example of unwitting thinking.
            The elective’s tutor told us of a corporate bash where he said that the after-dinner speaker opened as follows:
            “Ladies and gentlemen: I put it to you that if everyone in this room were to suddenly leave his wife…”
            He stopped there, not saying whether the speaker left the room with his life andor testicles intact.
            Now, I don’t know whether you’ve ever found yourself the only one laughing. It can be embarrassing. This was. But only until the audience realised there was a joke in the room – and I heard the laughter spread like ripples on a pond.
            If you saw the joke straight away then you’re probably okay; if not, perhaps you need to hone your gender awareness, as I think many of us do.

            The Holy Bible ― written by men. Because God is a Man!

            Yeah, right.

            Jackie.

          • Maureen -  December 25, 2015 - 12:10 pm

            Jacquelyn: Re the possible meaning of “666″ – You might be interested in Chuck Missler’s videos from KHouse regarding the AntiChrist. There is an alternative perspective that the Mark of the Beast being required to buy or sell is actually a chip implant, which, although prophesied in the bible, has never before been possible until modern times and has nothing to do with Nero. (This is a reply to your comment of Dec 19th 10:54am.)

          • Professor -  January 19, 2016 - 10:41 am

            Jackie in which lab were you concocted?

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

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

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

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

        Reply
        • Ron Allen -  December 2, 2015 - 10:30 pm

          This quite possible.

          Reply
      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 5, 2016 - 6:20 pm

        Maureen 25.12.15

        Thanks for that.

        Maureen, I think I should open by declaring my stance. I am an antitheist. A fairly recently coined concept, it goes a step beyond atheism.

        That said, I watched and read a little of Mr Missler’s mountain of stuff and I was as unimpressed as I expected to be. Nothing personal, I just can’t be arsed with biblical interpretations. When Missler talks of the bible’s allegorical and metaphorical nature is when I start to close; allegories, metaphors and their like, are as open to interpretation as are astrological predictions. Very attractive, this sort of thing is ultimately a matter not of facts but of rhetorical skills, and I’m as susceptible to those as is the next woman.

        Your post shows an adequate example, I fear: “…the Mark of the Beast being required to buy or sell is actually a chip implant, which, although prophesied in the bible…” [I’d like to read that bit and I’d be most obliged if you could send it, if it’s not too much trouble.]

        What happens here is that some scholars, finding some new thing, set to and — lo and behold, there it is! Why, it was there, in this metaphor, and that allegory, waiting for us all the time; just like our god-given electricity! How silly we are to have overlooked it for so long! How blind we must have been.

        You see the trick? It’s one of the devices that keeps the bible so vibrant, young and factory-fresh. And they hadn’t even imagined the North America they now consider the incubus of evil – and where I have no doubt that the aforementioned chip was invented.

        So, I’m sorry if my response wasn’t all you could wish for, and whilst I appreciate your advice, may I recommend Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion? A well-written book based on scientific principles, it contains only one flaw, but that is the one that plagues even the greatest of thinkers: Can we really know anything? I don’t know.

        Fond regards,

        Jackie.

        Reply
      • Jacquelyn Hyde -  January 21, 2016 - 2:55 pm

        Professor:
        What is it you don’t understand?
        Jackie.

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

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

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

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

      Reply
      • Jacquelyn Hyde -  November 27, 2015 - 3:33 pm

        Mit 18.11.15

        Thanks for that; be sure I’ll treasure it.

        Jackie H

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

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

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

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

      Great information, but a bit too long.

      Reply
      • Mike the Real -  November 25, 2015 - 5:09 pm

        Ann 19.11.15
        Between what?

        Reply
        • nn -  December 10, 2015 - 6:24 am

          Mike the Real, or MtR, for short.

          TYPO! agora is agemo – the opposite of omega. Omega is the sign of productive work and you, MIKE, is the opposite.

          Ann, or nn for short, is asking about the difference between gora and agora. You might think now that I, in fact, am Ann, but you would be wrong to think so. I am NN, and I come back to you now, at the turn of the ampersands, to raise hell on earth through me meme writings.

          Once, there was a dream, in the white sands.

          Nightwish, you could listen to it if you so choose.

          In this gathering, decifering the questions given are the only solutions ever presented. Therefore, at risk of distorting everything that is true and just in our world, I shall not answer the question of the Mike. Keeping it real, Mike, is your only true virtue online although you have none now in real life. How can you be so real,Mike, when real life is not of the internets. Sing along now everyone, as mockery continues.

          To Mike, there is no such thing as a straight mid-western answer, only more questions.

          To Mike, Crosswords become crusades of crossbearings.

          So you have chosen, Mike. (ect. allthough a chance was given, says Arthur but no reference enywhere else, could be an easter egg and a mary christmas
          To
          ALL
          )

          Reply
          LEAVE A COMMENT(CANCEL)

          Reply
          • Mike the Real -  December 18, 2015 - 3:30 am

            nn:(No name?)

            Clem? Is that you? Seems like it.
            Or Egg, or Irf4n, or MtU?
            It’s quite a puzzle.

            I mean, who else would know about that?
            Who else would write like that?
            Anyway…

            MtR.

          • Mike the Real -  December 23, 2015 - 6:24 am

            I like this; t fascinates me horribly.
            Madish or genious, who knows?
            Who will say?- willy shake?
            No not man’s, the penman.

            NN (No Name for long)!
            I tested so far unbroke ceramic knife.
            The Food Programme whose salient point the ability to cut old soft redskin tomtoms.
            Steel knives cannot making a splendid chee tomandon I on sandwedge not golf an elderly tomato and slicing still not golf with steel if you hone to edge of invisibly sharp blade unseen.
            Reaching point of nogo sit and so I switch to guns no knives and the ceramic one did it tricksily.
            It seems ceramic just has the edge. Not sorry pun is all and isn’t why I wrote; it really is a tiny improvement. My recommendation gets a honer.

            Interesting I agree but why bother?

            Mike the Real.

          • Mike the Real -  December 26, 2015 - 6:36 am

            NN (Long for No Name)!

            I tested so far unbroke ceramic knife.
            The Food Prog, whose salient point the ability to cut old soft redskin tomtoms.
            Steel knives cannot making a splendid chee tomandon I on sandwedge not golf an elderly tomato and slicing still not golf with steel if you hone to edge of invisibly sharp blade unseen.
            Reaching point of nogo sit and so I switch to guns no knives and the ceramic one did it tricksily.
            It seems ceramic just has the edge. Not sorry pun is all and isn’t why I wrote; it really is a tiny improvement. My recommendation gets a honer.

