Letters are the constituent parts of the written word, where each letter represents a different sound, such as '  ' or '  '.   The collective noun for a flock of letters is an alphabet.  There are 26 letters in common usage in written English, but in fact the full version of the English alphabet contains almost 300 letters; most of these are rarely used, being both silent and invisible.

The following, in order of appearance in Jane Austen's classic novel Men and Menstruation, are the most commonly used household letters, such as one might find in any regular coffee table book or hairdryer instruction manual:

- Bb
or B flat
is the silent B, which occurs in words such as 'bomb' (pronounced 'om').
- Q
is an unnecessary letter, which could easily be replaced by K, but it is often said that the English like to form a Q out of politeness.
- T
is the opposite of S. It is the most widely-used drink in the English alphabet.
- W
is named ‘Double U', or ‘U2' for short, but it is in fact two V
s conjoined and is therefore worth ten

Since a Royal Mail rule change in 2007, the price of sending a letter in the UK has varied according to the letter's size. This means that the cost of sending a large X to an aunt in Inverness would be upwards of 92 pence.* Pre-2007 letters are now obsolete, but one could use any found lying about the house to make alphabet soup, which should be served cold, like revenge or gazpacho.

*ie, 93 pence.


Ellara said...

So happy to see a new post by Dr Pudding.

Dr Theophilus Pudding said...

Thank you, Ellara. My apologies for the long silence.