hew! Figaro just added a favicon to his new book-promotion website, WordHero.org. That’s the little picture you see accompanying a website URL or browser tab. The word means “favorites icon,” which makes it a portmanteau—a figure that combines two words to make a new one. “Icon” comes from the Greek eikon, literally meaning “image.” In ancient Greece, an icon was a symbol: a picture that stood for something else. So favicon makes doubled sense.
But wait, there’s more. “W” is itself a portmanteau: a double-U. It comes from the Middle English, when the “wuh” sound was representated with a pair of U’s. (The letter itself is a diagraph, a symbol made out of two symbols.)
We hope our “W” becomes iconic. But don’t worry, Figarists. Our blog will continue as long as there are figures on God’s figuratively green Earth.