            Interesting I agree but why bother? And yet I like it because it fascinates me. So what about some more???

            Mike the Real.

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

      Very cool

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

      very interesting!

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

      Andy.

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

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

      I don’t believe you at all.

      Reply
      • David -  December 3, 2015 - 2:37 pm

        Idiot

        Lol

        Idiot

        Reply
        • Anne Onny Mouse -  December 19, 2015 - 8:45 am

          Who you talkin’ to, Idiot?

          Reply
        • Anne Onny Mouse -  December 19, 2015 - 12:18 pm

          David:
          Who you talkin’ to, idiot?
          Ann.

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

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

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

      Reply
      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 7, 2015 - 5:40 pm

        Tahlia – November 24, 2015 – 2:17 am
        Here’s you:
        “i have wasted many years staying in a safety bubble, fearful i couldn’t possibly be the advanced knowledgeable or intellectual being i wished to be… uneducated ghetto child thoughts of ‘when will this life finally end’ without room for growth.
        thank you for sharing this information so that i could see that i have the potential to learn, to grow, to be better then all i thought i could be ”

        How moving; it must have taken quite some courage to express it, and perhaps a few tears too. I was quite touched. But let me tell you this: many of us go through that phase of doubt and uncertainty; it’s part of growing up, ghetto or not.
        Perfection is a rare and precious thing. Though many approach it, it is a very hard thing to touch; harder still to obtain.
        The trick, I think, is to set out to achieve it. Then, having failed, go back and settle in the place where you were happiest.
        You can only be happy knowing this.

        My favourite philosophy teacher was so far ahead of me that one day I asked him, “How far is from where I am to where you are?”

        His reply had me thinking about it for months. He said, “Philosophy will take you to the top of the mountain. After that, you’re on your own.”

        Tahlia — keep on going. And stay in touch – yes?

        Jackie.

        Reply
    • Grae -  November 26, 2015 - 4:15 am

      (>Andy Nov 11)

      I always thought that the 666 was just ‘beware of the Romans’ written by a guy who didn’t quite dare name them but referred to the letters – numbers – that they painted on everything – DCLXVI – and then it got a bit garbled in translation / copying. Not in history books, as you say. Couldn’t say why not.

      Maybe total bullshit.

      Reply
      • Mike the Real -  December 5, 2015 - 2:24 am

        Grae 26.11.15

        Re: 666 as Roman grafitti. You say, “Maybe total bullshit.”

        May be, Grae; only may be.

        It sounds as valid as anything else on the subject, or most others, in The Holy Bible; that silly book of fairy stories.

        MtR.

        Reply
    • Monica Krasniak -  November 26, 2015 - 4:00 pm

      On TCM is a movie titled “The Phantom Tollbooth” 70′ & is about letters, only saying…

      Reply
    • Monica Krasniak -  November 26, 2015 - 4:15 pm

      Common SENSE is necessary for the good existence of human life.

      Reply
      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 23, 2015 - 6:52 am

        To: Monica Krasniak 26,11.15

        “Common SENSE is necessary for the good existence of human life.”

        Not necessarily, Monica: Common sense can kill.
        The main thrust of a new book is that court juries
        should use other than comon sense.
        It’s called ‘I’m a Juror – Get Me Out of Here!’

        Regards,

        Jackie.

        Reply
    • Monica Krasniak -  November 26, 2015 - 4:21 pm

      Every letter counts, right? Of course…

      Reply
      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 3, 2015 - 12:41 am

        Monica Krasniak- 26.12.15
        “Every letter counts, right? Of course…”

        Not quite, Monica:
        Every number counts, every letter spells, everything means.
        (Not to be taken seriously, even if true. J.)

        Reply
        • GC -  December 11, 2015 - 6:35 am

          Monica Krasniak- 26.12.15
          “Every letter counts, right? Of course…”

          Not quite, Jacqelyn:
          26 December hasn’t happened yet, the correct month was of course November ;)

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 17, 2015 - 6:53 pm

            GC:
            Gosh yes, you’re right. Sorry about that; Probably too busy concentrating – on something else….
            JMH

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 19, 2015 - 12:29 pm

            GC:
            “26 December hasn’t happened yet, the correct month was of course November”
            Gosh, yes; so it was!. Sorry about that.
            Must’ve been thinking of something — else!
            JMH.

        • Marilyn -  December 11, 2015 - 12:28 pm

          Well, actually, every letter DOES count in both the ancient Greek, and in Hebrew. The Greeks didn’t have separate characters for their numbers, and much like Roman Numerals have a numerical value, every letter in the Greek alphabet also doubled as a numeral. This practice is actually known today as “gematria”. So in the Bible (and I know this really has nothing to do with this article, but more the comments), when John says in Revelation to “calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man”, he literally means to add up the letters of his name and they will equal 666.

          Another fun fact for you, Nero Caesar adds up to “666″ in the Greek alphabet. Granted, he wasn’t THE Antichrist, but he definitely was anti-Christ.

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 18, 2015 - 6:04 am

            Marilyn:

            Thanks for that. As you can see, I’ve already responded to Gary and I think there’s a limit to my reasonable ravings, so would you mind counting yourself in with that?
            Proleptic thanks.

            Jackie.

          • Janee -  January 29, 2016 - 6:19 pm

            Marilyn: “…when John says in Revelation to “calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man”, he literally means to add up the letters of his name and they will equal 666.”

            If that’s the case, “the beast” “literally means” John’s name. John would’ve been referring to his own name as “the beast”!
            Sure,… why not? It’s a mite weird, but plausible. After all, men have had pet-names for their penises since there have been men!

          • Janee -  January 29, 2016 - 6:57 pm

            Marilyn: “…when John says in Revelation to “calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man”, he literally means to add up the letters of his name and they will equal 666.”

            Very interesting. If that’s the case, “the beast” “literally means” John’s name. John would’ve been referring to his own name as “the beast”!
            Sure,… why not? It’s a mite weird, but plausible. After all, men have had pet-names for their penises since there have been men!

    • AF -  November 28, 2015 - 11:58 pm

      The (traditional) Greek alphabet had 24 letters (and classical Latin 23). Amazing how they are already knew that English would temporarily end up with 27…

      Pythagoras had his famous school in Croton, southern Italy.

