What is the name of the dot above the i?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by skell obissis, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. skell obissis New Member

    << Deleted for thread-splitting >>

    Does the dot above the letter "i" have a title? I was told it was called a Tribble, but all my serches turn up something Star Trek related.


  2. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    << ... >> and the dot over a lower case I can be called a "tittle", but that is not the only meaning of tittle.

    I'm sure that's clear as mud. :)
  3. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    Side note: this 'tittle' is in fact the 'T' referred to in "to a T" meaning "with perfect exactness."
  4. maxiogee Banned

    Surely not?

    From Answers.com
    tit·tle (ttl)
    1. A small diacritic mark, such as an accent, vowel mark, or dot over an i.
    2. The tiniest bit; an iota.​

    (my emphasis added)
  5. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    "Tittle" is a word that comes straight from the King James' Version of the Bible:

    As mgarizona tells us, the tittle is a diacritical mark, the tiniest bit; the "jot" is any mininuscule bit of writing. It appears that "jot" and "tittle" refer to the same idea.
  6. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Published 1611.

    That may be where you first saw it, but that is not where it "comes straight from".

    Online Etymology Dictionary: 1382, "small stroke or point in writing," representing L. apex in L.L. sense of "accent mark over a vowel," borrowed (perhaps by infl. of Prov. titule "the dot over -i-") from L. titulus "inscription, heading."
  7. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    More tittle-ating etymology:

    Etymology: Today's word entered Old English as titul from Medieval Latin titulus "diacritical mark," the diminutive of Latin, title "inscription, superscription." .. As early as 1607 Francis Beaumont wrote in his play, The Woman Hater, "I'll quote him to a tittle," meaning precisely, without omitting so much as a tittle. Somewhere over the years that followed, "to a tittle" was apparently confused with the phrase, "cross all your Ts (and dot your Is)," which also referred to exactitude. Ultimately, "to a tittle" was reduced to "to a T."

  8. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    The most interesting use of "jot and tittle" I've ever heard is from a Stephen Sondheim lyric for the song "More" (from the film "Dick Tracy"). If you read the lyric out loud you'll get the sense of what an amazing use of the phrase it is, as far as rhyme schemes go. I'd hate to be the singer who has to pronounce this quickly, though; the song really races. It's a tongue-twister!

    If you've got a little, why not a lot?
    Add and bit and it'll get to be an oodle.
    Every jot and tittle adds to the pot
    Soon you've got the kit as well as the caboodle.

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