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M (letter)

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This editable Main Article is under development and not meant to be cited; by editing it you can help to improve it towards a future approved, citable version. These unapproved articles are subject to a disclaimer.

M, m is a letter of the Latin alphabet. It is the thirteenth letter of most variants, being placed after L and before N, as is the case for instance in the English alphabet. Its English name is pronounced [ˈem], em, as in em dash (—).

M is also the Roman numeral representing the number 1000.

Use in English

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Letter (CZ cluster)
Alphabetical list
Retroalphabetical list  
Common misspellings  

m is a hum, pronounced with the lips and voice, typical of infants: mmmm! Màmà! múmmy, mòther, míx, mâke, mòuse rat, moûsse dessert = moôse elk.

  • The accents show stress and pronunciation; see English spellings. Key: sát, mâde, pàrk, cāst, åll, ãir; sét, mê, vèin, fërn; sít, mîne, skì, bïrd; sóng, môde, moôn, lòve, foòt, wörd, ŏr; sún, mûse, fùll, pürr; neŵ, ẁant; gým, mŷ, keỳ, mÿrrh.

It is only doubled in the middle of words, to keep the preceding vowel short: súmmer, slímmer, slímmed, slímming (cf. slím), dilémma, dúmmy, múmmy, lémming, accómmodate.

It begins consonant clusters: émber, ámbling, ámbry, amnêsty, émpty, Húmphrey, ámple, impréss.

And it likes to add a silent b at the end of some words: thúmb, lámb, cômb, númb, dúmb, tomb (*toôm). But not usually: slím, trím, whám, pómpom, támtám, thém, drêam, wårm, hím, húm, próblem, Ádam, hêlium, têdium, thêorem, sêrum.

The prefixes in- and con- become im- and com- before p: impâtient, impàrtial, impráctical, complête, compônent, cómposíte, compôse.

Silent m occurs in mnemónic *nemónic, cf. silent n in åutumn.

The double m following the double c in accommodátion (cf. commódity) is notorious.

mp is pronounced as n in comptrôller (= contrôller).

In Sàmhaín, mh has a w sound or is silent: *Sà(w)in.

Scientific uses

  • M prefix: mega, 1 000 000 in normal usage, 1 048 576 in computing
  • m: mass
  • m- prefix: old chemical notation, meta
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