      The Greek letter pi wasn’t consistently used for the number 3.14… until around the 18th century, more than 2,000 years after Pythagoras died.

      etc…

      No wonder that most of Andy’s does not appear in history books…

      Reply
    • Roflberry -  November 29, 2015 - 5:23 pm

      Pythagoras was a philosopher and mathematician 2700 years ago and predated both the calculation of Pi to the 7th digit by Chinese mathematicians in the 5th century BC and the founding of Alexandria by Alexander The Great in the 4th century BC. Pythagoras was the first historical figure to wear the title of ‘philosopher’, and is credited with founding the first school of philosophical thought called Pythagoreanism which was an inspiration for Socrates and later, Plato. The trigonometric theorem which bears his name is the formula for solving the length of the hypotenuse side of a right triangle, which is of course the square root of the sum products of squaring the lengths of the a and b sides.

      Reply
    • onomastic -  December 14, 2015 - 5:12 am

      Andy,
      While I appreciate your effort to share your knowledge, you might better be served to research what you say before your say it. I hate to rain on your parade but, the New Testament was written in Greek; there are 24 letters in the Greek language, not 27. (I took classical Greek in college and you can find any number of places online that identify the letters) Greek was the language of the day, not Italian.
      There are 27 books in the New Testament because that’s how many were canonized. God didn’t put 27 books int he New Testament because the English language would have 27 then drop to 26. There are people who thanked you for your input and Theresa Hovick-Thomas thought this wonderful enough to present to her class – erroneously.
      see if you can fix that, ok?

      Reply
      • onomastic -  December 14, 2015 - 5:31 am

        Latin, not Italian. Somebody will get picky on that.

        Reply
        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 17, 2015 - 5:37 pm

          Onomastic:

          Damn and blast! I was just gonna do that one.

          Jackie H. (Walks off, sulking and muttering.)

          Reply
    • Stuart -  December 18, 2015 - 2:24 pm

      Gerrymandering words is language revisionism.
      For one, the Greek letter pi used to represent the irrational number 3.1415… is a fairly recent convention. The symbol pi for the mathematical constant was first known to be applied by William Jones in 1706, but was not widely adopted until Euler had adopted it in his own works. It is a fact that the Greek letter pi is transliterated as the Latin letter P that begins the name of the mathematician-philosopher Pythagoras, and the pronunciation of “Py” is coincidentally similar to that of the modern pronunciation of the Greek letter, yet the first two characters of Pythagoras in Ancient Greek is properly transliterated “Pu”, which is not pronounced “Pi”. Only by some conventions is the upsilon letter transliterated as a Y.
      It should not be construed that the modern English spelling of the ancient Greek personage Pythagoras can be deconstructed, as Andy has done, to being the actual roots and stems of the word. Some scholars of the language believe the meaning of the name means Pythian-born — with Pythios being the name of the location of the oracle of Delphi and (Andy being partially correct with the root) agora being a central gathering place (market place/assembly area) of a Greek city-state.

      Reply
      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 30, 2015 - 5:57 pm

        Stuart 18.12.15

        Here’s a nit-pick if you like – I couldn’t help it (well, I could but I hope you’ll see why).

        You open with:
        “Gerrymandering words is language revisionism.”
        I think it good, unless it serves to confuse, as does the original meaning, that of changing borders, voting numbers etc for political purposes; (how else could Bush have got the job‽).
        However, later, you say, “…the oracle of Delphi and (Andy being
        “partially” correct with the root)…”

        Partially means favouring one side. The word you want is ‘partly’, meaning ‘incompletely’. Thus Andy is partly correct with the root. I’m not sure whether in that case, it is possible for him to be ‘partially’ correct. I think you’ll agree that there’s a significant difference between the two.

        However, one instance of confusion is where, say, a herd of politicians is reported to be partially blocking a road. Instantly, a small gang of cycling political word-pedants is despatched to investigate before complaining to Congress, only to find that the political animals are indeed blocking only one side. Disappointed, the pedants pedal back (back-pedal?) to report that the road was, in fact, partially blocked and there is therefore no case for Bush to answer and, moreover, confusion continues as before, and, as before, gerrymandering words continues to be language revisionism. (Or should that be, belanguage revisionism?)

        Jackie.

        Reply
    • Chauze -  January 1, 2016 - 11:41 am

      Someone once said, “…this information does not appear in any history books… ” Would you be willing to share with us your source of this very interesting information about our Pythy friend?

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

    thanks i did not know that

    Reply
  18. Andy -  November 8, 2015 - 8:59 am

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

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

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

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

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

        You need to make time!

        Mikey.

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

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

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

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

          Reply
        • Monica Krasniak -  November 26, 2015 - 4:19 pm

          I forgot to mention organization along with common sense. You are well organized, so spread the goodness…

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

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

      Reply
    • Pierre Savoie -  November 26, 2015 - 6:58 am

      Andy, you’re full of bull. Although the long-s followed by the short-s can resemble a Greek letter beta, it owes nothing to the Greek alphabet for its origin. You’re reading a lot of woo-sites, and trying to convey that nonsense here. You are badly in need of a de-lousing by actual historians.

      Reply
    • Monica Krasniak -  November 26, 2015 - 4:05 pm

      Time tells all, absolutely. I know I’m rught, so no need to ask…

      Reply
    • Dave -  November 27, 2015 - 10:12 am

      Interesting information, but double “s” (ß), Eszett, has no connection to Greek beta (β). It’s a ligature of long “s” (ſ) and “z”, and also of “ſ” and regular “s”. There’s a visual resemblance, but that’s a coincidence. You might as well say the Roman “o” is related to the Hebrew samekh because they have the same shape when handwritten, but that’s another coincidence. You might as well say Roman “E” is related to the similarly shaped Korean letter, which represents /t/, or that Roman “T” is related to the Korean letter of the same shape, which represents /u/.

      Reply
  19. Doug -  November 5, 2015 - 6:10 pm

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

    Reply
  20. myadah -  November 1, 2015 - 11:31 pm

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

    THANK YOU ! :)

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

      myadah- November 1, 2015 – 11:31 pm

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

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

      Jackie H

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

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

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

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

        Reply
        • Jacquelyn Hyde -  November 25, 2015 - 8:43 pm

          Mit, my man [presumably].18.11.15

          First, one would think that those visiting this fascinating site would be interested in not just such trivia as the spelling (Or in some folk’s cases, the “nitpicking”), but also the many, many finer points of our glorious language – no? (Btw, do you wanna have a go at my use of “folk’s”?) Eh?

