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Monday 30 December 2013

The letter Y and the letter IJ in Dutch

Kinderdijk is Children Dike, where the windmills are.

Long ago the letter IJ  used to be the 25th letter of our Dutch alphabet, but it had to make place for the foreign Y which we call i-grec ( pronounced as ee-grec) and the IJ or ij had to be listed onder I or i. However we have so many names beginning with IJ or ij that  we cannot ignore this letter and have to treat it as one letter.

Monday 23 December 2013

Introducing the most difficult letter of the alphabet!! The X

The X is always considered to be a letter, but it's more. It is a number in Roman arithmatic. It's a multiplication sign in our arithmatic. It represents a whole word like in xoxox at the bottom of a letter, and sometimes it is as good as a signature.

It also represents an instrument of execution like the Saint Andrew cross.

A paper-knife

Tuesday 17 December 2013

W is for Wadsworth's Words

It is just one week until we celebrate Christmas Day, the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. I decided to bring you the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that has been arranged as a modern Christmas song called "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."  The story behind the poem and song are extraordinary and its story continues today.  Jesus came to bring peace and love to all nations and yet we still war with each other.  There are wars between nations. There are wars between people of the same nation.  There are wars waged against children, women, and those who have different perspectives on life.  It is so sad!

As we rejoice in the company of family and friends this holiday season, partaking of sumptuous meals in our warm and cosy homes, may we remember those war weary souls who have fought and are still fighting for freedom - freedom of religion, freedom of individuality, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and association and so much more. 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote his poem at the time of the Civil War in the USA.  He was heartbroken over the loss of his wife and the injury sustained by his son in the war.  He heard the church bells ringing on Christmas Day, yet he could not understand why we continue to wage war.  He writes:

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;

"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men."

This poem and song is my Christmas gift to all the ABC Wednesday contributors.  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

V is for Vroom!

Vroom-vroom!  Zoom-zoom ABC stars,
How we wonder where you are. 
Posting here each Wednesday,
From near and far and faraway..
Vroom-vroom!  Zoom-zoom you amazing peeps  ,
How we love you heaps and heaps. 

Monday 2 December 2013


As we get near the end of Round 13, I'm regularly struck by how Denise Nesbitt's UNDERSTATEDLY modest experiment, ABC Wednesday, has achieved a goal beyond its UNDOUBTEDLY simple intention in the beginning.

It has reached across the world with a sense of UNITY. We can each take a UNIQUE take on a given letter, yet the post touch on some UNIVERSAL themes. This is far too UNUSUAL in this world: note how the words UNITED and UNTIED share the same letters, and while some seek to UNIFY, others find more pleasure in taking UMBRAGE, UNDERMINING the effort.

(When I type in UNDERSERVED in my computer, it suggests UNDESERVED.)

Still I feel UPBEAT about the UNDERSTANDING that has been UNLEASHED in this little corner of the UNIVERSE the last six and a half years.