Have you ever had to play some alphabet game where you had to come with words that start with a certain letter?

If so, you probably know that some letters are really challenging. Of course, there are the usual suspects. I’m looking at you, X, Z and Q.

Then there are those letters that you don’t fear because you just know that there are plenty of words that start with them, like S, T and R.

Then there’s K. It seems innocent enough, a perfectly fine letter. But, if you’ve ever had to come up with words that start with a K, you may have found it surprisingly difficult. At least, I have.

Graph of Dictionary Pages per LetterSo, out of curiosity, I counted the number of pages assigned to each letter in The American Heritage Dictionary, third edition*. The counts ranged from 3 pages for X to 241 pages for S.

K came in at sixth from the bottom with 24 pages. Only X, Z, Y, Q and J had fewer. Even U and V had more pages than K.

J, by the way, has even fewer pages than K.

So, it appears that, scientifically speaking, I was justified in missing J-day, and in making K-day be about, well, K.


* Okay, this may not be very scientific, but it gives a ballpark idea. Doesn’t it?

Killer K
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