What was the most recent letter added to the English alphabet?
“Z” may be the last letter in alphabetical order, but the last letter added to our alphabet was actually “J.” It is no coincidence that “I” and “J” stand side-by-side—for centuries they were considered the same character! The letter “J” started as a swash, a typographical embellishment for the already existing “I” used to denote the conclusion of a series of ones—as in “Henry viij” for Henry the Eighth. Both I and J were used interchangeably to express the sound of both the vowel and the consonant, until 1524 when Renaissance grammarian Gian Giorgio Trissino argued for J’s autonomy. After being snubbed for nearly three more centuries, “J” was finally acknowledged as a full-fledged letter in the English alphabet.
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