O  

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"HER LOVER one day takes O for a walk in a section of the city where they never go - the Montsouris Park, the Monceau Park."

O is for Ovid, Apollo and Daphne by Antonio Pollaiuolo, one tale of transformation in the Metamorphoses—he lusts after her and she escapes him by turning into a bay laurel.
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O is for Ovid, Apollo and Daphne by Antonio Pollaiuolo, one tale of transformation in the Metamorphoses—he lusts after her and she escapes him by turning into a bay laurel.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

O (named o, plural oes) is the fifteenth letter and a vowel in the basic modern Latin alphabet.

Contents

History

Egyptian hieroglyph
ir
Proto-Semitic O Phoenician
ayin
Etruscan O Greek
Omicron
<hiero>D4</hiero> Image:Proto-semiticO-01.svg Image:PhoenicianO-01.svg Image:EtruscanO-01.svg Image:Omicron uc lc.svg

The letter was derived from the Semitic `Ayin (eye), which represented a consonant, probably Template:IPAblink, the sound represented by the Arabic letter ع called `Ayn. This Semitic letter in its original form seems to have been inspired by a similar Egyptian hieroglyph for "eye". The Greeks are thought to have come up with the innovation of vowel characters, and lacking a pharyngeal consonant, employed this letter as the Greek O to represent the vowel Template:IPA, a sound it maintained in Etruscan and Latin. In Greek, a variation of the form later came to distinguish this long sound (Omega, meaning "large O") from the short o (Omicron, meaning "small o").

Its graphic form has also remained fairly constant from Phoenician times until today. Indeed, even alphabets constructed "from scratch", i.e. not derived from Semitic, usually have similar forms to represent this sound—for example the creators of the Afaka and Ol Chiki scripts, each invented in different parts of the world in the last century, both attributed their vowels for 'O' to the shape of the mouth when making this sound.

Usage

O is most commonly associated with the close-mid back rounded vowel Template:IPA in many languages. This form is colloquially termed the "long o" in English, but it is actually most often a diphthong Template:IPA (realized dialectically anywhere from Template:IPA to Template:IPA). In English there is a "short O", which also has several pronunciations. In most dialects of British English, it is an open back rounded vowel Template:IPA; in American English, it is most commonly unrounded back to central vowel Template:IPA to Template:IPA.

Common digraphs include OO, which represents either Template:IPA or Template:IPA; OI which typically represents the diphthong Template:IPA; and OA, OE, and OU represent a variety of pronunciations depending on context and etymology.

Other languages use O for various values, usually back vowels which are at least partly open. Derived letters such as Ö and Ø have been created for the alphabets of some languages to distinguish values that were not present in Latin and Greek, particularly rounded front vowels.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, Template:IPA represents the close-mid back rounded vowel.

Codes for computing

Template:Letter In Unicode, the capital O is codepoint U+004F and the lowercase o is U+006F.

The ASCII code for capital O is 79 and for lowercase o is 111; or in binary 01001111 and 01101111, correspondingly.

The EBCDIC code for capital O is 214 and for lowercase o is 150.

The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "&#79;" and "&#111;" for upper and lower case respectively.

See also

Template:Commons




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "O" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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