1. sfr
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    sfr Contributing Member

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    æsthetical

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by sfr, Jul 31, 2008.

    æ What is this symbol that looks like an "a" connected to an "e"?
     
  2. sfr
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    sfr Contributing Member

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    the ash, an early English ligature representing a vowel sound like that of a in modern bad. The long ǣ continued in use until about 1250, but was finally replaced by e. The short æ was given up by 1150, being replaced usually by a but sometimes by e.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There are many letters no longer in use which once had their place in the English Toolbox. From Wikipedia:



    The English language was first written in the Anglo-Saxon futhorc runic alphabet, in use from the 5th century. This alphabet was brought to what is now England, along with the proto-form of the language itself, by Anglo-Saxon settlers. Very few examples of this form of written Old English have survived, these being mostly short inscriptions or fragments.

    The Latin alphabet, introduced by Christian missionaries, began to replace the Anglo-Saxon futhorc from about the 7th century onwards, although the two continued in parallel for some time. Futhorc influenced the Latin alphabet by providing it with the letters thorn (Þ, þ) and wynn (Ƿ, ƿ). The letter eth (Ð, ð) was later devised as a modification of d, and finally yogh (Ȝ, ȝ) was created by Norman scribes from the insular g in Old English and Irish, and used alongside their Carolingian g.


    The ligature Æ (æ), for ae, was adopted as a letter its own right, named æsc ("ash") after a futhorc rune. In very early Old English Œ (œ), for oe, also appeared as a distinct letter named œðel ("ethel"), again after a rune. Additionally, the ligature w (double-u), for vv, was in use.
     
  4. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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  5. Fluxhavok
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    Fluxhavok Active Member

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    lol, did you just answer your own question sfr?
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It appears as much, doesn't it. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Fluxhavok
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    Fluxhavok Active Member

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    edit- nvm
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'ae' as separate letters are still used in words like 'aesthetical' and 'anaesthesia' and 'Aegean'... and some publishers' house style may call for the old conjoined one to be used in such cases...
     
  9. sfr
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    sfr Contributing Member

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    Yeah, I ended up doing that.
     
  10. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    The letter really died out because the kindergardners went on strike and refused to write that letter. They said it was hard enough trying to do 'a' and 'e' and doing them together was just too much. Sadly, the school board gave in, and thus left a bunch of confused rest of us.
     
  11. Steve Benson
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    Steve Benson Senior Member

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    Wreybies, thanks for the interesting little alphabet lesson. Probably the most interesting thing I've read all day.
     
  12. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Question. How do you type that letter?
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You could pick it from Character Map in Windows Accessories. Not quick, but if all else fails...
     
  14. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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  15. Islander
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    The Danes still use that character (and it represents roughly the same sound as in English).
     

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