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djgordy
719805.  Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:03 am Reply with quote

The little dot above the lower case "i" is called a tittle. In unciel gaelic script the lower case "i" is without its tittle. This is probably not the reason why Irish i's are smiling.

In mathematics "i" is the sqare root of -1 which is an imaginary number.

 
The Great Prickly of Pear
719849.  Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:48 am Reply with quote

Actually it's i^2 = -1, otherwise you'd be able to prove minus one is equal to one.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imaginary_unit#Proper_use

 
Jenny
719897.  Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:32 pm Reply with quote

Thanks djg - that sent me off on a hunt about jots and tittles, and I came up with http://everything2.com/title/Tittle, which is very interesting on the subject.

 
CB27
720054.  Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:44 am Reply with quote

I think the formation of the letter I in itself is Qi.

The Latin letter we now use is based on the Greek letter Iota.

The Greek letter Iota was based on the Phoenician letter Yodh (Yodh - Yota - Iota).

Phoenician letters share their origins with other Semitic languages, which is why the Hebrew equivalent is Yod or Yud, and the Arabic equivalent is Ya.

These letters are thought to have originated from the Proto Semitic Yad, which in Egyptian hieroglyphs is known as D36:



When looking at the Arabic Ya, I can't help noticing some similarities (there aer four recognised ways of writing this letter):

ي‎ ـي‎ ـيـ‎ يـ‎

Interestingly, both the Hebrew and Arabic words for "hand" is Yad.

Which goes to show, I is handy!

 
Celebaelin
720070.  Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:59 am Reply with quote

I was interested in that hieroglyph and wondered what it represented that could be connected to 'hand' so I looked it up and on the basis of Wiki at least there's some uncertainty.

Wiki has that symbol down as "khā" (Google search for hieroglyph D36),

Quote:
"risings", "splendours", "coronations"; also the related word "crowns"

having said that the symbol on that Wiki page does have an additional element; I have found confirmation of yad/'id being hand though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun-rising_(hieroglyph)
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Proto-Semitic_*yad-

Then there's this Wiki page

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I

which bears you out.

Then there's this

Quote:
Yodh, the hand, began as a representation of the entire arm. The Greeks used a highly simplified version of it for iota (Ι). The Romans used it as I, and later added a variation for J.

Quote:
Kaph, the hollow or palm of the hand, was adopted by the Greeks for kappa (K) and passed it on to the Romans as K.

http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/alphabet.html

Whether that has any bearing on what seems to be Wiki's yad vs kha confusion I couldn't say

 
CB27
720096.  Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:38 am Reply with quote

I see the confusion, the sign is for "Kha", comprising of AA1 and D36, with AA1 providing the "Kh", and D36 providing the "a".

 
tetsabb
720174.  Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:15 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
I is handy!


I have a vision of a lolcat picture with puss lying against a mobile phone on a German newspaper.

(Post migraine surrealism)

 
exnihilo
720312.  Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:21 pm Reply with quote

The "Yad" in addition to meaning hand is the name given to the pointer used in Synagogues to help one keep place when reading from the Torah - in order that one not touch it with one's actual hands.

I have one like this.

 
RLDavies
720380.  Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:29 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
I was interested in that hieroglyph and wondered what it represented that could be connected to 'hand' so I looked it up and on the basis of Wiki at least there's some uncertainty.

The sign is a representation of a forearm and hand. It's pretty stylised in the font CB27 used, but you can see the hand at the left and the bent elbow at the right.

You can see it (facing the other way) in this inscription, just above the central figure:



Gardiner's Egyptian Grammar describes the sound as a guttural semi-vowel, similar to a guttural "ah". (I can't be more technical because I still haven't found the book.) Whether this corresponds with yodh and similar sounds in other languages, I don't know.

There are other hieroglyphic signs that look similar but have the hand holding various objects.


Last edited by RLDavies on Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:52 am; edited 1 time in total

 
mckeonj
720588.  Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:43 pm Reply with quote

My word searcher found 83368 words containing the letter 'i' in Chambers dictionary.

 

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