M

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

 
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the letter of the alphabet. For other uses, see M (disambiguation).
Cursive.svg
Circle sheer blue 31.gif
Circle sheer blue 31.gif
Cursive script 'm' and capital 'M'
M cursiva.gif

M (named em /ˈɛm/)[1] is the 13th letter of the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

History[edit]

Egyptian hieroglyph "n"-Phoenician
Mem
Etruscan MGreek
Mu
Roman M
n
PhoenicianM-01.pngEtruscanM-01.svgMu uc lc.svgRoman M

The letter M is derived from the Phoenician Mem, via the Greek Mu (Μ, μ). Semitic Mem probably originally pictured water. It is thought that Semitic people working in Egypt c. 2000 BC borrowed a hieroglyph for "water" that was first used for an alveolar nasal (/n/), because of the Egyptian word for water, n-t. This same symbol became used for /m/ in Semitic, because the word for water began with that sound.

Use[edit]

The letter 'm' represents the bilabial consonant sound, [m], in the orthography of Latin, as well as in many modern languages. In English, the Oxford English Dictionary (first edition) says that 'm' is sometimes a vowel in words like spasm and in the suffix -ism. In modern terminology, this would be described as a syllabic consonant — IPA [m̩]. The letter 'M' used from BMW as name for a series of the highest performance cars, the all-known BMW M(the letter M delivered from the motorsport division of BMW, so these models also called BMW Motorsports).

Related letters and other similar characters[edit]

Computing codes[edit]

CharacterMm
Unicode nameLATIN CAPITAL LETTER M    LATIN SMALL LETTER M
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode77U+004D109U+006D
UTF-8774D1096D
Numeric character referenceMMmm
EBCDIC family212D414894
ASCII 1774D1096D
1 Also for encodings based on ASCII, including the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 and Macintosh families of encodings.

Other representations[edit]

NATO phoneticMorse code
Mike––
ICS Mike.svgSemaphore Mike.svg⠍
Signal flagFlag semaphoreBraille
dots-134

References[edit]

  1. ^ "M" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "em," op. cit.

External links[edit]