The letter Q scores 10 in Scrabble, 10 in Words with Friends and 10 in Wordfeud
The letter Q is one of the least used letters in the English language. It appears in only 0.1% of English words, making it the second least used letter after Z. Despite this, the letter Q has an interesting history and some fascinating facts associated with it.
One of the most interesting things about the letter Q is its origin. The letter Q was originally used in the ancient Phoenician language and was called "qoph". The Phoenicians were a seafaring people who lived in the eastern Mediterranean around 1200 BCE. They used the letter qoph to represent a sound that was similar to the English "k" sound.
The letter Q has gone through several transformations throughout history. In the ancient Roman alphabet, the letter Q was used to represent the sound "kw", which was a combination of the sounds "k" and "w". This combination was used to represent words that had a "k" and "w" sound together, such as "queen" and "quick". In the Middle Ages, the letter Q was often used in place of the letter "c" to represent the "k" sound. This is why you might see words like "mosque" spelled "mosque" in older texts.
Another interesting fact about the letter Q is that it is one of the few letters that is almost always followed by the letter "u". This is because the combination of "q" and "u" is used to represent the sound "kw" in English words. This combination is so common that it has its own name: a digraph. Some examples of words that use the "qu" digraph include "quick", "queen", and "quilt".
The letter Q also has a special significance in the game of Scrabble. In the game, the letter Q is worth 10 points, which is the highest point value of any letter in the game. This is because the letter Q is so rare and difficult to use in words. In fact, there are only two words in the English language that contain the letter Q but do not have the letter U: "qat" and "qi". Both of these words are of Arabic origin and are not commonly used in English.
The letter Q has also played an important role in science and mathematics. In physics, the letter Q is used to represent electric charge. In mathematics, the letter Q is often used to represent rational numbers, which are numbers that can be expressed as a ratio of two integers. The letter Q is also used to represent the set of all rational numbers.
In conclusion, the letter Q may be one of the least used letters in the English language, but it has a rich and fascinating history. From its origins in the ancient Phoenician language to its significance in Scrabble and science, the letter Q has left its mark on our language and culture. So the next time you see the letter Q, take a moment to appreciate its unique place in the English language.