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Is 'E' really so popular?

Posted by CaleyD , 16 January 2012 · 11,596 views

I was watching a quiz show the other night when they asked the question "What is the most commonly used letter in the English language?". The answer given, and accepted as correct was the letter "E".

But is it really? Even setting aside the ever increasing use of text speak and it's tendency to drop vowels the ever increasing use of social networking sites seems to have brought with it new habits which would might mean the statistics might need a little revision.

For a start, the letter "X" which is currently ranked third from the bottom can be seen at the end of most communications...several times in some instances. Surely that would move the letter far further up the table than it is currently given credit for? Then you have "LOL" which seems to have a foot on both the TLA and Text Speak camps. Currently ranked mid table (11th place), you would think that the letter "L" must be due a promotion.

These are just examples that spring immediately to mind, I am sure others also exist....but nothing I can think of would suggest that "E" deserves to be holding the crown for most commonly used letter....certainly not if you take a true reflection of how the English language is communicated in this day and age.

I have no idea where the statistics are drawn from, but it would appear that currently used (and apparently accepted) tables are in need of a bit of revision.




Good pertinent blog. It will be a while until text speak is accepted. But language, like anything, evolves, if that means "see" becomes "c" or "are" becomes "r" so be it. It wasn't so long ago that "whom" and "thee" were commonly used, and i'm sure the literati back then bemoaned its fall. Language does not belong to any one time, only the majority.
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I see they even allowed "wanker" on countdown this week as its now in the dictionary !!!
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I see they even allowed "******" on countdown this week!!!


Gyles Brandreth was it?
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Alex MacLeod
Jun 23 2012 12:20 PM
Interesting blog CD. Did you know that there are 1,135 characters in the blog and 142 letter E's. So 12.5 percent of the blog is the letter E
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My favourite old word is 'yonder' and it has an e in it right eenuff
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