J is for Jot

“J” is the featured letter on this the 10th day of the 2017 A to Z Blog Challenge. There were many options. Among them were jelly, jacket, jazz, jackpot, junk, justice, judge, jagged, jolly, jokes, jury, jiggle, and jalopy.

2017 A to Z Challenge Badge
Blogging from A to Z Challenge Badge 2017

I was about to give up finding a “J” word that had something to do with writing, when I saw a word that intrigued me. At the risk of running off all my blog readers, I have chosen to write about the word “jot.” Pretty exciting stuff, eh?

Jot as a noun or a verb

To my surprise, when I checked for the official dictionary definition, I discovered that jot is not only a verb and a noun but it’s a noun in two ways.

Jot as a verb

One jots down a quick note. That is what comes to my mind when I hear the word. It is a word I don’t hear as much as I used to. I suppose in this day of texting, people don’t “jot” as much as they used to. Then, the phrase from the Bible, “one jot or one tittle” came to mind, and I realized it is also a noun.

Jot as two nouns

In fact, it has two meanings as a noun. Jot can mean (1) a slight but appreciable amount or (2) a note that is jotted down.

Jot as a small amount

The King James Version of the New Testament Book of Matthew, chapter five, verse 18 reads as follows:  “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

The King James Version of the Bible was the one in general use when I was a child, so “one jot and one tittle” was familiar to me from many years ago. I read more modern translations of the Bible now, so it has been a while since I’ve read those particular words.

What’s a tittle?

The archaic definition of the word “tittle,” in case you’re wondering, was a small printed stroke or dot. It was used to signify an omitted letter or letters in a word. I guess it’s what we call an apostrophe. The modern definition is essentially the same as the definition of a jot.

Jot as a note

I don’t recall ever hearing jot used to mean a note that is jotted down. If I jot down a note or list, I think of it as a note or a list. I’ve never thought about it as a jot. I’ve learned something.

Useless information?

When I told my sister that I was blogging about the word jot, she made some snide comment about this being useless information. Maybe it is, unless you are a wordsmith and have a great memory for definitions.

Until my next blog

I have 24 hours to come up with a word that starts with the letter “k” that has something to do with writing. I’m beginning to wonder why I committed to this blog challenge!

I hope you have a good book to read. (I’m reading Bittersweet, by Colleen McCullough and The Source, by James A. Michener.)

If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time and that you aren’t as confused as I am about what to do with the novel I’ve worked on off and on for a decade.


4 thoughts on “J is for Jot

  1. Hi Janet. As for a K word…try finagling : ) Although calligraphy starts with a C it sounds like K…just an idea. One year I did emotions and for the life of me couldn’t think of a word that started with X. So I ended up using XOXO. I’ve seen others who have been stuck come up with some cleaver ideas. Good luck!

    Plucking Of My Heartstrings


  2. Thanks for your comment, Chris. After I wrote the piece, I feared I was the only person that thought that, and that the joke was going to be on me!


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