The earliest inscriptions in Old Norse are runic, from the 8th century. Runes continued to be commonly used until the 15th century and have been recorded to be in use in some form as late as the 19th century in some parts of Sweden. With the conversion to Christianity in the 11th century came the Latin alphabet. The oldest preserved texts in Old Norse in the Latin alphabet date from the middle of the 12th century.
The O caudata of Old Norse (letter ǫ, with ǫ́) is used to write the open-mid back rounded vowel, /ɔ/. Medieval Nordic manuscripts show this "hook" in both directions, in combination with several vowels. Despite this distinction, the term "ogonek" is sometimes used in discussions of typesetting and encoding Norse texts, as o caudata is typographically identical to o with ogonek.
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