From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Writing systems (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article falls within the scope of WikiProject Writing systems, a WikiProject interested in improving the encyclopaedic coverage and content of articles relating to writing systems on Wikipedia. If you would like to help out, you are welcome to drop by the project page and/or leave a query at the project’s talk page.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

. (The first letter of the modern English alphabet.)[edit]

(Any of the speech sounds represented by the letter a.) )The first in a series. Something shaped like the letter A)

Note: Is not A also a word, although it is not always quite clear what it is used for?

a fake to nit and to eat and apelh[edit]

"In 1600 B.C. the Phoenician alphabet's letter had a linear form that served as the base for some later forms. Its name must have corresponded closely to the Hebrew or Arabic aleph."

Its name "must have?" Really? Because if it "must have," then it did. This should be replaced with "may have" or "likely" or something like this, unless the point is definite, in which case "must have" should just be removed.

"Yes...It's Raining" 01:32, 17 December 2010 (UTC)


A, a is the first letter of our alphabet. It was the first letter in the first known alphabet, which dates from about 1850 B.C. It was used by a people called Seirites, who lived on the Sinai Peninsula north of the Red Sea. They took this letter from Egyptian drawings of the head of an ox. The Phoenicians, who lived in the eastern Mediterranean area, also made A the first letter in their alphabet. They named it aleph, which means ox. The Phoenician A looked less like an ox head, and more like the A of the present-day alphabet. The Greeks took the letter into their alphabet and called it alpha. They made slight changes in its shape. The shape of the letter was changed again when it passed into the Roman alphabet.

In the Seirite and Phoenician alphabets, A stood for a light breathing sound, which was not used in pronouncing the letter in the later alphabets. A stands for six main sounds in the English alphabet. Examples of these sounds are found in the words name, bare, man, father, water, and want.

The World Book Encyclopedia. Copyright 1956. Volume 1. Page 1.

Luckynumbers (talk) 09:44, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

What do the first four sentences have anything to do with what you wrote? Αδελφος (talk) 16:06, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Nothing, this was vandalism. I reverted the statement. Adam850 (talk) 03:58, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Lower-case forms error[edit]

In the sentence following "The letter has two minuscule (lower-case) forms.", the first example, the Unicode one, is the wrong character and is the same as the second example. Given that we do not know what fonts people are using when reading Wikipedia, it may make more sense to have the text point to the illustrations to the bottom right of this passage instead of trying to put the characters inline. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 18:27, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Frequency Table[edit]

The article indicates the frequency of the letter A in the english alphabet to be 8% or so, but the citation that this number is taken from has the actual frequency as 3.5%. I am not sure which is correct, but there is certainly an incosistancy here that needs to be resolved. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:51, 25 July 2008 (UTC)


Searching the word "a" on Google racks up over 20 billion results, double of what the search engine gives for the word "I." -- (talk) 00:37, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

So you were bored?-- (talk) 13:21, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Historical development of the letter A graph[edit]

Shouldn't we only include the capital letter Alpha, since the lowercase alpha was invented in the 8th Century (common era)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Usage Addition[edit]

There is no mention how it appears in a number of mathematics and electronics. If someone looks up the term wondering how it relates to the electronics they purchased, they should have a quick definition/ link to look up. AF Cadet & EE Student (talk) 13:00, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

NATO phonetic[edit]

The NATO phonetic should be spelled Alfa, this is done to avoid confusion with non-english speakers who do not pronounce "ph" as "f". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Toxicredm (talkcontribs) 04:13, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

There is a problem with the template that apparently is been addressed.
Until then we must keep the spelling Alpha until the problem in common has been resolved. FFMG (talk) 07:31, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
simply note 'pronunciation' along with the standard spelling. XM8 Carbine (talk) 10:47, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Angle brackets[edit]

I'm just curious, why are angle brackets being used on this page? Adam850 (talk) 03:59, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

"technical restraints"[edit]

The first line, "Due to technical restraints," doesn't sound right to me. Surely it should be 'technical constraints' or 'technical restrictions' which is what the link refers to. Chris97 (talk) 21:15, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Fixed. Used "restrictions" Peaceoutside (talk) 03:25, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

FUN FACT[edit]

The average human uses the letter a when they speak 750,230 a day

So the "average human" speaks English as a mother tongue?--F. F. Fjodor (talk) 19:00, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

No they don't, this person is talking about English speakers (talk) 19:43, 29 January 2014 (UTC).

"infant" a[edit]

I couldn't find this in Wikipedia (except for one sentence in Gill Sans#Characteristics), maybe it even deserves its own article: Single-story a and g are also called infant characters[1][2] because of the belief that they are easier to read, and have been used in children's books for that reason. Research has shown that children don't actually find double-story or serif characters more difficult to read.[3]-- (talk) 22:12, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 24 November 2011[edit]

A (talk) 03:07, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. —Coroboy (talk) 09:16, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 20 January 2012[edit] (talk) 11:13, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

You've opened empty edit requests on two separate pages. Please ask at the help desk if you're having some kind of trouble, or use the sandbox if you'd like to experiment. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 13:32, 20 January 2012 (UTC)


About this revert of an edit of mine by User:Salamurai: yes, I am aware that this "forms/script" thing currently is on all the Latin alphabet articles, and I didn't get around removing it from all of them at once. It was added there by somebody a couple of weeks ago, without discussion as far as I can see ([4]). I find it problematic on several levels at once:

