Apr 13, 2009

Double You!

Today's post is brought to you by the letter W.

I couldn't sleep the other night. And you know what questions were banging around my head? "Why did someone come up with a letter that was a double U, but looked like a double V? I mean, was there a huge ancient preponderance of words that included a UU or a VV in them somewhere that a new letter had to be invented?"


That is what I was thinking about while lying awake. I've never claimed to be the most exciting egg in the basket. So I did a little investigating thanks to the Wikipedia.

Some W fun facts:
  • The earliest form of the letter W was a doubled V used in Old English around the 7th century. It wasn't very popular at first. Kind of the shy kid in the class. But after the Norman Conquest it took off. Something to do with William the Conqueror, perhaps?
  • In Finland, they hate the letter W. They don't include it in their alphabet as they consider it to be a variant of the letter V. Snooty Finnish folks. The Danes and the Swedes both used to ignore the mighty W, but each recently officially acknowledged it as an official letter. Can you imagine a more boring legislative session? And yet here I blog about it. Go figure.
  • It's the only letter in the English alphabet with more than one syllable.
  • The abbreviation for World Wide Web actually has three times as many syllables as the phrase itself when spoken aloud. That shit is crazy, yo!
  • The binary code for a capital W is 01010111 which, of course, translates to the ASCII code of 87. But you knew that.
  • The representation in the NATO phonetic alphabet for W is Whiskey. Damn...I knew I liked this letter!
And so on.

But honestly, the only real reason for this post was to inform you of a new film review over on the old MovieGrenade. Dudes...aliens and stuff were in it.

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Did you really make it all the way through a post about the letter W? Wow! I'm impressed.


Unknown said...

In Italy it's pretty weird. There is no "W" in the alphabet but of course in the spoken language they have to accommodate it. They call it "doppio vu" which means "double V." Why it's not "doppio u" is the weird part because they have a "u" in the alphabet. But when referring to an internet address, they just drop the "double" part and call it "vu vu vu."

Barlinnie said...

The letter W was designed on a Friday afternoon around 4:30pm. The sun was shining, the guys were thirsty, and all they wanted to do was get home.

So they fudged it... just like the very first Ford to roll off the production line.

They squished together the last two squiggles in the box, donned their caps and went out on the pish.

The rest is History.

Verdant Earl said...

MikeB - like dub dub dub here.

Jimmy - For without a good W they knew there would not be a good Whisky. Smart fellas.

Slyde said...

i DID know what W was in ascii.... but im cool like that..

Verdant Earl said...

Slyde - of course you did. Four years of torture at RPI wasn't a waste after all.

Kate said...

The letter "W" has forever been tainted for me thanks to the former President of the US..

But "whiskey" helps, in so many ways.

Heff said...

"Pssst... Would you like to buy an "O" ? It'll cost ya just a nickel ..."

Ookami Snow said...

It is the only letter to have a name in our alphabet.

Verdant Earl said...

Kate - I wasn't even gonna go there!

Heff - is that from something I should know?

Ookami - huh?

Candy's daily Dandy said...

lol at Heff!!!!

I was going to say the first line of the post reminded me of good ole Sesame Street.

Yup, good times

Heff said...

Yes, Earl. Sesame Street !

Michelle said...

Anonymous really made me understand what you were trying to say Earl!!!

See, easy peasy!!!

pure evyl said...

My brothers middle name is W. It's not short for anything. It's just W. Don't know what that has to do with anything, I just thought I would put it out there.

Poppy said...

Where's the T?

Verdant Earl said...

Candy/Heff - ahhh, of course.

Michelle - Anon/spambot is annoying.

Evyl - I appreciate it.

Poppy - where, indeed.

Ookami Snow said...

All the other letters just have sound demonstrating words for them. Like T is "tee", r is "are". W doesn't even attempt to have a demonstration of the sound it makes, it just describes the shape. That Like calling L "90 degree angle".

Verdant Earl said...

Ookami - gotcha, but sound demonstrating word could be "you", but doubled. Nah.

Mark Kreider said...

Had to be invented by a committee or focus group. Only they could come up with a piece of like that!

Verdant Earl said...

MK - Heya! Yeah, definitely sounds like something that came out of committee.

hello haha narf said...

if sometimes i forget to tell you, i just love you!

Verdant Earl said...

Becky - aw shucks, ma'am! ;)