A successive series of minims such as i (dotless), n and m could be hard to disentangle. For this reason, a slanted hairstroke was sometimes placed on top of the letter i, although this practice is attested only sporadically in Irish manuscripts. The dot on the i in modern typography owes its existence to an equivalent scribal device in the Middle Ages.
The stroke is often difficult or impossible to distinguish from the length mark known as the síneadh fada. Nevertheless, in cases such as that of innis (below), the latter possibility is ruled out on linguistic grounds. A typical use where confusion is less likely to occur is the placing of acute strokes over minims in a Roman numeral '(e.g. .ííí. for .iii.).
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