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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

There was an E on my yoga mat. I don’t know why. I don’t know where it came from. All I know is as I was face-first in a down dog, it said, “E!” And it was so unexpected and startlingly odd that I fell over laughing.

Was it an exclamation over my struggle? An expletive in relation to the drop of sweat that trickled down off the tip of my nose? Perhaps a squeal, as one might express in the face of a mouse suddenly appearing. My face may have caught it off guard.

Quite possibly it had heard of the Word Project and wanted to be one. Maybe it dreamed of being Excellent or Entertaining. Or the key element of Wheeeee!

You can never tell with letters.

But if I can get up every morning and work on my extended triangle then E can certainly work its way into being a word. Some days I want a medal for trying. So in the spirit of “E is for effort” I am bestowing word status on E today and offering it a place of honor among the repertoire of the many I have used.

E has a bit of a history in my life, as the beginning of just about every text exchange I have with my brother Kevin. I don’t know how it happened but we started text-helloing each other with an E and a Gad. Some days it’s what passes for an entire conversation.

So when I found the E, naturally I had to send him a photo. He found it hilarious, too.

Many exceptional words start with E, like effervescent and elated. You couldn’t sing the body electric without it.

Goodgoodgood has a list of 404 positive words that start with e. I highly encourage you to enjoy it.

E is, statistically speaking, the most used letter in the English language. Is it coincidence that English starts with an E? I think not.

It is more than 56 times more likely to appear in a word than the least popular letter, Q. I have never found a random Q on my yoga mat, or anywhere else for that matter. Trust me, I would remember.

When we were kids, we used to play a game on long car rides where we took turns finding each letter of the alphabet on a road sign or license plate or somewhere in the world as you drove by. Pity the person who had to find Q.

You might be forgiven for thinking X would be challenging as well, until you realize it is written on every single Exit sign. Which, by the way, begins with our favorite letter.

So maybe it’s not really a surprise that E showed up on my yoga mat. It quite possibly fell out my left ear as words spun around in my brain, as they do. Being eager and excitable, not to mention everywhere, there was an exponentially higher likelihood of it being E than, say, J or U.

Thus concludes today’s escapades with the letter E. I’ll leave you with one final bit of evidence that it deserves its place among words. On a box in my living room, a box which holds paints and other artistic paraphernalia, and doubles as a coffee table, there is nothing but this:


Photo: the E on my yoga mat, proof of its existence.