Talk:2794: Alphabet Notes

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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No, we must rid ourselves of the redundant C. Also we need to bring back Ð and Þ. SDSpivey (talk) 19:20, 26 June 2023 (UTC)

I agree with your second point, but not your first (This is why: Trogdor147 (talk) 01:04, 27 June 2023 (UTC)
I agree, as long as we also bring back ᵹ. PxP 19:57, 28 June 2023 (UTC)
Cueball may disagree with you. :9 NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:40, 1 July 2023 (UTC)

daMNation, randoMNess, chiMNey, gyMNastics, autuMN are not fancy words 19:43, 26 June 2023 (UTC)

Autumn is to me! (Fall is the standard, Autumn is fancy) PxP 19:58, 28 June 2023
To me "Autumn" is normal. "Fall" only comes from furriners... 00:46, 29 June 2023 (UTC)

You can't have rUIn without U and I together!

Or UI! GetPunnedOn (talk) 22:35, 26 June 2023 (UTC) (Reply to above text)

We need to bring back way more letters: -- 20:33, 26 June 2023 (UTC)

I would be useful to include the letter frequency table from Wikipedia at but we don't appear to have the "bartable" template from wikipedia to display bar charts. It would explain a lot about the haunted letters in particular to have it.

The circled JK is clearly referencing the text-language abbreviation for "just kidding", and the bracketed VW... I'm not sure but, it might have to do with Volkswagen, or the spikiness of the letters, or "why isn't W called double-V or at least next to the U". 21:18, 26 June 2023 (UTC)

I removed the portion claiming that "JK" originated with SMS texting, which simply isn't true at all. Using "JK" as an acronym for "just kidding", goes back even before the rise of Bulletin Board Systems; it may have originated with schoolkids passing notes.
ProphetZarquon (talk) 16:03, 29 June 2023 (UTC)
I feel like it DID start with SMS texting, which has a strict size limit and people used to not have unlimited texting and as such had to keep things brief. I have a long history with computers and internet and technology, including back to BBSs, and it seems like JK and J/K only started showing up 15-20 years ago. I was late to owning a cell phone, and thus texting, so it was in widespread use before I caught what it meant. Remembering that BBSs never had any length limits (none I saw, anyway), so there was no motivation for skipping letters in words (other than lengthening connection time, a difference so negligible it would be measured in picoseconds or lower). SMS is what started - indirectly - charging for writing longer. NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:40, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
I don't know whether it was chat (except usually those had a pretty generous length as I recall) or in-game messaging or some prior convention such as acronyms used in morse shorthands, but "JK" would get tacked on after statements on message boards & it was even used on handwritten notes, quite a bit prior to the advent of SMS (which itself was well over 20 years ago). JK has been around longer than many (most?) of us have been alive.
ProphetZarquon (talk) 17:39, 2 July 2023 (UTC)
I'm not going to claim to be an absolute authority on this by any means, but I have an English & Linguistics degree, have spent a lifetime collecting phrases and idioms out of sheer fascination, and make a living as a proofreader for a huge international company with dozens of offices in the Americas, Europe, East Asia, the Middle East and Australia. But I'm English, as my handle would probably suggest, and I have now, having read this comic, heard of "JK" to mean "just kidding". So I'm going to suggest that maybe it's rather North American in usage.Yorkshire Pudding (talk) 11:04, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
I think the bracketed V and W is referencing the fact that W is equivalent to two V’s together. (Or the fact that W originated as VV) —Purah126 (talk) 23:39, 26 June 2023 (UTC)
Huh, I always thought "jk" was for "joke". Luckily it doesn't change its meaning... (unlike the person who thought "LOL" was for "Lots of Love" ) Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 07:19, 27 June 2023 (UTC)
In some languages, such as French, w is called "double v" (or its literal transaltion), which makes more sense. :-) --Itub (talk) 11:28, 27 June 2023 (UTC)

Added the Twinkle Twinkle justification into the existing explanation. But I might be talking out of my hat, as I'm British and only really know the US treatment from imported media. (Sesame Street? No, I can only bring to mind their counting 1-12 song. And "Conjunction Junction".) The UK's "alphabet" recital form, at least when I was that young, is far less musical. And tends to rhyme "Z" with "Drop dead!", naturally. ;) 22:06, 26 June 2023 (UTC)

I'm Canadian, similarly using "zed", and we DID use the alphabet song, we just ignored trying to rhyme that letter. :) Makes me wonder if that rhyme is WHY Americans use "zee". NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:40, 1 July 2023 (UTC)

Pretty sure he isn't questioning the position of Q as much as its inclusion. If we wanted to reform English spelling, we could get rid of Q pretty kwiklee. 23:29, 26 June 2023 (UTC)

Or maybe it's that old joke about why U doesn't follow Q in the alphabet? 10:09, 27 June 2023 (UTC) Artinum

I can't be the only one who thinks there's a dirty joke in the line '"D" is solid, at least' 00:18, 27 June 2023 (UTC)

