Why do some Email Messages have the Letter 'J' in them?
You may have received email messages in the past that have the capital letter ‘J’ in them (see above screenshot). The letter mostly appears at the end of a paragraph but sometimes you may also also find this ‘J’ in the middle of a sentence.
What is the email sender trying to convey by adding the single letter ‘J’ to the message? Is it an abbreviation or an Internet slang that you not aware of?
I looked at the HTML source of one such email message and instantly got the answer:
<p class=3DMsoNormal> <span style='font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";>Thanks so much</span> <span style='font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Wingdings;'>J</span> </p>
It turns out that the email was composed and send from Microsoft Outlook. In Outlook, if you add a smiley figure - something like :) or :-) - to your message, the email program automatically converts it into a smiley icon using the Wingdings font.
The Wingding fonts is installed on all Windows PCs but isn’t available on mobile devices. Hence, if you read that Outlook message on an Android phone or your iPad, the smiley icon is displayed as the capital letter J, which happens to be its Unicode equivalent (0x4A).
Also see: Outlook ruins Birthday Cake
The character code of J is the same as Wingdings’ smiley icon.
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.