consonant R – coolinarism
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consonant R

consonant R

R is the 18th letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. The original Semitic letter may have been inspired by an Egyptian hieroglyph for tp, ‘head’. It was used for /r/ by Semites because in their language, the word for ‘head’ was rêš ,also the name of the letter.  The descending stroke of the Latin letter R has fully developed by the 3rd century BC, as seen in the Tomb of the Scipios sarcophagus inscriptions of that era. At the same time, the letter P could now be written with its loop fully closed, assuming the shape formerly taken by R, In handwriting, it was common not to close the bottom of the loop but continue into the leg, saving an extra pen stroke. The loop-leg stroke shortened into the simple arc used in the Carolingian minuscule and until today, A calligraphic minuscule r, known as r rotunda.Use of r rotunda was mostly tied to blackletter typefaces, and the glyph fell out of use along with blackletter fonts, in English language contexts mostly by the 18th century. In Middle English, the name of the letter changed from /ɛr/ to /ar/, following a pattern exhibited in many other words such as farm,

modern use:

  • in sport – baseball, cricket the number of runs scored by a player
  • in law – ®  Registered trademark symbol
  • in liturgy – ℟ symbol for response in liturgy
  • in mathematics – the set of all real numbers
  • in showbiz – restricted
  • in chess – rook , also called the tower, marquess, rector, and comes or castle
  • in polygraphy – stands for Relevant
  • in programming language – for statistical computing
reference: International Encyclopedia of Linguistics


t-penned by sets
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