|Writing system||Latin script|
|Type||Alphabetic and Logographic|
|Language of origin||Latin language|
|Time period||~-700 to present|
|Descendants|| • ɮ|
• Ꝇ ꝇ
• ℒ ℓ
|Other letters commonly used with||l(x), lj, ll, ly|
L, or l, is the twelfth letter in the Latin alphabet, used in the modern English alphabet, the alphabets of other western European languages and others worldwide. Its name in English is el (pronounced //), plural els.
Lamedh may have come from a pictogram of an ox goad or cattle prod. Some have suggested a shepherd's staff.
In phonetic and phonemic transcription, the International Phonetic Alphabet uses ⟨l⟩ to represent the lateral alveolar approximant.
In English orthography, ⟨l⟩ usually represents the phoneme //, which can have several sound values, depending on the speaker's accent, and whether it occurs before or after a vowel. The alveolar lateral approximant (the sound represented in IPA by lowercase [l]) occurs before a vowel, as in lip or blend, while the velarized alveolar lateral approximant (IPA [ɫ]) occurs in bell and milk. This velarization does not occur in many European languages that use ⟨l⟩; it is also a factor making the pronunciation of ⟨l⟩ difficult for users of languages that lack ⟨l⟩ or have different values for it, such as Japanese or some southern dialects of Chinese. A medical condition or speech impediment restricting the pronunciation of ⟨l⟩ is known as lambdacism.
In English orthography, ⟨l⟩ is often silent in such words as walk or could (though its presence can modify the preceding vowel letter's value), and it is usually silent in such words as palm and psalm; however, there is some regional variation. L is the eleventh most frequently used letter in the English language.
⟨l⟩ usually represents the sound [l] or some other lateral consonant.
Common digraphs include ⟨ll⟩, which has a value identical to ⟨l⟩ in English, but has the separate value voiceless alveolar lateral fricative (IPA [ɬ]) in Welsh, where it can appear in an initial position. In Spanish, ⟨ll⟩ represents [ʎ], [j], [ʝ], [ɟʝ], or [ʃ], depending on dialect.
A palatal lateral approximant or palatal ⟨l⟩ (IPA [ʎ]) occurs in many languages, and is represented by ⟨gli⟩ in Italian, ⟨ll⟩ in Spanish and Catalan, ⟨lh⟩ in Portuguese, and ⟨ļ⟩ in Latvian.
In Washo, lower-case ⟨l⟩ represents a typical [l] sound, while upper-case ⟨L⟩ represents a voiceless [l̥] sound, a bit like double ⟨ll⟩ in Welsh.
The capital letter L is used as the currency sign for the Albanian lek and the Honduran lempira. It was often used, especially in handwriting, as the currency sign for the Italian lira. Historically, it was commonly used as a currency sign for the British pound sterling (to abbreviate the Latin libra, a pound, see LSD); in modern usage it has been overtaken by the pound sign (£), which is based on the blackletter form of the letter. In running text, its lower-case form (usually italicised), l, was more often seen.[a]
The Roman numeral L represents the number 50.
In the International system of units, the liter (or litre) is abbreviated using an upper-case (or a lower-case) L.
In watchmaking, the ligne (a traditional French measure of length still used in that industry) is abbreviated using an upper-case L.
In chemistry, L is used as a symbol for the Avogadro constant.
"ℓ" redirects here. For the azimuthal quantum number, see Azimuthal quantum number.
In most sans-serif typefaces, the lowercase letter ell ⟨l⟩, written , may be difficult to distinguish from the uppercase letter "eye" ⟨I⟩; in some serif typefaces, the glyph may be confused with the glyph , the digit one. To avoid such confusion, some newer computer fonts (such as Trebuchet MS) have a finial, a curve to the right at the bottom of the lowercase letter ell.
Another means of reducing such confusion – used in mathematics, European road signs and in advertisements – is to use symbol U+2113 ℓ SCRIPT SMALL L from the "letter-like symbols" block. In Japan, for example, this is the symbol for the liter. However, the International Committee for Weights and Measures recommends using or for the liter. (without specifying a typeface)., which is a cursive, handwriting-style lowercase form of the letter "ell". In Unicode, this symbol is
Another solution, sometimes seen in Web typography, uses a serif font for the lowercase letter ell, such as, in otherwise sans-serif text.
In the blackletter type used in England until the seventeenth century,[b] the letter L is rendered as .
|Unicode name||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER L||LATIN SMALL LETTER L|
|Numeric character reference||L
The litre, and the symbol lower-case l, were adopted by the CIPM in 1879 (PV, 1879, 41). The alternative symbol, capital L, was adopted by the 16th CGPM (1979, Resolution 6; CR, 101 and Metrologia, 1980, 16, 56-57) in order to avoid the risk of confusion between the letter l (el) and the numeral 1 (one).
Par tradition ancestrale, les horlogers n'utilisent pas le millimètre mais la ligne pour désigner le diamètre d'encageage d'un mouvement.[By ancestral tradition, watchmakers do not use the millimeter but the line to designate the casing diameter of a movement]