Washington, DC

J, originally uploaded by free sample.

“Dear PoP,

Perhaps you or one of your readers has already posed this question, but I’m wondering if anyone out there can enlighten me as to why there isn’t a J st anywhere in DC? And for that matter, there is no 2-syllable street that begins with the letter J – at least not in NW on either side of the park. NE has Jackson St, but NW has no J streets until it gets up to the 3-syllable names (Jennifer, Jocelyn, Jefferson). WTF?”

The Washington Post has tackled this question a number of times. They explain that it was a myth that Pierre L’Enfant hated Chief Justice John Jay. The real reason is:

“Back in Colonial times, the letters I and J were written alike. (The Latin alphabet doesn’t even have a J.) There’s no J Street because the District’s designers didn’t want people to confuse it with I Street.”


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