A short history of the letter J, the alphabet’s last member

Thursday, 14 April, 2011

While sitting in the tenth place in the English alphabet, the letter J, which split off from the letter I, was actually the last addition to the writing system.

“J” is a bit of a late bloomer; after all, it was the last letter added to the alphabet. It is no coincidence that /i/ and /j/ stand side by side – they actually started out as the same character. The letter /j/ began as a swash, a typographical embellishment for the already existing /i/. With the introduction of lowercase letters to the Roman numeric system, /j/ was commonly used to denote the conclusion of a series of one’s – as in “xiij” for the number 13.

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An A to Z list of single letter, and one word, book titles

Monday, 18 October, 2010

While quite a number of books have been titled solely with a single letter of the alphabet, aspiring authors who don’t like long book titles may be interested to know that there are still a couple of letters that are yet to be used.

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A history of the origins of the alphabet

Thursday, 12 August, 2010

A very extensive article on the origins of the Latin, or Roman, alphabet, at I love Typography.

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LTRHDS 2010, the exhibition of the English Alphabet, Sydney

Friday, 16 April, 2010

LTRHDS 2010 Flyer

Another art show to add to your diary.

26 artists will present 26 visions of the 26 letters of the English Alphabet at LTRHDS 2010, at the Red Bull Gallery, corner of Huntley street and Bourke road, Alexandria, Sydney, which launches on Friday, 30th April, 2010 from 6pm.

Letterheads 2010 brings together twenty-six contemporary artists to each re-envisioned a single letter of the English alphabet, creating a collection that explores the influence of the ubiquitous letterform in all aspects of contemporary art. The lineup of high profile and emerging artist, represent the fields of illustration, cartooning, fine art, graffiti, street art and graphic design from around the globe.

The exhibition runs until Friday, 21 May.

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The A to Z of Alphabet city’s houses

Monday, 4 January, 2010

Curious and bizarre, designs for 26 “dream houses” fashioned on letters of the alphabet, by Scott Teplin.

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These phonetics sierra uniform charlie kilo, over and out

Tuesday, 3 November, 2009

The existing NATO phonetic alphabet – alfa, bravo, charlie, etc, isn’t the best example of an anacrophonic phonetic alphabet, which the creators of the Nearly Anacrophonic Phonetic Alphabet – or NAPA – hope to rectify…

The NAPA is an attempt to make a truly anacrophonic phonetic alphabet. While we were unable to rigorously maintain anacrophony, we feel that the few exceptions were unavoidable. In any case, the NAPA hews much more closely to the basic idea of anacrophony than any other phonetic alphabet of which we are aware.

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Easier said than done, switching to the phonetic alphabet

Thursday, 3 September, 2009

Would adopting a phonetic alphabet speed up our learning of the English language?

A dictionary key is over ten times less complex and can probably be learned ten times as quick. It has been claimed that instead of 3 years to achieve literacy, highly phonemic notations may take only 3 months to master!

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Sorting the alphabet by alphabetical order

Friday, 22 May, 2009

Your questions answered on how the alphabet came to be in its current format and order.

The modern English alphabet is the 23-letter Latin assortment with three additions hastened by the invention of movable type. W starts showing up in English letter lists in the 16th century, replacing the previous literal double U (or V) that denoted our current W sound. Naturally it was placed next to the then-undifferentiated U/V. The I/J and U/V cleavages came later – though the different shapes had existed for centuries, they weren’t considered distinct letters in English until around 1700.

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Go Font Urself Exhibition Sydney

Monday, 9 February, 2009

Go Font Urself Exhibition

The Go Font Urself exhibition opens on at 6:30pm, Wednesday 25 February 2009, at Sydney’s Peer Gallery, 153 Bridge Road, Glebe, and features the work of 13 artists including Beastman, Numskull, and Ben Frost.

Letters, words and font – We know what they are, we see them every day, but for the talented artists of GO FONT UR SELF, members of the alphabet have been taken and transformed into works of art. This exhibition sees thirteen fine artists showcase type based artworks that reinvent the uniqueness of the alphabet. They have taken their love of letters to a whole new creative level and you can see their creations on display at the GO FONT UR SELF exhibition.

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Apparently the letter J is on the verge of extinction

Friday, 3 October, 2008

Sightings of the tenth letter of the alphabet are becoming farer and fewer between if this Typophile discussion is anything to go by:

I’ve noticed that the letter J is rarely used these days. Do you think I should bother including a J in my fonts or can I just leave it out?

Clearly this some sort of joke, has this guy never heard of, wait for it, the Joker or what?

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