Letter-Like Symbols

This is the second part in my series on things that look like letters, but are not quite letters. I am not talking about post cards. I am talking about letters of the alphabet.

MacOS has a short list of letterlike symbols, and wordwall.net has a larger list, which is alphabetical. (Or would be, if every element in their list was actually a letter, which is not the case.)

Which begs the question about why Apple curated their collection down to just 26 symbols and wordwall.net accepted everything, including non-English language letters which do not look like English letters.

MacOS Letterlike Symbols


MacOS Letterlike Symbols descriptions

Wordwall.net has alphabetized their letterlike symbols, which is kind of fun.

Wordwall.net letterlike symbols

What can you find in the wordwall.net symbols? I see a Hebrew alef, bet, gimmel and dalet, as well as a Greek sigma and pi.

Is that an upside-down ampersand?!

Currency-esque Symbols

Wordwall.net is an interesting website I recently discovered that lets users create online interactive — widgets? puzzles? activities? — for students. It is super easy and has a clean interface. There are many other websites that do the same thing of course, but this one feels good to use.

Anywho, more interestingly is the types of alphanumeric symbols that users are allowed to enter as text (e.g., like “dingbats” or emojis).

For example, compare the wordwall.net currency symbols with the MacOS symbols

There are 25 wordwall.net symbols and 39 MacOS symbols. I recognize, like, four of them: dollars, cents, bitcoin?, British pound maybe? What are all the others? Mostly Asian currency I suspect…

But why be left in the dark?¬†What I like about the Mac’s Show Emojis and Symbols symbol thing is that all the names of the symbols are actually given on the right column.

So, from left to right, here are the names of all the currencies in the MacOS list:

dollar, euro, yen, cent, pound, ruble, rupee, won;

Thai baht (not bitcoin!), Turkish lira, tugrik, peso, kip, hryvnia, naira;

Bengali rupee, Gujarati rupee, Tamil rupee, rial, Indian rupee, guarani, new shekel, colon;

dong, Khmer riel, cedi, cruzeiro, tenge, lira, austral, mill;

Euro-currency, French franc, Deutsch pfennig, peseta, drachma, livre tournois, spesmilo.

Ok. Admit that you also have not heard of 95% of those currencies. MacOS, you include the Turkish lira, but what about the Italian lira? Unless that is the lira without a country attached to it. Unless there is no lira anymore, what with euro and what not.

Spesmilo, anyone?


Phonetics – a favorite thing

I love language systems, particularly letters that are weird, like the shwa or thorn. I also like when speech therapists discuss fricatives and sybilants. So how happy am I to see this wikipedia chart of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which includes all the discrete sound bits for every language in the world? So happy.

Here are some samples:

Voiceless retroflex approximant




Biliabial trill



Voiced alveolar lateral fricative



Here is the whole chart


June 2022