One Dot, More Or Less, Won't Hurt
When I sharpen a pencil, it feels incomplete until I give it that little puff at the end to get rid of any loose shavings. Making tea just isn’t done until I squeeze the teabag, not only with my fingers, but also with the little envelope the bag comes in. You just have to finish the job and dotting the “i” has become part of our culture.
I don’t know why. What’s the big deal about having that little bit of ink over the vertical mark? Same with the “j”: will the world stop spinning if that selfsame dot goes away and never returns? It’s like the Lincoln penny, suchlike it’s really quite useless, but we would be awfully sad if it disappeared. Pennies and dots just belong.
I wonder if it was a pronunciation guide from some day in the past when there were two letters, one dotted and one not. Those with dots were spoken (or read) differently from their undotted relatives. Same with the j-birds. After all, the Krauts have two dots over their “U,” for whatever reason, so there is precedence.
Evolution is a slow process; we don’t change much in a hundred years, maybe a bit of DNA here and there. It’s taken a long time for us to adapt to cow’s milk, not a natural food for people. So will we eventually adapt to a dotless-i? A dotless-j? What will the linguistic future bring to the English-language culture?