C, the third letter in the English alphabet, and the second articulation or consonant, is a palatal, nearly corresponding in sound with the Greek x, kappa, and with the Hebrew, caph. It bears a middle place in pronunciation, between the aspirate, and the palatal. It is a Roman character, borrowed from the Gr.x, or from the oriental, which was used in languages written from right to left, and when inverted and the corners rounded, becomes C. In the old Etruscan, it was written with the corners rounded, but not inverted; in Arcadian, C, as now written. That its sound in Latin was the same, or nearly the same, as that of kappa, may be known from the fact, that the Greeks, while the Latin was a living language, wrote kappa for the Roman C. Perhaps the same character may be the basis of the Arabic.

As an abbreviature, C stands for Caius, Carolus, Caesar, condemno, &c., and CC for consulibus. As a numeral C stands for 100; CC for 200; &c. In music, C after the cliff, is the mark of common time.

In English, C has two sounds, or rather it represents two very different articulations of the organs; one close, like K, which occurs before a, o and u; the other, a sibilant, precisely like s, which occurs before E, I and Y. The former is distinguished in this vocabulary by C, which may be called ke. In Russ. C is precisely the English s, as it was in the old Greek alphabet.