Should Ћ be used for “the” like the ampersand for “and”

An Australian entrepreneur is proposing replacing the word “the” with the symbol Ћ like the ampersand [&] for “and”.

Not sure how this would go but it would only take off if it was on the keyboard, he has created an app though so it might take off.

[Paul] Mathis has set his sights on the most-used word in the English language, and already in this story I’ve used it three times. It’s the definite article, the word “the”. Make that six.

“The word ‘and’ is only the fifth-most used word in English and it has its own symbol – the ampersand,” says Mathis. “Isn’t it time we accorded the same respect to ‘the’?”

The issue isn’t just academic for Mathis. It’s about efficiency.

“The main functionality of this is in the texting space,” he says. Typing the symbol he has devised with a single keystroke will save time and – crucially, in the context of Twitter – two characters.  

He has developed the typography – effectively an upper-case “T” and a lower-case “h” bunched together so they share the upright stem – and an app that puts it in everyone’s hand by allowing users to download an entirely new electronic keyboard complete not just with his symbol – which he pronounces “th” – but also a row of keys containing the 10 or 15 (depending on the version) most frequently typed words in English.*

“Is this important?” he asks rhetorically. “No. Is this going to change the world? Not really. But is it something that might be useful for people? I think so.”

This band might need a rename though to Ћ Ћ:


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  • Harvey Wilson

    Here’s a guy with too much spare time.

  • Jimmie

    It either looks like a water tap or a guy taking a piss – either way I can’t see this catching on.

  • thor42

    No to this.

  • Pissedoffyouth

    how about {} for the most used word in Aussie?

    • Cunt?

      • Pissedoffyouth

        Yeah it was either that or {^}

  • Never in the dark…..
  • cows4me

    Yeah and we can have a simple symbol for Australia XXXX

  • flashman

    Nah, won’t catch on. Countries are moving towards simplifying and standardising, not making it more complicated. Like the German language gradually phasing out the letter ß or Eszett, with the double-s sound.

  • deanobravo

    Thanks Cam for reintroducing me to The The. Had a couple of their albums back in the eighties. I’d actually forgotten they existed. ITunes here I come.

  • rangitoto

    The used to write th using the thorn letter back in the 17th century. Hence ye olde etc. The y is really a modern transcription of the obsolete thorn letter from old English.

    þe = the etc.

  • stephen2d

    Funny that, because this symbol/letter already exists in Serbian (when writing in their cyrillic alphabet – although they use the latin alphabet concurrently, as well), which is Ћ – lower case is ћ. Though the alphabet is phonetic and the sound for that letter is “ch”.

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    Sounds like an esperantist.