A

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A, the first letter of the English and most other alphabets, is frequently used as an abbreviation, (q.v.) and also in the marks of schedules or papers, as schedule A, B, C, &c. Among the Romans this letter was used in criminal trials. The judges were furnished with small tables covered with wax, and each one inscribed on it the initial letter of his vote; A, when he voted to absolve the party on trial; C, when he was for condemnation; and N L, (non liquet) when the matter did not appear clearly, and be desired a new argument.

References in classic literature ?
They were telling one another of all the places where they had been waddling about all the morning, and what good food they had found; and one said in a pitiful tone: 'Something lies heavy on my stomach; as I was eating in haste I swallowed a ring which lay under the queen's window.
I've dropped a ring," he apo1ogised, as he climbed out.
She proffered it to Miss Reade and, as the latter took it into her singularly slender, beautiful hand, I saw a ring on her third finger.