2763: Linguistics Gossip

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Linguistics Gossip
The E's wedding invitation definitely used the word LOVE more times than was strictly necessary.
Title text: The E's wedding invitation definitely used the word LOVE more times than was strictly necessary.


Æ (pronounced "ash") is a letter formed from a ligature of A and E. Depending on the language, it can be pronounced as a diphthong /ae̯/ (Classical Latin), as an /ɛ/ sound like in "bet" (Old Norse, later forms of Latin), as an /eɪ̯/ like in "oy vey", as an /aɪ̯/ like in "aye-aye", or as an /æ/ like in "cat" (Danish, Norwegian, and in the International Phonetic Alphabet).

The comic personifies the letters "A" and "E", imagining that the character Æ represents a romantic relationship between the two. It then imagines a situation in which the two letters end the relationship and eventually marry other letters, giving rise to two new ligatures (A with R and E with V).

The title text continues with the idea of personified letters with E's wedding invitation. In the comic, E's new relationship appears to be with the letter "V" as implied with the statement with E's wedding invitation repeatedly using the word "LOVE", which would spawn many chances to use a V+E ligature.

The joke in the title text is about people who brag too much about their relationships. Even though a wedding is a celebration of ”LOVE”, the joke is that V and E are so proud of their newfound relationship that they show off their combined ligature at every possible opportunity. From the perspective of the person who wrote the title text, the overuse of this gimmick made it feel annoyingly repetitive instead of cute and witty.

The ash symbol is also mentioned in 1962: Generations.


[There is a broken heart centered at the top of the image. Below that is the capital letter Æ (a letter combining A and E). There are arrows pointing downward — one from the A of Æ to an A, and one from the E to an E. Below this layer is an arrow from the A to a letter combining A and R, and an arrow from the E to a letter combining V and E.]
[Caption below the panel:]
Hot linguistics gossip: The A and E from Æ have broken up and are now married to other letters.
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Added initial explanation Bamboo (talk) 14:08, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Bamboo

Added possible explanation of title text Bamboo (talk) 14:14, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Bamboo

Has anyone asked O what they think of all this? 14:32, 14 April 2023 (UTC)

NOTE: I'm assuming the IE/VE ligature is IE, where the I is tilted Could this also be a reference to the historical Latin pronunciation of Æ, and its separation into "AA" (which could be represented by "ar" in English ("r" is silent), hence the ligature "AR") and "IE" (which would be pronounced "ee" as in "relieve") 1844161 (talk) 15:21, 14 April 2023 (UTC)

I disagree. The title text strongly points towards VE as the logical interpretation Boatster (talk) 15:52, 14 April 2023 (UTC)
Me too. Also, funnily I thought of Andy Warhol...but in his "LOVE" pop art, the O is tilted, not the V. 09:20, 16 April 2023 (UTC)
That wasn't Warhol. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_(image) 13:33, 17 April 2023 (UTC)

I think it might be helpful to readers to provide a parenthetical describing the pronunciation of the 'ash' glyph, so that people who aren't old language aficionados aren't left in the lurch if they're the sort who read aloud in their head. I'm going to add it, but if someone removes it I won't be miffed. Also, there's no way the new E ligature is meant to be IE. The title text only makes sense if it's VE. 15:56, 14 April 2023 (UTC)

Thank you. That was super helpful as I'm language-curious, but not an æficænado. Any chance we could get similar explanations of the AR (seems legit) & AV(seems not)? Iggynelix (talk) 13:49, 15 April 2023 (UTC)

I hope AR wedding hat a pirate theme. --Lupo (talk) 16:05, 14 April 2023 (UTC)

The AR ligature is used in aeronautical engineering for the aspect ratio of a wing. This mainly applies to handwritten work, since there isn't an easy way to insert that glyph when typing. D5xtgr (talk) 17:18, 14 April 2023 (UTC)

