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Spanish Alphabet Loses Two Letters

Associated Press

The world’s more than 300 million Spanish speakers now have two fewer letters in their alphabet to worry about, a mostly bookkeeping move that won almost unanimous support but disturbed some traditionalists.

The Assn. of Spanish Language Academies, meeting in Madrid for its 10th annual congress, voted this week to eliminate the “Ch” and “Ll” from the Spanish alphabet.

The two letters, which historically have had their own separate headings in dictionaries, now will be listed under other letters. Words beginning with “Ch,” such as chico , will fall under the letter C, and words beginning with “Ll,” such as llama , will fall under the letter L.

The move does not change pronunciation, usage or spelling. It was taken mainly to simplify dictionaries and make Spanish more computer-compatible with English.

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