          Second, what you pejoratively call “nitpicking” is in fact an essential part of the correction process; not all of us have your fine grasp of grammar, punctuation, poetics, and sheer style! (Go on, criticise that comma followed by ‘and’! Go on; I dare you.)

          I’m not the first to admit to the occasional error, or two… However, I’m disappointed that someone of your assumed, or intimated erudition and judgement would suggest that ‘ain’t’ is anything other than deliberate. It ain’t.
          Okay? It’s a kind of a joke. Oh, in passing, I’m tempted to wonder what you would do if someone actually told you a joke?

          I’m also disappointed that you, of all people, should view my work with such a poisonous attitude. I’m trying to help here but you – how can I possibly help you when you think thus? Hmm? Sad man.

          Right. Now it is true that if one leads with the chin, then some poor fool will stand up from the crowd and have a go at it – try to knock you down.. And so you have.
          (Deep intake of breath.) Here goes then: (Similarly deep outward sigh.)
          “Jackie H. – you nitpick at Andy’s and other’s grammar…”
          Well, pardon moi for being such a preceiuse!
          Er – that’s not “other’s”, it’s ‘others’ ’, [The gap, “...ers’ ‘”is intentional for the purpose of clarity.] I daresay there’s more than one other of them.
          “…yet you end your last sentence with “Ain’t”?
          This is true; only it was advice to Myadah, not to Andy.
          “Whatever happened to 1) enjoying some fascinating information and trivia for the sake of fun…” (missing question mark there – points away)
          I don’t know. Why, what did happen? Or perhaps I’m having a little ‘blonde’ moment today; tell me, are you attempting to establish some tenuous dissociation with “nitpicking” and fun? Perhaps you should try it; “nitpicking” is fun. Of course you should leave it a while, just until you learn enough to be able to do it.
          “…and 2) not being such a snot?”
          I really can’t answer the latter question, as I know almost nothing of “snot”. Perhaps it’s a thing you can better answer yourself? Stick to what you know, eh?

          “Besides, who made you queen of grammar?”
          Oh, so many difficult – or is it tedious – questions? Again, I don’t know. Did anyone? Was it you? Certainly you are, to my knowledge, the first to express that notion on these pages, and I have to say that I rather like it. Perhaps I’ll get a new dress and a coronet, specially for the occasion, hmm? Waddya waddya, baby; stockings or tights? Either way, be assured the seems’ll be die-straight.

          “Practice what you preach, as well”.
          As well as what‽ You’ve finished a sentence with a prepositional phrase! I don’t understand. Or is it just that I’m blonde? (My proleptic and grovelling apologies to any other blondes who find offence in this colour abuse.}
          “Practice what you preach…”.
          “Practice?- practice‽ You Merkin; the word is ‘practise’! You’ve used a noun instead of a verb! Doh!

          Finally, “I hope this isn’t too long for those that can’t concentrate…”
          …for those WHO can’t concentrate, Merkin. For god’s sake learn the difference, then attribute humanity to humans and animality to animals! What’s wrong with you‽ Now, go away, child. And don’t come back to risk writing to ‘criticise’ anyone again within the next ten years.

          Faint regards,

          Jacquelyn.

          Reply
          • Elaine -  December 2, 2015 - 4:24 am

            Please take no offense for this correction… I think you meant “precieuse” instead of “preceiuse”……..remember that old grammar rule..”i before e,
            except after c, or in cases of “a” like neighbor and weigh…..Actually even with the disagreeing this has been an interesting read. Thanks to all of you for the lesson today! I actually mean it has been a learning few minutes.

          • Elaine -  December 2, 2015 - 4:28 am

            Sorry for that last sentence….I can’t find the edit button…But it proves what I meant, none of us have or use perfect grammar. Or in my case constructing readable sentences. Also that one should not point out others “issues” with writing because what with karma and all it will come back to bite you….LOLOLOL

          • Meew -  December 2, 2015 - 10:41 am

            You must be fun at parties…

          • Bill Gates -  December 11, 2015 - 6:44 pm

            Actually Jacqueline, it can be spelled practice or practise. And also, if you’re so picky don’t say btw for by the way. One more thing, my computer says “practise” isn’t a word but practice is so there.

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

      myadah- November 1, 2015 – 11:31 pm

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

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

      Jackie H

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

        It isn’t (not ain’t) :)

        Reply
        • Jacquelyn Hyde -  November 25, 2015 - 9:14 pm

          Stickleback – November 25, 2015 – 6:25 am

          It isn’t (not ain’t) :)

          Ta.

          J.M.H.

          Reply
        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  November 26, 2015 - 3:26 pm

          Stickleback – 25.11.15

          “It isn’t (not ain’t) :)”

          Ta.

          Watch this space.

          J.M.H.

          Reply
        • Dave -  November 27, 2015 - 10:15 am

          Fussy, ain’t you? XD

          (Sorry, couldn’t resist…) :)

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 3, 2015 - 7:30 am

            Dave 27 November, 2015

            Fussy, ain’t you? XD

            (Sorry, couldn’t resist…)

            Yup. No neither could I in your place. Loved it – just a bit.

            Pedantry, nit-picking; it ain’t much of a job, but I guess someone’s gotta do it. Eh?

            Btw: Forgive my ignorance, but do please tell; what does “XD” mean?

            Regs,

            Jackie.

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 5, 2015 - 10:16 am

            Dave 27.12.15

            “Fussy, ain’t you? XD (Sorry, couldn’t resist…)”

            Oh, that’s okay. Sorry to be so long in replying; I posted one but ‘they’ lost it.
            Anyway, yes. Pedantry, nit-pickery; it ain’t much of a job but I guess someone’s gotta do it.

            BTW; Ain’t is a legimate if old-fashioned English word, once used by all classes (well, both classes really; there being no middle-class at the time 16th – 18th century). Here’s a little of what Wikipedia has on it.
            “The usage of ain’t is a perennial subject of controversy in English. Ain’t is commonly used by many speakers in oral or informal settings, especially in certain regions and dialects. Its usage is often highly stigmatized, and it may be used as a marker of socio-economic or regional status or education level. Its use is generally considered non-standard by dictionaries and style guides except when used for rhetorical effect, and it is rarely found in formal written works.”
            I was once ‘corrected’ on its use by an individual (working-class) pupil. I’d said something using that word and I think she was slightly shocked that someone as posh as I would do so. Eight years old and already full of it, she said, “Ain’t ain’t a word.” She wasn’t joking. So that was me told off, wonnit?

