8 Alphabets That Were Brutally Dumped By The English Language
Being broken up with almost always sucks. The feeling of no longer being relevant to someone you’ve been with for decades.
Which is why we dedicate this write-up to the poor alphabets who have been left behind and forgotten by the English language without so much as a goodbye text.
The alphabet was first introduced into the Latin roster because there wasn’t really an alphabet that sounded like a “w“. People tried to put two Vs together to create the sound but it was too inconvenient for a long time.
Wynn was a solution to that problem until people got really excited about the two Vs idea and created the modern alphabet W.
We’re familiar with this one, in fact, it’s right up there on all our keyboards. But before Ampersand was a symbol it was an alphabet.
It was included as the 27th letter of the alphabet as recently as the 19th century. A stylistic representation of the Latin word for and called “et”.
It got its name because the song “ABCD” used to end with the words “and per se and“, which gave the alphabet its name.
Nope, you didn’t read that wrong. That was an alphabet. Because as much as we get made fun of for using short forms instead of words, our ancestors were clearly lazy enough to not bother writing words like “and” and “that” down.
The alphabet was incredibly popular, especially with religious organizations which is why it might still be spotted in churches.
#4 The Long ‘S’
Listen, writing S twice is an absolute waste of time. And there’s nothing you can do or say that would have convinced our ancestors otherwise.
The long S looked very much like a hungover F, and it wasn’t a substitution for the alphabet S. In fact, deciding which one to use was governed by an insanely tricky set of rules that made absolutely no sense. Which is probably why they abandoned it after a point.
The letter eng was invented by one single dude who didn’t want to write the letters “ing”.
Alexander Gill invented eng in 1619, but the pre-existing letter G was already so popular that nobody really wanted to use eng.
The letter was used to denote a long E sound and was often used to spell words like foetus and subpoena which is probably why the spelling persists to this day.
But for simplification, people dropped ethel like a hot rock and just used a simple E instead.
Probably the most popular of the lot, Thorn was used to pronounce the TH sound, like at the beginning of “the”. Thorn is, in fact, the reason we often see “ye” written when trying to convey a sense of an older world. “Ye” being a compromise because French printing presses couldn’t accommodate the Thorn alphabet.
We still see remnants of this alphabet today in words like “aether” and “aeon”. The Ash was an important letter in Old English with its own unique type and pronunciation.
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