Five facts you didn’t know about… letters!

Letters. You write ’em, you send ’em, but have you ever studied them?

Specifically, letter frequency – how often different letters appear in English words. Well, I’m here to help you open your mind to some A-M-A-Z-I-N-G trivia:

  1. The English letter frequency sequence (from most to least common) is “ETAONRISHDLFCMUGYPWBVKXJQZ.”
  2. The “top eight” letters comprise about 65% of the total usage
  3. “T” is the most common first letter in English words at 16.7% of words.
  4. “X” is the least common first letter in English words at 0.005% of words.
  5. The use of letter frequencies and frequency analysis plays a fundamental role in several games, including hangman, Scrabble, Wheel of Fortune, Definition, Bananagrams, and cryptograms.

Get more letter frequency trivia!

1 thought on “Five facts you didn’t know about… letters!”

  1. I don’t want to turn this into a flame war, but up to this minute I knew that the most frequent English letters were ETAOINSHRDLU (Not that different, actually – move the I a bit to the front, the R a tad to the back, the U a few places to the front, and there you have it.)
    Letter frequency is very important in cryptography and compression.
    Please see http://www.answers.com/topic/etaoin-shrdlu and http://www.answers.com/topic/frequency-analysis-cryptanalysis

    Like

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