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!

One 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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