The Essential E

Rye Regular
and conclude that the letter E holds pride of place in the English language.

You can’t SUCCEED, PROCEED, or even ENTER without it! Yes, the lowly E is NEEDFUL, REQUIRED — the KEYSTONE, EVEN, for most English words.

Fans of cryptograms can tell you that the letter E, and the combo of

Rye Regular

are the first things they look for when setting out to solve the puzzle.

That said, did you know “English” started out milleniums ago meaning a fishhook?

The Angles, a West Germanic people who immigrated to the British Isles, hailed from the Angul district of Schleswig, which is just south of modern Denmark. Their homeland, part of the Jutland peninsula, was shaped somewhat like a fishhook so its inhabitants used their word for fishhook to refer to their country. When they sailed across the sea they brought this name along, plus the words angler and angling. They weren’t the only Germanic people who came and decided to stay; the squeezed-out locals tarred them all with the same brush: Anglo-Saxons.

An Ethnic Legend:
We have a friend whose parents immigrated to Canada from Denmark. When she was young, her father told her that the original inhabitants of Britain couldn’t talk; their only communication was grunts and squeaks. He claimed the Angles were the ones who taught the British how to talk. I’m not sure where he learned this bit of history, but we took it with a grain of sea salt.

16 thoughts on “The Essential E

      1. It’s very interesting to me that in isolated parts of Appalachia, which were settled by Scots and Englishmen, the accent is very close to the original ones because there has been very little contact with the outside world.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What really interests me is the Vance history in those parts. I googled Jim Vance (my brother) one day just for fun — and found out the Hatfields were Vances. Anson Hatfield’s mother and grandmother were both Vances; Jim Vance was his uncle. Our Vance ancestors hail from Gallowayshire in Southwestern Scotland. Which hasn’t much to do with the language, but anyway… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I got to play the part of Eliza in our high school play when I was a senior. Not the musical, but the original play, “Pygmaliion.” I think I got the part mostly because I could do a pretty good imitation of that cockney accent 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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