One man’s crusade to create a symbol for ‘The’

11 Jul 2013

An Australian restaurateur is the driving force behind a new effort to give the word ‘the’ a symbol all of its own.

Paul Mathis, a businessman who owns 10 restaurants in Melbourne, has even created an app that downloads a new keyboard onto Android smartphones for users who want to use a symbol for ‘the’; perhaps the most common word in the English language.

His reasoning? Well, the symbol for ‘and’ – the ampersand – has been in use since the first century BC and it is now time ‘the’ had a symbol of its own and he has chosen what is known as the ‘tap’ – an ‘h’ joined to a capital ‘T’ that looks like a tap: Ћ

Mathis has even produced his own YouTube video railing “why does & have all the fun with its own symbol on keyboards and even once claimed a space as the 27th letter of the alphabet?”

He argues that ‘the’ appears in 80pc of all English paragraphs but has never been recognised for its impressive usage.

He argues that Ћ represents the next stage in communications evolution, saving space, pen strokes and case strokes.

Mathis also claims Ћ makes texting and emailing “lightning fast.”

He has put his money where his mouth is and has so far invested US$75,000 in his crusade.

Here’s his video:

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years