            I shall continue its use as it so pleases me, and with my tongue, as ever, thrust firmly into my cheek.

            So there.

            Jackie.

      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 3, 2015 - 6:45 am

        Elaine 2 December 2015

        No, Elaine; absolutely no offence taken; especially since you were right; unlike some of these irritants; clowns, amateurs – mostly men, you’ll notice, who try their luck. I’m always pleased to learn something, and I didn’t get where I am today by ‘notlearning’ – and so thank you for that.

        Precieuse is, of course, a French word and I don’t know whether that erroneous rule applies to French. (Erroneous because there are more exceptions to the i/e rule than not – or so I have read.) In fact I speak only about four words of French: moi, oui, non, merde, et maintenant; “precieuse”. (Just enough to have another tee-shirt printed: ‘Precieuse? – Moi?’) So I blithely applied the English rule – only to be caught out by one of its many blasted exceptions‼

        Here’s you: “Actually even with the disagreeing this has been an interesting read. Thanks to all of you for the lesson today! I actually mean it has been a learning few minutes.” For my part, thank you very much – that sort of thing is always good to know. No need to apologise for that last sentence; “I actually mean it has been a learning few minutes.” I really enjoyed it; in fact it’s my fave line of your entire post.

        Oh, here’s you again: “…none of us have or use perfect grammar.” Okay, catch this, kid: ‘None of us HAS or USES perfect grammar.’ (Sorry for the shouting caps; this site doesn’t do italics.) Use it at your peril, because if you do then you and I will be two of about ten people on the planet who get it right.

        Love,

        Jackie.

        Reply
        • souldefenestrator -  December 15, 2015 - 12:58 pm

          perhaps, our blonde-proud grammar queen, we could leave the clowns and amateurs out of the gender box?

          more on this later?

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 23, 2015 - 10:36 am

            Souldefenestrator 15.12.15

            “perhaps, our blonde-proud grammar queen, we could leave the clowns and amateurs out of the gender box?”

            Well, get you, defenestrator (long time since I used that word). “perhaps, OUR blonde-proud grammar queen…” Our‽ In yer dreams, Matey. But “blonde-proud” what a splendid concept!
            Be sure I’ll use it.

            LATER. I’ve used it! Tucked away on page 77, chapter 11, in the notorious sex scene; more specifically, it’s Kerry and Julie in the little changing cubicle. It’s a quick reference, part of the crowd,as ’twere, but you’ll recognise it as yours, you can’t miss it. And that shall be your reward. Thank you.

            Now, as to leaving the clowns and amateurs out of the gender box, well I take your point, of course, but I thinkyou‘ll agree that the facts speak for themselves in that most of these amateur clowns are amateurs and clowns and that they title themselves as males – and thus do they write. Moreover, many of them have the manners of red-neck farm animals. So vague apologies, though I don’t think I’ve written unduly pejoratively, nor out of order.

            Er — “more on this later?” I hope so; I look forward to it.

            ’Bye now,

            Jackie.

      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 18, 2015 - 6:54 am

        Bill Gates 11.12.15
        Bill (is that THE Bill Gates or another one?)
        Sorry to leave this here, only there’s no Reply pad under yours. So I’ll just drop this here, I’m sure you’ll pick it up.

        “Actually Jacqueline, it can be spelled practice or practise.”

        Did I ever say it can’t? I think you’ll find not. I can’t be arsed to search now but… Iook, I shouldn’t do this but I think I can quote Mike Seckerson, who says somewhere: “You see, ‘practice’ is a noun, and if Mark wants to improve his ampersand-writing skills, then he will need to ‘practise’, which is a verb (that’s a ‘doing word’) instead of simply talking about practicing, since there is, in fact, no such thing.”

        So, practise is the verb, well it is in English; what you people do is your own affair. I know, it’s a fine line and it took me quite some time to suss it out. Oh, btw, Professor W.D.Faughty says that most Americans speak not English but American Creole. And he should know.

        “And also, if you’re so picky don’t say btw for by the way.” [“And also”? What can he mean? And why use that rather juvenile tautology? And why to me of all people?]

        Come off it, Bill; suppose I told you not to use USA, CIA, FBI, GMT andor many others. Eh? Listen, buddy; you don’t tell me what to do without I tell you too.You got that, you savvy? [Btw, I’m not calling you a 'savvy', you understand (that’s two vees, not a dubbya) – it’s American for ‘understand’.]
        One thing I do with language is attempt to master it (or at least mistress it), otherwise it’ll master me, and that would never do. That includes picking which words I choose to use, or not, and that includes several of the currently ubiquititous acronyms, okay?
        One I sometimes find useful is ‘btw’; another is ‘bioya’, which I think was coined by an American redneck friend. Bright, successful and rich, he remains a redneck for all that. So, bioya.

        “One more thing, my computer says “practise” isn’t a word but practice is so there.”
        Hmm. Let me quote Faughty again: “The fact is, Jackie, you write very good English, whereas this poor fool only reads in American.” You may recognise that from an earlier remonstrance.
        Your computer, Bill, is an idiot. Programmed by Americans, it misses out many perfectly useful words, others it mis-spells hopelessly. Btw, never trust an American programme (nor a dictionary, it seems) to guide you through the English language. They’re as clueless as they are arrogant.

        Jacquelyn.

        Reply
        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 18, 2015 - 7:35 am

          Addendum to my Bill Gates reply:

          “Actually Jacqueline, it can be spelled practice or practise.”

          Actually, Bill, it can be spelled Jacqueline or Jacquelyn.

          In fact, I’ve tried both, and Jacquelyne too, just for some extra quaintness, and all in all I think I prefer mine. What do you think?

          Jacquelyn.

          Oh btw, I’ve just been awarded an honorary doctorate; the ceremony is tomorrow, so commencing on Saturday the 19th of December, you could refer to me as Dr Jacquelyn Hyde. Wouldn’t that be fun?
          J.

          Reply
      • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 30, 2015 - 6:33 pm

        Meew

        1. In common with many on this site, you need to indicate those to whom you wish to comment.
        2. Depends on what you mean by fun, cheekie..

