Letter Perfect: The Marvelous History of Our Alphabet From A to Z

  • 416 pages
  • 0767911733
  • Anglais
  • Format Kindle
Letter Perfect: The Marvelous History of Our Alphabet From A to Z

− Google drive pdf ᠖ Letter Perfect: The Marvelous History of Our Alphabet From A to Z ↨ E-Pub Author David Sacks ∇ PrefaceThis book attempts a voyage of discovery among the letters of the alphabet Like islands of an archipelago, the 26 letters will be visited and explored, one at a time Each islands geography and local lore will be examined briefly, also its relationship to other islands in the navigational stream Some islands may prove lush or lofty than others But any one will yield substantial mental nourishment to visitors, along with glorious vistas onto language, literature, and history of the past 4,000 years.Where do our letters come from How did they get their shapes, their assigned sounds, their sequence, immortalized in our Alphabet Song Why do we use Roman letters for Englishalso for Spanish, Czech, Turkish, Swahili, Vietnamese, and many otherswhile some languages Russian, Greek, Arabic, Hindi, etc use different types of letters What is a letter, exactly Whats an alphabet These are among questions to be answered with authority and zest.And smaller questions, perhaps intriguing Why is X the unknown What is The Story of O Where did Irish rock band U2 get its name Why does mother start with M Whats Qs source of pride Which two letters came last to the alphabet Answer J and V Why is Z called zee in the United States but zed in Britain and other Commonwealth countries Which animal did A originally symbolize An ox the As legs were horns, pointing upward, 3,000 years ago Every letter has its own chapter here Typically, the chapter briefly explains the letters origin in ancient Near Eastern alphabets, including the Phoenician alphabet of 1000 B.C In this aspect, the book has benefited from a spectacular archaeological discovery made public in A.D 1999 that placed the alphabets invention in Egypt, sometime around 2000 B.C Each chapter traces its letters history through ancient Greece and Rome, medieval England, and subsequent stages, and discusses the letters noteworthy roles in literature, traditional iconography, modern marketing and pop culture, and other categories V for Victory Presidential Dubya W Xbox, X Files, X Men.Each chapter tries, where possible, to find the letters single chief significance for modern readersits personality, as expressed through speech or visual media For instance, letter A means quality B is forever second best C is inconsistent in sound Its troubles with commitment stem from an unstable childhood Os shape can be highly inviting S is the letter of the serpent, whether for evil or for nature N needs your nose for pronunciation And H, phonetically, barely qualifies as a letter at all.Beyond the letters themselves, this book is partly about languages English first of all, but also Latin, Greek, ancient Semitic tongues of which Hebrew is the closest modern equivalent , medieval and modern French and other Romance tongues, and German, all relevant to the story of our 26 letters While I dont speak every one of those languages, I have background in a few and have strived for accuracy in research.The book uses language topics as the key to explaining the alphabet Letters are images of language They were invented, around 2000 B.C., to show tiny sounds of speech Letters, when combined correctly, re create the sounds of words whether in English, ancient Greek, Arabic, Russian, etc If you take the spoken tongue as your starting pointany language outside of a test tube was spoken long before it began to be writtenand you picture an alphabet being fitted to the language, like clothing, amid adjustments, then the history and meaning of the letters become suddenly clearer.Some books on the alphabet have viewed the letters primarily as items of visual design Visual, indeed handsome, they surely are But that approach makes it tough to explain how a letter got its sound s , especially regarding irregularities Why does C go soft in pronunciation before E, I, or Y Why does J mean the sound j in English but h in Spanish and y in German Such questions are easier to answer if you begin with the language sounds, not the written symbols.Yet this is no textbook It does not deal exhaustively with the subject, and I hope it is never boring Facts are pursued with an eye toward what is enlightening, surprising, fun The aim is to inform and entertain I hope to convey how fascinating these 26 little shapes can be, how they contain within themselves thousands of years of culture and history.The basis for this book was a 26 part weekly series that I wrote about the letters of the alphabet for the Ottawa Citizen newspaper Ottawa, Ontario The series covered one letter per week, from January to July 2000.But the first inspiration dates to 1993, when I was at work on my one previous book, the Encyclopedia of the Ancient Greek World Facts On File, 1995 Facing a huge assignment beyond my rudimentary knowledge, I was anxiously researching the ancient Greeks.One topic was the Greek alphabet, including its origin, sometime around 800 B.C I had learned in college that