It's official: The Spanish alphabet now has 27 letters. Despite Internet campaigns and objections from language purists, delegates to a Spanish Royal Academy gathering in Guadalajara, Mexico, over the weekend ratified proposed changes to written Spanish, which included removing ch and ll from the alphabet.
The change will have little practical effect, since the ch and ll will continue to have distinct pronunciations, and the letters hadn't been used for alphabetization purposes for decades.
Two other recommendations on the alphabet also were made: The v will now be known as the uve instead of ve, which was already the case in some regions, and the y may be known as the ye along with the traditional name of i griega.
Other changes involved the dropping of mandatory written accents in words such as guión (hyphen) and sólo when used as an adverb — although such accents will not be considered wrong and likely will be used in many publications. Also, under the new recommendations, plurals of abbreviations should not include an s at the end, so the plural of la ONG (for la organización no gubernamental) becomes las ONG (this usage has long been common). Also, ex may now be used as a prefix in words such as exsenador for "former senator"; previously, it would have been written as ex senador.