I (named i , plural ies)Brown & Kiddle (1870) The institutes of English grammar, p. 19.
Ies is the plural of the English name of the letter; the plural of the letter itself is rendered I's, Is, i's, or is. is the ninth letter and the third vowel in the English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
In the Phoenician alphabet, the letter may have originated in a hieroglyph for an arm that represented a voiced pharyngeal fricative () in Egyptian, but was reassigned to (as in English " yes") by Semites, because their word for "arm" began with that sound. This letter could also be used to represent , the close front unrounded vowel, mainly in foreign words.
The Greeks adopted a form of this Phoenician yodh as their letter iota () to represent , the same as in the Old Italic alphabet. In Latin (as in Modern Greek), it was also used to represent and this use persists in the languages that descended from Latin. The modern letter 'j' originated as a variation of 'i', and both were used interchangeably for both the vowel and the consonant, coming to be differentiated only in the 16th century. The dot over the lowercase 'i' is sometimes called a tittle. In the Turkish alphabet, dotted and dotless I are considered separate letters, representing a front and back vowel, respectively, and both have uppercase ('I', 'İ') and lowercase ('ı', 'i') forms.
The letter, , is the fifth most common letter in the English language.
The English first-person singular nominative pronoun is "I", pronounced and always written with a capital letter. This pattern arose for basically the same reason that lowercase acquired a dot: so it wouldn't get lost in manuscripts before the age of printing:
|See French orthography.|
|See German orthography.|
|Pronounced as long in stressed and open syllables, when in a closed stressed syllable or unstressed. See Italian orthography.|
The uppercase I does not have a dot (tittle) while the lowercase i has one in most Latin-derived alphabets. However, some schemes, such as the Turkish alphabet, have two kinds of I: dotted (İi) and dotless (Iı).
The uppercase I has two kinds of shapes, with serifs () and without serifs (). Usually these are considered equivalent, but they are distinguished in some extended Latin alphabet systems, such as the 1978 version of the African reference alphabet. In that system, the former is the uppercase counterpart of ɪ and the latter is the counterpart of 'i'.