And (&), the 27th Letter of the English Alphabet
English / December 13, 2018

English has always been a living language, changing and evolving with use. But there are quite a few letters we tossed aside as the language grew, and you probably never even knew they existed. Before our modern alphabet was established, the language used many more characters we’ve since removed from our 26-letter lineup. There are 26 letters to the English alphabet, with two of the letters — “A” and “I” — themselves also constituting words. But as seen above, another character — the ampersand (&) — also, at times, was included among the current 26. And amazingly, the word “ampersand” is probably a byproduct of the symbol’s inclusion. Here are 10 letters that are no longer part of English alphabet 1. Thorn (þ) Thorn is in many ways the counterpart to eth. Thorn is also pronounced with a th sound, but it has a voiceless pronunciation—your vocal cords don’t vibrate when pronouncing the sound—like in thing or thought. Today, the same th letter combo is used for both þ and ð sounds. There is a pronunciation difference—thorn is a voiceless pronunciation and eth is voiced. We replaced it with ‘th’ over time—thorn fell out of use because Gothic-style scripting made…