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  1. #1
    Odessa Dawn's Avatar
    Odessa Dawn is offline Senior Member
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    Default How many letters are there in the English alphabet?



    Shouldn't we add apostrophe to this list. Apostrophe is a letter. It is not a punctuation mark at all. The Guardian says that apostrophe is a punctuation mark, and I quote ...

    Later this month members of Mid Devon district council's cabinet will discuss formally banning the pesky little punctuation marks from its (no apostrophe needed) street signs, apparently to avoid "confusion".
    The news of the Tory-controlled council's (apostrophe required) decision provoked howls of condemnation on Friday from champions of plain English, fans of grammar, and politicians. Even the government felt the need to join the campaign to save the apostrophe.
    Outrage at local authority plans to abolish apostrophe | Society | The Guardian

    I disagree with the Guardian and I would say that there are
    twenty-seven letters in the English alphabet. Do you agree with me?

    Thank you.


  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How many letters are there in the English alphabet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa Dawn View Post


    Shouldn't we add apostrophe to this list. Apostrophe is a letter. It is not a punctuation mark at all. The Guardian says that apostrophe is a punctuation mark, and I quote ...



    I disagree with the Guardian and I would say that there are
    twenty-seven letters in the English alphabet. Do you agree with me?

    Thank you.

    26. Apostrophe isn't a letter.
    But I'm interested in your argument as to why it should be considered a letter. If it's based on street names, wouldn't you have to add the hyphen too?

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many letters are there in the English alphabet?

    No. In English, the apostrophe is definitely a punctuation mark, not a letter of the alphabet.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: How many letters are there in the English alphabet?

    It indicates a missing letter, but that doesn't make it a letter, or it shows possession, and in some (often disputed) cases can indicate a plural. These don't add up to making it a letter in English to me.
    Last edited by Tdol; 24-Apr-2013 at 14:49. Reason: typo

  5. #5
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How many letters are there in the English alphabet?

    Well our OP is probably making an analogy with an Arabic letter, the hamzah al wazl (hamzah al-wasl 6) which looks like an apostrophe, is considered a letter, and doesn't do much but separate or cause a glottal stop. But I agree with the other teachers, apostrophe is not a letter, since it doesn't have a pronunciation, ever.

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