Example of 🜇 in aeronautics: http://tug.ctan.org/macros/latex/contrib/aspectratio/ar.pdf . It was also used in antiquity: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Exempla_Mensurarum_Sal%C3%B2.JPG Jlearman (talk) 19:29, 17 April 2023 (UTC)

The AR (🜇) ligature also stands for a substance that can mix with gold. 09:09, 16 April 2023 (UTC)

If you mean Aqua regia, it's not so much 'mix with' as 'dissolve'. 18:08, 16 April 2023 (UTC)
Is this comic inspired by an "aqua regia" incident? 2659: Unreliable Connection (talk) 02:07, 17 April 2023 (UTC)
Does it have to be? 19:24, 17 April 2023 (UTC)

2763 -MathHacked

I suppose the Æsop is that it's not necessary to maintain a chimæric quæstionability just for primævally æsthetic reasons, or have sæcularly dæmonic adhærence to adhæsively mæandering through an anæsthetic tædium of hæritage fæcality. Unless that's all just hæretical hyperbolæ, casting pædagogical umbræ on the matter. 21:22, 14 April 2023 (UTC)

Well plæd.
AUGH!!! Just make it stop!!!!

It's just too bad they all now live in the same small recreational vehicle because that leads to awkwardness. 02:07, 15 April 2023 (UTC)

Seems pretty roomy based on the space between them.;)

A and E got REM🜇RIED?! 05:28, 15 April 2023 (UTC)

It is downright incorrect to refer to the ae-ligature as 'ash', as this is only true when it is used to Latinize the aesc-rune in Old English, which is anything but the most common use of this ligature. 18:01, 15 April 2023 (UTC)

Does it really matter? It's certainly not the only glyph(s) which are supposed to be multiple letters but get grouped and treated as identical because the difference is tomayto/tomahto. Take the diaresis and the umlaut, for example. Different origins, different functions, Unicode only assigns one codepoint for both. 04:02, 18 April 2023 (UTC)

I went looking for "AR" and "VE" ligatures in general use (and in Unicode), and found nothing. Are they in general use? If not, a comment to that effect in the explanation would be helpful. -- Dtgriscom (talk) 21:44, 15 April 2023 (UTC)

(Ignoring that D5xtgr said there was an AR, and an IP even wrote an 🜇...) Of course they weren't in general use, because A and E were together all that time, but now they're recoupled..! 21:58, 15 April 2023 (UTC)

I'm no linguist, but this may refer to the fact that many languages with the AE ligature are romance languages, while English is not. 2659: Unreliable Connection (talk) 09:04, 16 April 2023 (UTC)

[2763] is a running gag in BFDI :) 19:02, 16 April 2023 (UTC)Bumpf

Probably unrelated. By the way, is it OK for me to edit comic explanations? 935: Missed Connections (talk) 22:58, 16 April 2023 (UTC)
Don't feign ignorance, CG. Do as you know you should do and (whatever accounts you use) make any useful edits to Explanations that you think are necessary, but refrain from rewording Talk stuff from anyone else (without very good reason, such as reverting vandalism of spam). 08:09, 17 April 2023 (UTC)

AE could refer to Adam and Eve. Then we get EV as Eve. Not yet sure where AR refers to, Adam and Romeo, Augmented Reality? Love does contain VE as reverse of EV. XKCDnl (talk) 04:16, 17 April 2023 (UTC)

AR stands for: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/%F0%9F%9C%87 synonym for https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/%F0%9F%9C%86#Translingual stands for to "aqua regia" that means: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/aqua_regia "royal water"

So we have Eve and the royal water, so is she now baptised and blessed with love? XKCDnl (talk) 14:48, 17 April 2023 (UTC)

The letter Æ is, to me pronounce "fuckit, not gonna read this book!" The ita initial teaching does include a similar character.

Randall missed the chance too use the zoomeresque 'the tea' synonym for gossip. The T would've fit right in. 08:30, 19 April 2023 (UTC)

I don't even understand that. Care to link to... whatever it is you're refering to? 19:27, 19 April 2023 (UTC)