  1. First, technically. As far as I'm aware '<font face="script">' (or 'style="font-family:script;""') is not a standardized, commonly understood generic font type, such as "serif" or "sans-serif". Maybe a user has a font called "script" installed; maybe some browsers on some systems can pick out some system-specific font for that description, but it's not standardized and it can't be expected to work on all systems. The thing is not that I "need to update my fonts" as you so kindly put it (I can assure you I have a pretty large collection of fonts on my machine); the thing is that Wikipedia ought not to rely on assumptions about users' systems that are not based on clearly defined standards.
  2. Second, even if this descriptor could be relied upon to successfully select some "script" font, how predictably similar would they be? Can you be sure the reader is really going to see the kind of glyph you were thinking of? If you want to show the reader a specific type of glyph stylization of a letter, the only safe bet is still to show them an image of it.
  3. Third, content-wise: why this particular emphasis on "script" glyphs? (Whatever they are supposed to be.) Why not the blackletter glyphs? The italic? The Caroline minuscule? The Roman uncial? The Kurrent? The Insular?
  4. Fourth, presentation: what is "forms/script" even supposed to mean? What is that strange slash doing there? Is the first pair of symbols following supposed to be the "forms", and the second pair the "script"? What kind of logical contrast is that? And why are the "script" forms also printed in double <big>?

As for the other thing that got caught up in the same edit, the alleged plural form "aes", did you actually look up the OED reference? The OED gives this spelling as one out of three ("The plural has been written aes , A's , As."), and then has a whopping single example where it actually occurred (somewhere in Tennyson). This is an extremely marginal form, for all I can see, certainly a lot less common than, for instance, "a's". I'm sure I've never come across it. Has anybody else? Having this oddity mentioned in the lead sentence strikes me as a rather crass form of undue weight.

The plurals are not easy to find, because people confuse the letter with its name. These are the plurals of the names. The others are plurals of the letter. The plural of hundred isn't "100's", it's "hundreds". The plural of gamma isn't "γ's", it's "gammas". Etc. The plural forms of the letters aren't very common, but they do exist, especially in initialisms like "emcees" and "deejays", but also where objects are named after letters, like ems, els, wyes, etc, or sounds are so named, as in dropping your aitches. Should we include the plurals of some letter names but not of others, based on some arbitrary cut-off of how common they are? — kwami (talk) 04:44, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
(Late response:) I must confess I am puzzled by this alleged distinction between a "plural of a letter" and a "plural of its name", and I have "fact"-tagged the relevant footnote accordingly. The OED, which is ostensibly cited at that point, certainly isn't making such a distinction, and I must say I have no idea what the distinction should be in the first place. Could you please provide a definition and some real-life examples what kinds of usage you would consider to constitute a "plural of the name" as opposed to a "plural of the letter" itself? Also, if such a distinction can be semantically maintained (which I doubt), is there any evidence that real-life orthographic practice actually distinguishes between them? I'd be quite surprised if it did, given its esoteric nature. About the examples you offered above, "drop one's aitches" is used alternatingly with "drop one's H's", so I fail to see such a systematic distinction. "Deejays" is not a plural of a letter name, but a plural of a simple noun that happens to be a lexicalized spelling out of an initialism; such cases are very much individually lexicalized and hardly a productive property of the individual letter names as such. Can you provide any concrete examples involving things like "aes" and "ees"? Fut.Perf. 15:18, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
The OED also has "a per se aes" as the plural of "a per se a" (the letter 'a' standing by itself as the word 'a').
You'll see two conventions for writing letters: A's, b's, c's, etc, and aes, bees, cees, etc. (Both series are often capitalized.) These are analogous to 1's, 2's, 3's, etc. and ones, twos, threes, etc. That is, the plural of "Y" is "Y's", but the plural of "wye" is "wyes". Turner (1840) A New English Grammar and later grammars spell out some of this out, but it's not often covered. — kwami (talk) 19:25, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Latin and Greek sound[edit]

"(...) as in father, its original, Latin and Greek," - I would say it depends on which dialect of English we are talking about. Both /æ/ and /ɑː/ have variety of phonetic realisations - which should perhaps be mentioned.1700-talet (talk) 18:58, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

A as a prefix to mean 'neutral' or similar[edit]

I was wondering if someone can add something for a as a prefix in the sense of apolitical, asexual, etc? I do not actually know exactly what it means (eg: is it neutral or otherwise) and came here to find out. I'm not sure of the origin either and this seems to be the article to find out about it. Actually I think it means non. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:00, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Head over to This article here, which is Wiktionary as Wikipedia is not a dictionary, but thanks for asking. speednat (talk) 23:52, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 4 April 2014[edit]

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 13:33, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Musical Note[edit]

I think the musical note is important enough to at least be mentioned under "Other uses". I just don't have the power to add it in. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:54, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 23 December 2014[edit] (talk) 13:01, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: as you have not requested a change.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 13:09, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 January 2015[edit] (talk) 09:43, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Cannolis (talk) 09:52, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 April 2015bkfgkgkkggdifiisfid[edit] (talk) 14:01, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: as you have not requested a change.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 14:17, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 31 July 2015[edit]

Aryanshah883 (talk) 14:54, 31 July 2015 (UTC) Thousand is the first letter in which letter 'a' appears.It is the first letter that is vertical symmetrical.'A' can be written by using only three lines.

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Cannolis (talk) 15:41, 31 July 2015 (UTC)