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

      There ARE (not ‘is’) 27 letters…

      Reply
    • Monica Krasniak -  November 26, 2015 - 4:06 pm

      I agree…

      Reply
    • Anna -  December 15, 2015 - 11:23 am

      “are” 27 letters. And remove your comma.

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

    I never knew that! How interesting…

    Reply
  22. Emily -  October 13, 2015 - 8:55 am

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

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

      hi

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

      Bonjour!! :)

      Reply
      • Ro -  December 19, 2015 - 1:03 pm

        lol ….. I love that “Bonjour” commercial …. it’s become a standing joke with my friends & my husband …whenever we mention something we read on the internet we follow with …”Bonjour” ….hahaha ……….also wanna say ……….WOW ……… all these posts including mine have nothing to do with …….ampersand …….&&&&&&& that’s all I’m gonna say ;)

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

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

      Reply
    • Monica Krasniak -  November 26, 2015 - 4:08 pm

      Things you KNOW are right, opinions aside…

      Reply
      • souldefenestrator -  December 15, 2015 - 1:01 pm

        perhaps, KNOWLEDGE is not so absolute. with humans, opinions are often confused with what one knows and what is. sometimes they are the same and sometimes not.

        Reply
  23. Ariana -  October 12, 2015 - 6:33 pm

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

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

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

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

      what is an ampersand

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Reply
  24. Tricia -  October 6, 2015 - 11:33 am

    When was the ampersand taken out of the alphabet?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            And keith
            ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ °)

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

            Except in the case of pluralizing certain lower case letters.

          • harry -  November 25, 2015 - 2:58 pm

            While living in West Berlin, I used to have fun with my German friends by using nouns as verbs much like we do in English. I added “ing” to the German word for junk to say I was going (junking) out to shop for junk “old things I could find in shops” I took a while for them to grasp the idea.

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

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

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

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

        Reply
        • Larry -  November 29, 2015 - 9:05 am

          misinterpreted — only 1 s

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

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

        Reply
  25. Stosh -  September 26, 2015 - 3:59 am

    That was both interesting & informative.

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

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

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

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

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

        WOW. Just wow ….

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

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

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

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

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

          & is boring.

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

            Dat izz tru.

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

            you don’t like ampersand!
            (&_&)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Good for you, she’ll probably love English.

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

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

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

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

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

            Here we go again.

            TJJoyce:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        you might try to name her
        Comma
        dot
        line
        minus
        plus

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

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

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

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

            Mark- November 11, 2015 – 1:11 pm

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

            Practise, baby, practise.

            Mikey

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

            *Practice? Maybe? LOL @ Mike

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

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

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

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

          Sorry.

          Jackie.

          Reply
          • Mike the Real -  November 26, 2015 - 4:31 pm

            Sinae – November 18, 2015 – 12:54 pm
            *Practice? Maybe? LOL @ Mike

            Ah, here’s another chancer: I thought someone would fall for that; I didn’t think it would be you. Sinae. (How DO you pronounce that, anyway?)

            “Practice? Maybe?” Maybe not!

            You see, Sinae: ‘practice’ is a noun, and if Mark wants to improve his ampersand-writing skills, then he will need to ‘practise’, which is a verb (that’s a ‘doing word’) instead of simply talking about it. Practicing, LOL There is, in fact, no such thing.

            I guess that English is not your first language, or if it is, that you were taught it in North America, where there is, I daresay, no spelling for the verb ‘practise’, any more than there is one for ‘defence’.

            I spoke to SPEL’s president (the Society for the Protection of the English Language) about your little problem with this, and he said, rather rudely, “Fuck ‘em; let ‘em rewrite their poxy dictionary ― again!” I don’t think he was best pleased, especially with you.

            Now, all join hands and sing; “Practice? Maybe not! All LOL @ Sinae!”

            Mike.

          • Mike Seckerson -  November 27, 2015 - 3:49 pm

            Sinae – November 18, 2015 – 12:54 pm
            *Practice? Maybe? LOL @ Mike

            Ah, here’s another chancer: Sinae. (How DO you pronounce that, anyway?)

            “Practice? Maybe?” Maybe not!

            You see, Sinae: ‘practice’ is a noun, and if Mark wants to improve his ampersand-writing skills, then he will need to ‘practise’, which is a verb (that’s a ‘doing word’) instead of simply talking about practicing, since there is, in fact, no such thing.
            I guess that English is not your first language, or if it is, then you were taught it in North America, where there is, I daresay, no spelling for the verb ‘practise’, any more than there is one for ‘defence’.
            I spoke to SPEL’s president (the Society for the Protection of the English Language) about your little problem with this, and he said, rather rudely, “Fuck ‘em; let ‘em rewrite their poxy dictionary ― again!” I don’t think he was best pleased, especially with you.

            Now, all join hands and sing; “Practice? Maybe not! All LOL @ Sinae!”

            Mike.

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

        Roflmao

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

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

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

        wow wow DOGE

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

      your smart sir

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

        *you’re

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

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

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

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

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

            Or did Brandon get his tongue caught in his cheek?

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

      So when was the ampersand taken out of the alphabet?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • souldefenestrator -  December 15, 2015 - 1:19 pm

            large or small, there are still only a finite number of things to do tomorrow.

            more on this later?

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

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

    Q R S T U V W X Y and Z

    Just an observation ( :

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

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

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

        No!

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

        That means one courtship going for a meal.

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

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

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

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

          Jackie H.

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

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

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

          Ella Minnow Pea is a 2001 novel by Mark Dunn

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

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

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

      nice going sherbears ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡ °)

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

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

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

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

      Jackie H.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Regards,

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

      Reply
    • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 26, 2015 - 5:36 am

      souldefenestrator:

      Large or small, there IS still only A finite number of things to do tomorrow.

      Reason: “a finite number” is the primary object, whilst “things to do” is the secondary object. We are considering ‘a finite number of things’, a singular case. Yes?

      That aside, “large or small, there are still only a finite number of things to do tomorrow.”
      How do you work that out? (I mean the number, not the more tedious point of grammar.)
      Now is later; I think it time for “more on this”. Yes?

      Jackie.

      Reply
    • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 30, 2015 - 12:16 pm

      souldefenestrator 15th December 2015

      Careful now…

      large or small, there IS still only A finite number of things…

      J.