I didn't. I think that joke is simply that D is a simple, enclosed shape. Barmar (talk) 04:27, 27 June 2023 (UTC)
B is also a simple, enclosed shape. I thought that the 'no heavy hitters' comment might be a reference to 'ETAION SHRDLU', the 12 most common letters in written English arranged in descending order of frequency - since it contains neither B nor C (nor, indeed, F or G). 05:12, 27 June 2023 (UTC)
B has a concave feature so is not so simple a shape as D. D is the only consonant whose convex hull maintains the shape of the letter. (Imagine snapping a rubber band around the letter. The vowels I and O also have this property... at least with no serifs on the I, as drawn.) Davidhbrown (talk) 11:49, 27 June 2023 (UTC)
I feel it is just that Randall finds D to be a "reliable" letter, like a workhorse letter, it does the job while not being flashy (I tend to get his thinking, MANY comics where I feel the same as him, this included, but I can't fully explain this feeling in this case, I just agree with the statement). NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:40, 1 July 2023 (UTC)

PxP: I must ask, does this has anything to do with Alphabet Lore by Mike Salcedo? I feel it might be, with Q being weird and all. 12:16, 27 June 2023 (EST)

To quote my latest edit-comment: "Why number-points, anyway? Just *s would make more sense than #s, as there's no need to establish an order in most cases, especially for multi-glyph annotations" ( the wide spread of vowels(+Y), especially). I see no need for ordinal bullet-points, but (which would have helped my prior edit, that I'd forgotten to Preview first, thus had broken/restarted the numbering) it is a prime candidate for the more traditional wikitable layout. Columns of "Letter(s), Red Comment, Possible Reason(s)" would probably suffice. 16:43, 27 June 2023 (UTC)

In order for it to BE an 'alphabet', it has to begin with the equivalent letters for 'Alpha' and 'Beta'. Any logographic system that doesn't begin with the local equivalent of A and B (such as Chinese pinyin, or Norse runes) isn't an alphabet, no matter how many times the plebs claim it is... 03:44, 28 June 2023 (UTC)

Not necessarily. The name of a word doesn't necessarily correspond 1:1 with its meaning. And even if "alphabet" was originally created with that meaning (which it may or may not have), meanings can change over time. Wikipedia's Alphabet article lists many writing systems that aren't Latin-derived; the accepted meaning of an alphabet is any writing system that associates symbols with sounds. Not that I'm going to convince you of anything of course - your use of the word "plebs" implies that you're not willing to change your mind. DownGoer (talk) 05:18, 29 June 2023 (UTC)
Seconded. Etymology and current meaning are not the same thing. Yorkshire Pudding (talk) 10:55, 30 June 2023 (UTC)
I agree with these two, in current parlance they're all alphabets. I can believe that's the origin of the word, but not that it's the current meaning. I mean, if non-Alpha-and-Beta languages AREN'T "alphabets", then what do you call them instead? NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:40, 1 July 2023 (UTC)
Boy, you're going to be really annoyed when you learn where the words "logograph" and "rune" come from. (To save people a Google search: "instrument or person who writes" and "secret conversation", respectively. So by your logic, the Chinese script - or indeed, any script - cannot be called a logography, and most Norse writing are not runes.) 12:43, 1 July 2023 (UTC)

The strong RST cluster could also reference the keys on the colemak keyboard layout where the three stronger fingers (ring, middle, left) of the left-hand sit on those keys

This doesn't seem likely. Other than international keyboards, usually the only keyboard layout that comes up is the Dvorak. It seems clear to me that he means that they are 3 of the 5 most common letters in the English language, and they happen to be clustered together in the alphabet. NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:40, 1 July 2023 (UTC)

None of the latest comics have been added to this site around when they were posted recently. — 14:12, 28 June 2023 (UTC)

What's funny - but I find incredibly common - is that I agree with Randall on all of these points, LOL! I can just see what he means. NiceGuy1 (talk) 06:40, 1 July 2023 (UTC)

Why're we using "number-bullets" in this page's markup/composition? Seems a strange choice... 16:56, 2 July 2023 (UTC)

We're not anymore! :D
I spend more time than I'd like to admit turning the entire article into a table. FaviFake (talk) 08:01, 3 July 2023 (UTC)

Are you sure he doesn't mean here as in why Q is between P and R instead of, say, next to U? 01:36, 5 July 2023 (UTC)

That might be the case. Feel free to add that to the article. --FaviFake (talk) 07:54, 5 July 2023 (UTC)--FaviFake (talk) 07:54, 5 July 2023 (UTC)

Can someone add the letters E and L to the chart? IJustWantToEditStuff (talk) 16:33, 7 July 2023 (UTC)

The letter "L" is where it should be, but named "L to P" because the only comment about L is the alphabet song. I avoided adding "E" because it would be in the middle of another group it's not part of (see the comic). If someone finds a way to add "E" (which has no comment from Randall) into the table without making it confusing, let us know. --FaviFake (talk) 21:25, 7 July 2023 (UTC)
My suggestion would be to have rowspanned cells (and/or a sorting-compatible means of merging sequrntial repetitions) so each individual character has as many 'raw' table lines as it has different annotations, and every annotation has as many lines as it has members of the set. I might fiddle with that myself, see what it looks like. 22:37, 7 July 2023 (UTC)

I’m surprised there is no discussion of W as a vowel, for example the word cwm. John (talk) 11:28, 12 July 2023 (UTC)

I'm not sure Welsh is something Randall would have been thinking of*. No sign of the "letters" 'ch', 'dd', 'ff', 'ng', 'll', 'ph', 'rh' and 'th' as list items (unlike the potential dutch 'ij', albeit that pops out of the basic sequence), nor (additional) complaints about the relative absence of 'k', 'q', 'v', 'x' or 'z' in the geiriadur. (* - though it would be interesting if he ever did, under his Language remit...) 12:02, 12 July 2023 (UTC)