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CIA officially denies that it is trying to erase a letter from the Russian alphabet
Corvus albus
amonseuldesir
I had to read it twice to believe that it's a real - well, sort of real - story...


The Wall Street Journal has a long, charming article on the ups and downs of a Russian letter that is fading from the vernacular. The Cyrillic-alphabet letter, ë, is pronounced “yo.” Apparently, people are starting to drop the dots, even though the resulting e is pronounced “ye” in Russia. The distinction does matter: it’s why Russians know their former leader as Nikita Khrushchov rather than Khrushchev, as he is commonly called by the rest of the world.

The letter’s slow decline is apparently provoking a movement to save it, according to the Journal’s story. That means a “cultlike following that has honored [the letter] with monuments in two provincial towns, written books about its use and computer programs to make sure the dots are never left out.” But the preservation campaign’s leading figure, an 80-year-old former engineer named Viktor Chumakov, believes quite firmly that ë is falling out of usage as a result of secret efforts by the Central Intelligence Agency. (read more in Washington Post, Dec. 17, 2012).


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