Written English uses 18 digraphs, such as ch, sh, th, ph, wh, etc. 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 english alphabet book free download pdf 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 script, introduced by Christian missionaries, began to replace the Anglo-Saxon futhorc from about the 7th century, although the two continued in parallel for some time. Norman scribes from the insular g in Old English and Irish, and used alongside their Carolingian g. In the year 1011, a monk named Byrhtferð recorded the traditional order of the Old English alphabet.
Latin borrowings reintroduced homographs of ash and ethel into Middle English and Early Modern English, though they are not considered to be the same letters but rather ligatures, and in any case are somewhat old-fashioned. Thorn and eth were both replaced by th, though thorn continued in existence for some time, its lowercase form gradually becoming graphically indistinguishable from the minuscule y in most handwriting. Y for th can still be seen in pseudo-archaisms such as “Ye Olde Booke Shoppe”.
The letters þ and ð are still used in present-day Icelandic while ð is still used in present-day Faroese. Wynn disappeared from English around the 14th century when it was supplanted by uu, which ultimately developed into the modern w.
Yogh disappeared around the 15th century and was typically replaced by gh. English, and was used in non-final position up to the early 19th century.
Outside of professional papers on specific subjects that traditionally use ligatures in loanwords, ligatures are seldom used in modern English. Greek or Latin origin, such as encyclopædia and cœlom, although such ligatures were not used in either classical Latin or ancient Greek. These are not independent letters, but rather allographs.
Deseret alphabet, the Shavian alphabet, Gregg shorthand, etc. Diacritic marks mainly appear in loanwords such as naïve and façade. As such words become naturalised in English, there is a tendency to drop the diacritics, as has happened with old borrowings such as hôtel, from French. Informal English writing tends to omit diacritics because of their absence from the keyboard, while professional copywriters and typesetters tend to include them.
Tolkien uses ë, as in O wingëd crown. This use of the diaeresis is rarely seen, but persists into the 2000s in some publications, such as MIT Technology Review and The New Yorker.
An acute, grave, or diaeresis may also be placed over an “e” at the end of a word to indicate that it is not silent, as in saké. In general, these devices are often not used even where they would serve to alleviate some degree of confusion. English alphabet, as in Byrhtferð’s list of letters in 1011.