‘How many letters in the Irish alphabet?’ can provoke debate as to whether ‘á’ is a different letter to ‘a’; whether ‘ċ’ is a different letter to ‘ch’; and, they are before one gets to the incorporation of new words such as ‘X-gatháim’ and‘vacsaín’.
The Irish Grammar Book advises that the Irish language comprises 18 letters. The remaining 8 – j k q v w x y z – ‘are sometimes used in foreign loan words or in mathematical or scientific terminology’.
I have recently been cataloguing the thousands of streetname signs that I have photographed. I smiled at this one in the St. Luke’s Cross area of Cork.
The ‘x’ jumped out at me immediately – an ‘x’ in the Gaelic script.
The dimensions of the letter ‘x’ do look different to the rest. Maybe the signmaker was a Gaelgóir and wanted to point out the abuse of the Irish alphabet – to my eyes he succeeded.