the Greeks, with no writing of their own at the time, acquired their alphabet by copying it from the Phoenicians a Semitic people famed as seafarers, based in what is now Lebanon I could have written those words on an examthe Greeks took their alphabet from the Phoenicianswithout understanding what that meant I had always imagined some imitation by analogy that the Greeks, impressed by the Phoenician letters, had gone off and invented two dozen letters of their own, to be Greek letters.But my studies of 1993 taught me differently The Greeks had copied literally than that Pardon the pun The Greeks didnt copy just the idea of the Phoenician alphabet they actually copied the Phoenician letters and started using them to write Greek.Does it sound trivial At the time, the realization stunned me The ancient languages of Greek and Phoenician were as different as English and Arabic Greek was and is a language of the Indo European family its modern relatives include English, German, Spanish, and Russian The Phoenician tongue, now vanished, belonged to a separate language group, Semitic, whose major modern representative is Arabic, although Phoenician itself was probably closer to Hebrew Semitic and Indo European languages do not sound at all alike their vocabularies are unrelated And yet The Phoenician alphabet had 22 letters the earliest working Greek alphabet, probably 26 The first 22 letters of the Greek list were nearly identical to the Phoenician in sequence, shapes, names, and, usually, sounds with the exception of five vowel letters, which the Greeks had invented by reassigning certain Phoenician letters to symbolize vowel sounds In later centuries the Greeks would adjust their alphabet away from the Phoenician model But around 800 B.C., it seems the Greeks picked up Phoenician letters, made some changes and additions, and began writing.What if a bunch of illiterate Anglo Saxons in A.D 600 had gotten their hands on the Arabic alphabet and started using it to write Old English Could they have done so I wondered Wasnt that basically what the Greeks did There must, I thought, back in 1993, be to these letters than I understood How could Phoenician letters be so adaptable Logically, wouldnt most of them be unusable for Greek, since the two languages were so different Eventually I moved on from the ancient Greece book, got a day job, and turned to a new mental interest the history of the alphabet I had never studied it before, but felt compelled to do so now There seemed something fundamental here that I had missed in my education.What I found was that alphabets have routinely jumped from language to language, across all sorts of language barriers, down through history, thanks to the adaptability of letters generally Our Roman alphabet in English is the product of four such leaps After being copied from Phoenician letters, the Greek letters were copied, in turn, by a different people, the Etruscans of Italy around 700 B.C Etruscan was a tongue as different from Greek as Greek was from Phoenician, yet the letters adapted easily They now became Etruscan letters, for showing Etruscan speech Then the Etruscan letters were copied by other Italian peoples, including the Romans, whose language, Latin, was totally unlike Etruscan Again the letters had made the jump As Rome conquered Italy and lands beyond, the Roman alphabet became the writing of Roman Europe Surviving the empires collapse around A.D 500 , Roman letters were fitted to newer tongues, including primitive English around A.D 600 Today those letters have grown up to become our own.English is by no means the only example Roman letters today convey the sounds of other tongues that Cicero never heard of Polish, Zulu, Azerbaijani, Indonesian, Navajoand about 100 , all in daily use The Cyrillic alphabet works equally well for Bulgarian and Mongolian as for Russian Arabic letters, devised originally to show the Arabic language, provide writing in Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, and other places where people dont speak Arabic Behind such facts lies the letters ability to leap across languages.The I dug into this, the important it seemed I was finally getting the idea that the letters have a kind of geniusa genius for showing the sounds of speech Because they denote the smallest particles of sound t, p, m, u , letters in quantity are beautifully flexible and precise They can be arranged in endless combinations, as necessary, to capture sounds of words This allows the letters to be fitted from one language to another You could easily write English phonetically, in the letters of Hebrew or Cyrillic Bored office workers at computers do it idly People dont understand this concept, I recall thinking This isnt being taught at school.I had learned a new respect for the alphabet, and from this pointfor it was just a beginningI proceeded to dip into other aspects of the story typography, phonetics, the individual letters use in brand names and design, the whole psychological message of letters in certain presentations What I uncovered was a trove of wisdom and lore worth celebrating And worth sharing.At a time when it has become important than ever to read clearly and intelligently in order to