The Alphabet

The Alphabet

by David Sacks (Author)


There is a story behind each letter of the alphabet. Why is the X the Unknown or shorthand for a Kiss? Which letter came last, historically, in the alphabet? (J) How did a few squggles, invented a thousand years ago to denote sounds of a now vanished Semetic language, survive to become our letters today? While China and Japan rely mainly on scripts of ideograms, three-quarters of humanity uses some kind of alphabet. Chinese writing requires 2000 basic symbols (but there's no language barrier), where an alphabet needs typically less than 30. From A-Z, David Sacks provides answers to the most fascinating questions about the way we talk, write and think in a book which will also be illustrated graphically throughout - not just with variations of individual letters but with maps, charts and general narrative images.


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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 416
Edition: 1
Publisher: Hutchinson
Published: 06 Nov 2003

ISBN 10: 0091795060
ISBN 13: 9780091795061
Book Overview: A uniquely entertaining and informative piece of linguistic and cultural archaeology- which unlocks the mysteries of the 26 letters that comprise the English alphabet.

Author Bio
Sacks is a freelance writer for New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Harpers, Elle etc. He now lives in Canada with his wife and two children. He is 53.