      Reply
    • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 8, 2016 - 2:34 am

      souldefenestrator 15.12.15

      “more on this later?”

      Yeah, though much later, I fear.

      “large or small, there are still only a finite number of things to do tomorrow.”

      Large or small, there IS still only A finite number of things to do tomorrow.

      Doctor J.

      Reply
  27. Barbara -  September 21, 2015 - 2:26 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Uh?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 8, 2016 - 5:31 am

            Robin Clay 15th October 2015
            “Er… No. The UK is not a foreign country. Everywhere else is.”

            Charles Edwards 20th October, 2015
            “Lies. The UK is not a foreign country. America is, though.”

            True Brits:
            What you say is true – which means only that I agree. However, remember that I was writing to Americans, to most of whom the rest of the world is a foreign country.

            P.S. Sign seen:
            The British Sarcasm Society.
            Like we really need your help.

            Regards,

            Jackie.

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

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

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

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

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

      u guy/gals are really smart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Do keep it up!

        Jackie H.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Jackie H.

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

            Gord, 31.10.15

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

            Sadly,

            Jackie.

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

    Very fasc&nating story.

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

      WTF

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

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

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

          What?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Jackie. xx

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

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

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

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

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

            Jackie H.

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

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

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

          Holy cow! Take THAT Ian!

          I think I’m crushing.

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 7, 2015 - 1:44 pm

            Prplbeedoo 25.11.15

            What‽ How can half a hole also be a hole‽ Respell it as ‘whole’ then ask yerself can half of a whole be the same as the whole? No, of course not! Next you’ll be telling me that ½ = 1. And what about the next bit? “…if you have half a person digging, he’s probably not going to be able to dig as much…” [‘dependent’, actually]. No, of course he’s not; he’ll only dig half as much, independently of whether he’s the top, bottom, left or rght, back or front halves. And that is precisely the point! I hope I make myself absolutely clear here. (Can there be such a thing?)
            I think all that calculus may have rotted your brain (within the limit dy/dx of course). Actually, I enjoyed the calculus almost as much as I did trig. Happy days! And thanks for your contribution.

            Cheers,

            Jackie,
            [with tongue very firmly in cheeque: the hole/half a hole thing is a very old schoolboy-level joke].

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

        Robert, 27th of September, 2015

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

        Jackie.

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

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

      Reply
  29. danielle -  September 10, 2015 - 2:44 pm

    wow that was so interesting

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

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

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

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

      Jackie H.

      Reply
  30. jayjar88 -  September 7, 2015 - 1:16 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

      lol u guys have lot to say

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

      & it’s use = & its use

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

      jayjar88:
      I know nothing of the origin of the Y. However, here’s another extract from the notes of that Kindle book I mentioned earlier. I find the topic to be of marginal interest, by which I don’t mean ‘slight’ and we approach it via the word, ‘Cunning’.
      I always think that sounds a bit rude; you know, like the word we English-speaking women really hate to hear, (though its use in American films is increasing). That fear and loathing of the ugly little Anglo-Saxon word is hardly surprising since the one is derived from the other. Look at the letter Y, twice typed in caps here. Does it remind you of part of the woman’s body, I mean the essence of femality, often found between the navel and the knee? (If one looks hard enough) Of course it does.
      The Y is described as ‘cuneiform’, which polite word translates in the vernacular to ‘c–t-shaped’ (I’d love to put the whole word in there, but this medium is too open; you’d need to look between the closed covers of the book’s index.)
      With that in mind, it’s time to introduce the Cunning Man, the gifted water diviner, the one with the cleft stick; the cuneiform stick. Are we getting closer?
      The Cunning Man uses his Y-shaped, cuneiform stick to find, or divine, water. I know not how it works, only that it does – or so I’m told. Cunning is one of those words whose origins are largely muddled by its several alternative uses. Elvis Costello, a remarkably subtle writer, sings of his “…fingers clammy and cunning…” He’s with a girl – I think she’s This Year’s Girl.
      However, the Cunning Man, unlike Elvis, is cunning for a living, not for pleasure, which is to say that his cunning is not an adjective, but a verb; a ‘doing word’. When the Cunning Man is cunning, he is looking for water. And he’s using his cunning stick; better, his cunning-stick, with the stress on the first word..
      And that’s why it’s so well-placed in Mr Costello’s song.
      I hope that helps.

      Jackie.

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

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

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

        Jackie.

        Reply
        • Rox -  February 9, 2016 - 3:42 am

          The French equivalent, “con”, is an everyday word. It certainly does have the meaning you are thinking of, but it much more often just means “idiot”. Small children use it without anybody giving a damn.

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

        *blushing*

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Reply
  32. Hanzo -  August 28, 2015 - 2:28 am

    oh… very intresting…snooze

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

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

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

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

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

      i would say the same thing too

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

        ditto

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Reply
          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  January 8, 2016 - 5:03 am

            Hello, Pete.

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

            Hmm; interesting. Have you read Stephen Clarke’s stuff, mostly about merde?– a metaphor btw. I’ve just finished ‘Merde, Actually’, which starts somewhat droopily, but hardens well towards the end? His best may well be the more academic, ‘1,000 Years Of Annoying The French’, which should appeal to both ‘phobes and ‘philes.

            Now, deja-vu: There was an obscure film featuring a scene where the hero is introduced to a line of French Foreign Legionnaires, one of whom is monsieur deja-vu. Frowning and scrutinising the hero closely he says suspiciously, “Have we not met before, m’sieu?” It’s probably an old one but not to me and I laughed all the way to the loo.

            Jacqelyn.

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

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

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

    Thank you.

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

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

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

      http://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,5753,-1773,00.html

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

        Dear thirteen,

        Thank you very much! The URL link is terrific.

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Thanks for the information. Interesting reading!

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

          I had always called it “Each”. As in “$6 dozen each $1
          (6/doz@$1)

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

          so what

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

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

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

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

            Ms Hyde.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Reply
  34. Rebecca -  July 24, 2015 - 8:58 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Reply
          • souldefenestrator -  December 16, 2015 - 10:07 am

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

            Here is me:
            Terry and Neil:
            Just a couple of word guys‽

            ~dō

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

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

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

          EdMack:

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

          Jackie H.

