The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with "the English-speaking world and do not represent a "worldwide view of the subject. (October 2015) ("Learn how and when to remove this template message)
E ("named e "//, plural ees) is the fifth "letter and the second "vowel in the "modern English alphabet and the "ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is the most commonly used letter in many languages, including "Czech, "Danish, "Dutch, "English, "French, "German, "Hungarian, "Latin, "Latvian, "Norwegian, "Spanish, and "Swedish.
The Latin letter 'E' differs little from its source, the "Greek letter "epsilon, 'Ε'. This in turn comes from the "Semitic letter "hê, which has been suggested to have started as a praying or calling human figure (hillul 'jubilation'), and was probably based on a similar "Egyptian hieroglyph that indicated a different pronunciation. In Semitic, the letter represented /h/ (and /e/ in foreign words); in Greek, hê became the letter epsilon, used to represent /e/. The various forms of the "Old Italic script and the "Latin alphabet followed this usage.
Although "Middle English spelling used ⟨e⟩ to represent long and short /"e/, the "Great Vowel Shift changed long /eː/ (as in 'me' or 'bee') to /iː/ while short /"ɛ/ (as in 'met' or 'bed') remained a "mid vowel. In other cases, the letter is "silent, generally at the end of words.
In the orthography of many languages it represents either ["e], ["e̞], ["ɛ], or some variation (such as a "nasalized version) of these sounds, often with diacritics (as: ⟨e "ê "é "è "ë "ē "ĕ "ě "ẽ "ė "ẹ "ę "ẻ⟩) to indicate contrasts. Less commonly, as in French, German, or Saanich, ⟨e⟩ represents a "mid-central vowel /ə/. "Digraphs with ⟨e⟩ are common to indicate either "diphthongs or "monophthongs, such as ⟨ea⟩ or ⟨ee⟩ for /iː/ or /eɪ/ in English, ⟨ei⟩ for /aɪ/ in "German, and ⟨eu⟩ for /ø/ in "French or /ɔɪ/ in German.
'E' is the most common (or highest-"frequency) letter in the English alphabet (starting off the typographer's phrase "ETAOIN SHRDLU) and several other European "languages, which has implications in both "cryptography and "data compression. In the story ""The Gold-Bug" by "Edgar Allan Poe, a character figures out a random character code by remembering that the most used letter in English is E. This makes it a hard and popular letter to use when writing "lipograms. "Ernest Vincent Wright's "Gadsby (1939) is considered a "dreadful" novel, and supposedly "at least part of Wright's narrative issues were caused by language limitations imposed by the lack of E." Both "Georges Perec's novel "A Void (La Disparition) (1969) and its English translation by Gilbert Adair omit 'e' and are considered better works.
|Unicode name||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER E||LATIN SMALL LETTER E|
|"Numeric character reference||E||E||e||e|
|"NATO phonetic||"Morse code|
|"Signal flag||"Flag semaphore||"American manual alphabet ("ASL "fingerspelling)||"Braille
In "British Sign Language (BSL), the letter 'e' is signed by extending the index finger of the right hand touching the tip of index on the left hand, with all fingers of left hand open.