The name of the dot above “i” and “j”

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my list of the Most Common Mistakes in English. It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more (PDF Version).

This article could have contained just one word: tittle. Tittle, unsurprisingly pronounced /ˈtɪtl/, is the name used in typography for the dot above “i” and “j”. “Tittle” originally meant an insignificant amount of something, but it is rarely used in this meaning in contemporary English.

It is not without interest that the idiom “to a T” meaning “perfectly, with attention to every detail” was probably originally “to a tittle” which was later abbreviated as “to a T”, and the “T” has lost its association with the word “tittle”.

By the way, if you haven’t read my guide on how to avoid the most common mistakes in English, make sure to check it out; it deals with similar topics.

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