There was no letter U in the alphabet. Well, that’s not the entire story. There was the sound for the letter we call U, but it didn’t look like U. It looked like V. The Classical Latin alphabet had only 23 letters, not the 26 that we have today. (This is why the W looks like a double V but is pronounced like a double U. Learn more about the history of W here.)

For a very long time, U and V were allographs. What’s an allograph? An allograph is a variation of a letter in another context. Uppercase and lowercase letters are allographs. Before the use of the letter U, the shape V stood for both the vowel U and the consonant V. In the picture below you can see the letter V used in places were it would be pronounced as a U.

The letters begin to look different in the Gothic alphabet in 1386; however the use of the u was not widespread. When scribes did use a u, it was in the middle of words, e.g. save was saue, but upon was vpon. It wasn’t until printing standardized letter shapes in the 1600s that the letter U became regularly used. First, in the 1500s, Italian printers started distinguishing between the vowel U and the consonant V. However, the V continued to be used for the U sound at the beginning of words. In 1629, the capital U became an accepted letter when Lazare Zetzner, a printer, started using it in his print shop.

The letter Z was almost removed from the alphabet. Read Z’s story here.

Covld you still read if we vsed v for u?

Whatever fate awaits the experimental disciplinary rules at Congress this weekend, it has managed to forge a significant road-map for the future of the way Gaelic games are played.

Irish Independent (Dublin, Republic of Ireland) April 15, 2009 Leap of faith needed for rules to get real chance Whatever fate awaits the experimental disciplinary rules at Congress this weekend, it has managed to forge a significant road-map for the future of the way Gaelic games are played.

Requiring a two thirds majority may be a step too far, even as the votes come pouring in from counties who ordinarily might have expected to err on the side of caution in this instance.

However, quite clearly, it has exercised minds and thinking on the more sinister elements that have crept in to Gaelic football and hurling over the last number of years.

The task force charged with putting this effort together over the last 16 months or so may not be interested in moral victories, but they already have one. And by Saturday evening, they may have a concrete victory that few could have predicted at the outset.

> ESSENTIAL> They have sold it hard and they have sold it well, but while a decent sales pitch about the importance of change was essential this time, as opposed to four years ago, it hasn’t been the vital ingredient in such a groundswell of support that was apparent last week.

Counties are leaning towards change because they understand that some change is required to remove cynical elements from the game.

Last year’s All-Ireland football final between Tyrone and Kerry was a beautiful spectacle, but in between the quality and excitement there was a cynical undercurrent that went largely unpunished on the day.

It’s hard to agree with those who contend that the rules were fine the way they were; harder still after watching some of the games that unfolded in this year’s League campaign. site act question of the day

It was wholly anticipated that a raft of managers would eventually rail against the proposals. And yesterday the Gaelic Players’ Association (GPA) released the results of their findings from a text poll which suggested that 82pc of those polled did not trust that the new rules would be applied consistently. Naturally, players and managers are frightened of the consequences of being on the wrong side of a decision. Sure they are the major stakeholders in the game, but they must also understand that they don’t have the monopoly of knowledge on how it should be played.

Some managers took longer than others, but eventually the message was communal — players wouldn’t tackle again, the physicality would be taken out of the game, referees wouldn’t be consistent enough from week-to-week and game-to-game and there was nothing wrong with the rules in the first place. web site act question of the day

Jack O’Connor raised an interesting point earlier this week when he suggested that players would be reluctant to tackle at all after picking up a yellow card, but if they learn to tackle right then there shouldn’t be a problem.

But consistency in application by referees remains the biggest concern and it was quite in evidence, particularly in the latter stages of the League, how some referees, more so in hurling, had diluted their enforcement of new rules.

Passing the rules is a huge leap of faith by the GAA that will bring enormous change, more so at club level next year than anywhere else. The greatest stage for the experiment would be a season of championship action itself to test their properties in the white heat of intense battle. But under rule, this is not possible so a huge leap of faith is required.

Most of the designated yellow card offences are black and white. If a player trips an opponent by foot or hand it’s clear what his intention is — it is cynical attempt to stop an opponent. Does the perpetrator deserve to stay on the field having committed such an act?

QUESTION> That is the question each delegate to Congress has to ask themselves. And if they don’t deserve to stay on the field, does the team deserve to suffer? That is the core principle of the proposals before them.

Similarly a body check or third man tackle can’t be dressed up as anything other than what it is; even in the last split second a player can make a genuine attempt to avoid contact.

Wisely the task force has removed the wrestling of an opponent to the ground from their list of yellow card offences on the basis that the victim can potentially suffer the same fate as the aggressor.

Remonstrating with an official has resulted in the least amount of yellow cards during the League and subsidiary competitions and that message seems to have got through more than any. By championship time, that may be different, but it should remain a yellow offence.

The greatest ambiguity lies in the two remaining offences that have merited yellow under the experiment — pulling down an opponent and grabbing an opponent around the neck with arm or hurl. It’s here that referees must exercise the most discretion, here that the greatest difference of interpretation lies.

It was in evidence on the night that Dublin and Tyrone met in the floodlit game in late January when corner-back Michael Magee survived his execution of a high tackle on Conal Keaney. Good judgment was exercised that night and that game remains the perfect template for how the rules can really work.


  1. OCHIENG BRIAN OTIENO -  January 25, 2014 - 11:53 am

    This is the best field of research for an individual who always want to be a head of others. I really like it and It makes me not to regret the day I started to develop interest in English language and Literature, I really believe that all my problems concerning English are solved.

  2. someone -  August 29, 2012 - 7:17 pm

    you gotta love dictionary.com. best website in the world.

  3. LOL -  July 23, 2012 - 1:54 am

    while reading everyone’s comment where they replaced the letter u with the letter v it actually comes naturally to me that I am able to read this clearly without the need to change the letters back to their original spelling……weird huh?

  4. king -  July 5, 2012 - 2:03 pm

    It wovld be so louely and perfect

  5. sherryyu -  June 9, 2012 - 2:51 pm

    wow this is very interesting, vsing the letter v to stand in for u

  6. Alfonso Rojo -  May 31, 2012 - 5:46 am

    It would need not to be confusing. English is worst. Try to read laughter. Now, put and “s’ in front and read again: slaughter.
    The first Romans had it easy. There were no exceptions.

  7. Lisa Beusch -  May 14, 2012 - 5:05 am

    I don’t think it would be confusing. You just need a looootttt of common sense

  8. Mitchell Rilatos -  April 26, 2012 - 12:19 pm

    First comment

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