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A printing convention in which two letters are joined as a single unit. This was generally because two letters joined indicated they were pronounced as a single letter instead of separately and started with scribes who, for speed, joined two letters next to each other with left-facing and right-facing bowls. This convention is largely being dropped in favor of selecting one letter closest to the pronunciation or including both letters separately, leaving readers to learn that they are pronounced distinctively, not phonetically. Examples are amoeba (the o and e used to be joined in a ligature) and encyclopedia (the second e used to be preceded and joined with an a in a ligature).