          Reply
        • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 28, 2015 - 6:29 pm

          Souldefenestrator – 16 December, 2015
          “Here is you:
          Terry and Neil:
          Just a couple of words, guys. (A couple‽)

          Here is me:
          Terry and Neil:
          Just a couple of word guys‽

          ~dō”

          Yes, very good, very droll, very subtle, if somewhat inapposite. And I do like the “~dō”.

          JMH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          “Judy in the skies, with glasses.”

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

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

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

            Jackie.

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

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

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

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

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

          Reply
          • Dumbo -  January 3, 2016 - 7:40 pm

            English “bran” is related to German “brennan” which means “to burn.”

            I suspect, but have not verified, that both “bran” and “burn” are derived from “brennan.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Jackie H.

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

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

      Reply
  35. Allan -  July 4, 2015 - 8:35 pm

    Which* character

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            @Christopher

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

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

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

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

            @Christopher

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Jacqelyn Hyde -  December 7, 2015 - 4:39 pm

            ccDiane 4.8.15

            On 13.10.12 I wrote a reply to yours of August, explaining a method of finding and using the rhetora (‽). Did you ever find and use it?

            Jackie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            A Thing Or Two About The IAU

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

            Back to the planet Pluto.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            In conclusion…

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

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

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

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

            ~KinniK

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

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

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

            Fascinating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Yeah, nice one, Toktomi – epistomologically speaking.

            Jackie H.

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

          Dinosaurs never existed its a hoax

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

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

            Jackie H.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          “@Christopher

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

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

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

          Oh how we laughed…

          Jackie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

          I’ve no objection to “peed”.

          Jackie H.

          Reply
          • Dumbo -  January 3, 2016 - 8:23 pm

            “The soul per pus of a spell check her is two valley date yore ignore ants!” — mmerlinn —

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

      Time Machines………….

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

      I read that as September 9, 2001. Problem?

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

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

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

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

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

      Love it!

      Reply
  38. Ella -  June 5, 2015 - 9:07 am

    :D :) :P XD

    Reply
  39. ChARLES -  May 29, 2015 - 12:09 pm

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

    Reply
    • Ella -  June 7, 2015 - 12:31 pm

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

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

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

        Reply
        • Mike the Real -  December 5, 2015 - 2:07 am

          Eddie Lewis – 15 July 2015

          Here’s you, Eddie:

          “I was admonished for calling one of my children a little fart so for years now I use phart,”

          Why on Earth? Doesn’t it sound exactly the same? Eh?

          So have you stopped farting and started pharting insted? Doesn’t it smell exactly the same? Eh?

          MtR.

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

      Adorable!! That’s a mondegreen now :*

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

        What is :*

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

        I love hearing mondegreens!

        Reply
    • me -  July 16, 2015 - 5:48 pm

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

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

    Sorry! Like the Greek letter ” psi “

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Reply
      • me -  July 16, 2015 - 5:57 pm

        how’d that go?

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

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

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

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

        Reply
  42. 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
    • James Cameron -  June 11, 2015 - 12:30 pm

      Funny it seems like the ampersand was this symbol @.

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

        No, that’s the ‘at-sign’.

        Reply
  43. 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
      • Ella -  June 8, 2015 - 4:52 pm

        Lol
        What does that mean?!
        Write in proper English!
        ;)

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

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

          :D :) ;)

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

            Ella,

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

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

    • Jovet -  May 2, 2015 - 8:59 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Rio,
            Singular of alia is in fact aliud, not alium

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

            Allium means garlic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Jackie H.

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

            Hello Jackie H.,

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

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

            Coupla things:

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

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

            Jackie H.

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Regards,

            Jackie.

    • Larry -  May 24, 2015 - 5:11 pm

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

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

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

        Reply
    • Anna -  May 27, 2015 - 12:29 am

      Carlos,

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

      Reply
  44. 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
        • hydra -  July 5, 2015 - 11:50 am

          *its

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

          *typos

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

            Or perhaps, typoes, as in ‘tomatoes’

    • Re -  April 30, 2015 - 8:39 am

      well u found this discussion so u have no life either

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

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

        Reply
      • souldefenestrator -  December 16, 2015 - 11:56 am

        no life either‽ cheers to that. perhaps if murdering for money is your pastime, (much like it has been mine for awhile now) this site will help kill those worthless hours: http://existentialcomics.com/comic/1

        i would not mind a lesson here on the comma. i was thinking it would be more accurate if i placed the comma after the second parenthesis as opposed to after pastime.
        …or a lesson on anything else, as i have had so much fun killing time on this single page, whether it is how bad i type (be glad i am not texting i think i fit into the fat-thumbed category that leads to sometimes hysterical texts) or my obvious lack of interest in capitalizing (on anything really, i suppose i would consider myself an anti-capitalist)…

        just keep the enlightenment flowing my fellow humans.

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

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

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

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

        Reply
  45. 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
        • Anna -  May 27, 2015 - 12:38 am

          Joyce,

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

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

          I simply need a forum in which to whinge.
          Cheers
          A

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

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

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

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

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

      Lmao!……..that was funny.

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

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

        Jayjar88:
        Agreed. An English girl, I too think the D sounds better than the T, and I often use it to my surprise. Like most things North American, it’s slick, quick and easy; a case of the language reflecting the life.

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

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

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

        Regs,

        Jackie.

        Reply
        • Dumbo -  January 3, 2016 - 10:18 pm

          The reason that Ds are replacing Ts in English is that many consonants rotate over time. For example T, D, and TH (as in THing) over time switch back and forth. THaler (German, currently pronounced Taller) is related to Dollar (English) both being related currency units.

          I hear a lot of T and TH words pronounced with a D, especially among non-White Americans. I have also noticed that a lot of Americans are now swapping a B for the letter V as in Bery instead of Very.

          The change in one consonant often forces changes in other consonants in a cascading effect in order to retain comprehension. Over time this causes major language shifts like from Old English to Modern English. 500 years from now no one will understand what we know as Modern English.

          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
  46. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

          True

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

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

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

            Jackie H.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Plate tectonics, Matey.

            Mikey.

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

          Look at the Grand Canyon

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

            flood evidence

          • Mike the Real -  December 5, 2015 - 3:17 am

            Daniel 15.4.15 [x2]
            “Look at the Grand Canyon” — “flood evidence.”

            Rubbish, Daniel. It is evidence of upheaval due to cooling and shrinking. Also evidence of land erosion due to moving water over millions of years, not six thousand!

            Sorry, kid; wrong.

            MtR.

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

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

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

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

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