Once upon a time, I stood alone – yes,
I, independent, individual –
but then came J.
From the start, we were inseparable –
joined at the junction of hardship and joy,
and then came K.
And now, we’re up to W – we’ve skipped
and added letters. Y?
Our alphabet’s complete.
The Father of the Letter J
Do you know the history of the letter J? Once upon a time, there was only the letter i. J was just a little embellishment. J was used, sometimes, to show that it was the last roman numeral i in a series of roman numeral i’s. It might never have been a letter, but for Gian Giorgio Trissino, who, in 1524, made a distinction between the “y” sound and the soft “j” sound in modern-day English. Imagine, if not for Trissino, how confused we might be! We might be eating peanut butter and sweet potato sandwiches, cringing while our lunches shouted at us. Yam and yell-y!