Wouldn’t it be easier if the word “the” was just simply a letter?
Well at least one person seems to think so.
Aussie restaurateur, Paul Mathis has invented a new letter of the alphabet to replace the word “the” because he thinks it is more efficient.
The letter looks like the Cyrillic letter ‘Ћ’. If an upper case T and a lower case h were to have a typographic baby, this is what it would look like.
Mathis has invested $38,000 into developing the symbol which he would like to see added as a 27th letter of the alphabet.
“The word ‘and’ is only the fifth-most used word in English and it has its own symbol – the ampersand,” Mathis told The Age. “Isn’t it time we accorded the same respect to ‘the’?”
And if you think that’s crazy talk, it wouldn’t actually be the first time the English alphabet had more than 26 letters.
The ampisand, short for “and” used to be an actual letter which came after the letter Z in the alphabet.
The symbol is a combination of the letters “et”, which is Latin for “and”.
People would distinguish the letter from the word and by putting the words “per se” in front of it.
For example, if you were reciting the alphabet you would end with “w, x, y, z and per se and”.
Redundant? Yes. Confusing? Definitely. Which is why the term “ampersand” was often used to replace it.
Mathis says his new symbol will help “in the texting space” such as Twitter or texts.
But first he’ll have to convince mobile phone developers and keyboard manufacturers to add a new key to their devices.
In the meantime you can download the app and get a keyboard with the new letter.