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M (named em )"M" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); 's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "em," op. cit. is the thirteenth letter of the and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

The letter M is derived from the Phoenician , via the Mu (Μ, μ). Semitic Mem is most likely derived from a "Proto-Sinaitic" (Bronze Age) adoption of the "water" ideogram in Egyptian writing. The Egyptian sign had the acrophonic value , from the Egyptian word for "water", nt; the adoption as the Semitic letter for was presumably also on grounds, from the Semitic word for "water", .See F. Simons, "Proto-Sinaitic — Progenitor of the Alphabet" Rosetta 9 (2011): Figure Two: "Representative selection of proto-Sinaitic characters with comparison to Egyptian hieroglyphs", (p. 38) Figure Three: "Chart of all early proto-Canaanite letters with comparison to proto-Sinaitic signs" (p. 39), Figure Four: "Representative selection of later proto-Canaanite letters with comparison to early proto-Canaanite and proto-Sinaitic signs" (p. 40). See also: Goldwasser (2010), following Albright (1966), "Schematic Table of Proto-Sinaitic Characters" ( fig. 1).

Use in writing systems
The letter represents the consonant sound in the orthography of Latin as well as in that of many modern , and also in the International Phonetic Alphabet. In English, the Oxford English Dictionary (first edition) says that is sometimes a in words like spasm and in the -ism. In modern terminology, this is described as a syllabic consonant (IPA ).

Other uses
The Ⅿ represents the number 1000, though it was not used in Roman times. There is, however, scant evidence that the letter was later introduced in the early centuries by the Romans.
(1983). 9780520038981, University of California Press. .

Related characters

Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet
  • M with : Ḿ ḿ Ṁ ṁ Ṃ ṃ M̃ m̃ ᵯ
  • IPA-specific symbols related to M:
  • Ɱ : Capital M with hook
  • Uralic Phonetic Alphabet-specific symbols related to M:
  • Some symbols related to M were used by the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet prior to its formal standardization in 1902:
  • The phonetic transcription system uses
  • Other variations used for phonetic transcription: ᶆ ᶬ ᶭ
  • Ɯ ɯ : Turned M
  • ꟽ : Inverted M was used in ancient Roman texts to stand for mulier (woman)
  • ꟿ : Archaic M was used in ancient Roman texts to abbreviate the personal name 'Manius' (A regular capital M was used for the more common personal name 'Marcus')
  • ℳ : currency symbol for Mark

Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets
  • 𐤌 : Semitic letter , from which the following symbols originally derive
    • Μ μ : letter Mu, from which M derives
      • : letter Me, which derives from Greek Mu
      • М м : letter Em, also derived from Mu
      • 𐌌 : Old Italic M, which derives from Greek Mu, and is the ancestor of modern Latin M
        • : letter , which derives from old Italic M
      • : letter manna, which derives from Greek Mu

Ligatures and abbreviations

Computing codes

Other representations

External links
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