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E (named e , plural ees)"E" a letter Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (1993). Ees is the plural of the name of the letter; the plural of the letter itself is rendered E's, Es, e's, or es. is the fifth letter and the second vowel in the and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is the most commonly used letter in many languages, including , , , , , , Hungarian, , , Norwegian, , and .


History
A28

The Latin letter 'E' differs little from its source, the letter , 'Ε'. This in turn comes from the letter , which has been suggested to have started as a praying or calling human figure ( 'jubilation'), and was probably based on a similar Egyptian hieroglyph that indicated a different pronunciation. In Semitic, the letter represented (and in foreign words); in Greek, became the letter epsilon, used to represent . The various forms of the Old Italic script and the followed this usage.


Use in writing systems

English
Although spelling used to represent long and short , the Great Vowel Shift changed long /eː/ (as in 'me' or 'bee') to /iː/ while short (as in 'met' or 'bed') remained a . In other cases, the letter is , generally at the end of words.


Other languages
In the orthography of many languages it represents either , , , or some variation (such as a version) of these sounds, often with diacritics (as: ) to indicate contrasts. Less commonly, as in French, German, or Saanich, represents a mid-central vowel /ə/. Digraphs with are common to indicate either or , such as or for or in English, for in , and for in or in German.


Other systems
The International Phonetic Alphabet uses for the close-mid front unrounded vowel or the mid front unrounded vowel.


Most common letter
'E' is the most common (or highest-frequency) letter in the English alphabet (starting off the typographer's phrase ) and several other European , which has implications in both and . In the story "" by Edgar Allan Poe, a character figures out a random character code by remembering that the most used letter in English is E. This makes it a hard and popular letter to use when writing . Ernest Vincent Wright's Gadsby (1939) is considered a "dreadful" novel, and supposedly "at least part of Wright's narrative issues were caused by language limitations imposed by the lack of E."Ross Eckler, Making the Alphabet Dance: Recreational Word Play. New York: St. Martin's Press (1996): 3 Both 's novel A Void ( La Disparition) (1969) and its English translation by Gilbert Adair omit 'e' and are considered better works.Eckler (1996): 3. Perec's novel "was so well written that at least some reviewers never realized the existence of a letter constraint."


Related characters

Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet
  • E with : Ḝ ḝ Ȇ ȇ Ê ê Ê̄ ê̄ Ê̌ ê̌ Ề ề Ế ế Ể ể Ễ ễ Ệ ệ Ẻ ẻ Ḙ ḙ Ɇ ɇ Ė ė Ė́ ė́ Ė̃ ė̃ Ẹ ẹ Ë ë È è È̩ è̩ Ȅ ȅ É é É̩ é̩ Ē ē Ḕ ḕ Ḗ ḗ Ẽ ẽ Ḛ ḛ Ę ę Ę́ ę́ Ę̃ ę̃ Ȩ ȩ E̩ e̩ ᶒ
  • ⱸ : E with notch is used in the Swedish Dialect Alphabet
  • Æ æ : Latin AE ligature
  • Œ œ : Latin OE ligature
  • The umlaut diacritic ¨ used above a vowel letter in German and other languages to indicate a fronted or front vowel (this sign originated as a superscript e)
  • Phonetic alphabet symbols related to E (the International Phonetic Alphabet only uses lowercase, but uppercase forms are used in some other writing systems):
    • Ɛ ɛ : Latin letter epsilon / open e, which represents an open-mid front unrounded vowel in the IPA
    • ᶓ : Epsilon / open e with retroflex hook
    • Ɜ ɜ : Latin letter reversed epsilon / open e, which represents an open-mid central unrounded vowel in the IPA
    • ɝ : Latin small letter reversed epsilon / open e with hook, which represents an in the IPA
    • ᶔ : Reversed epsilon / open e with retroflex hook
    • ᶟ : Modifier letter small reversed epsilon / open e
    • ɞ : Latin small letter closed reversed open e, which represents an open-mid central rounded vowel in IPA (shown as ʚ on the 1993 IPA chart)
    • Ə ə : Latin letter schwa, which represents a mid central vowel in the IPA
    • Ǝ ǝ : Latin letter turned e, which is used in the writing systems of some African languages
    • ɘ : Latin letter reversed e, which represents a close-mid central unrounded vowel in the IPA
  • The Uralic Phonetic Alphabet uses various forms of e and epsilon / open e:
  • ₑ : Subscript small e is used in Indo-European studies
  • phonetic transcription system symbols related to E:


Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets
  • 𐤄 : Semitic letter He (letter), from which the following symbols originally derive


Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations
  • € : .
  • ℮ : (used on prepackaged goods for sale within the European Union).
  • ∃ : existential quantifier in .
  • ∈ : the symbol for set membership in .
  • ℯ : the base of the natural logarithm.
  • ℇ : the Euler–Mascheroni constant.


Computing codes
1


Other representations
In British Sign Language (BSL), the letter 'e' is signed by extending the index finger of the right hand touching the tip of index on the left hand, with all fingers of left hand open.


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