The final nasal sound in Urdu is denoted by a nuun-i-Ghunnah, or the nasal nuun. In older books "maaN" and "maan" were both written as "maan" until a "gum-naam" genius came along and threw the dot from the nuun away and lo and behold we could distinguish "maaN" from "maan" without resorting to context. The medial nasal kept the dot but, when used, one finds a small nuun-i-Ghunnah on top of it. Once again... When did this nuun-i-Ghunnah first surface into Urdu's spelling conventions? Is it the same person responsible for this innovation or is this all (do-chashmii he, to'e for retroflexes, baRii ye and nuun-i-Ghunnah) the result of work done by a number of people? nuun-i-Ghunnah is used in Urdu poetry for prosodic purposes and it is not counted when one scans a verse in terms of long and short syllables. This was part and parcel of Persian poetic system too but modern Persian speaking people to be totally unaware of this!! My further question about nuun-i-ghunnah is this. Why is nuun-i-Ghunnah used in Urdu prose as well when its real purpose was for poetry?