dismantle the daily traps of propaganda, this delightful book lays bare for us, with wit and wisdom, the very building blocks of our culture the mysterious letters of the alphabet that rule our language and thought.Alberto Manguel, author of A History of Reading Reading David Sackss wonderful Letter Perfect is like sitting rapt before the coolest teacher in school Sackss excursion through the alphabet is witty and smart I was reluctant to finally leave the classroom.Mark Dunn, author of Ella Minnow Pea Letter Perfect is distinguished by its remarkably long and broad view of the topic and its omnivorous sense of fun A clear and appealing discussion A dazzlingly diverse array of facts From discussions of the letter As role in meat grading, bond rating, student ranking, and punishment for adultery to Zs exotic associations with Zorro, Sacks makes the history of the alphabet a joy to read Recommended for most libraries Library Journal US An always clever but rarely too clever educational and entertaining history of the alphabet A refreshing combination of erudition and breeziness Kirkus ReviewsSacks unfolds the romance and magic of the English alphabet Although Sacks writes for non specialists, he distills an impressive range of scholarship into his examination of the alphabets complex cultural history This is a delightfully entertaining and engrossing tale of how the score of roman letters that arrived in England in the seventh century eventually gave us everything from the poetry of William Shakespeare to the official grades used by meat inspectors to evaluate chicken BooklistAs fun to read as it is enlighteningSacks s obsession with language is contagious, and I can imagine few readers whose lives would not be enriched by what he calls his voyage of discovery.Julie Walton Shaver, The New York Times Book ReviewSacks is at his best when he opens a world, and the worlds within worlds that shape shift as written language movesLetter Perfect is a valuable addition edition for anyone who wants to know how Anglophones got from there to here The Globe and Mail Letter Perfect is distinguished by its remarkably long and broad view of the topic and its omnivorous sense of fun A clear and appealing discussion A dazzlingly diverse array of facts From discussions of the letter As role in meat grading, bond rating, student ranking, and punishment for adultery to Zs exotic associations with Zorro, Sacks makes the history of the alphabet a joy to read Recommended for most libraries Library Journal US Beautifully illustrated A gem of popular linguistic history Letter Perfect avoids taking itself too seriously Publishers Weekly A cultural history of A to Z Letter Perfect unravels the mystery of the alphabets ancient origins, and explores its effects on the modern world Citizens WeeklySacks writes in a jokey, conversational styleanthropomorphiz ing the letters to make their biographies even exciting Winnipeg Free PressA delightful exploration of the roots, stalks and branches of the letter forms that proved to be so remarkably adaptable to so many diverse, unrelated languages The Edmonton JournalSacks does an excellent job tracing each letters historyWell researched and very readable Quill and Quire A delightful journey into the history of our alphabetWith a breezy tone and a passion for letters, Sacks tells the life story of all 26 of them from A, the first and best, to Z, the least used letter in printed English Each of these 26 biographies is filled with entertaining and fascinating factsIn this rich history, Sacks offers answers to all of the mysteries of the alphabet, and a long overdue examination of the origins of our ABCs The Balti SunJournalist Sacks unfolds the romance and magic of the English alphabet Although Sacks writes for nonspecialists, he distills an impressive range of scholarship into his examination of the alphabet s complex cultural historyDelightfully entertaining and engrossing BooklistAn always clever but rarely too clever educational and entertaining history of the alphabet.A refreshing combination of erudition and breeziness Kirkus ReviewsSacks often witty, always scientific and eminently historical approach draws us into mysteries of time and humanity Contra Costa Times California A gem of popular linguistic history Publishers Weekly Letter Perfect is a fun bit of popular scholarship, a diverting reference book filled with illustrations and sidebars that both entertain and inform It is also a success story the story of a spectacularly successful invention the alphabet , culminating in the global triumph of a spectacularly successful language English Kitchener Waterloo Record Dec 13, 2003 Letter Perfect The Marvelous History of Our Letter Our Alphabet From A to Z David Sacks Books How Write the Reference Letter Learn how write a reference letter Professional writer Larry Barkdull shares must know writing tips Alfons de Duidelijkheid in stijl Alfons Sign House BV is een bedrijf wat zich heeft gespecialiseerd incidenteel graveerwerk, serie graveerwerken en stempels voor zakelijke The Novel Chris Harrison Harrison on FREE shipping qualifying offers Harrison, beloved longtime host ABC s Bachelor Names Photography Free, Bulk sales clip frame, clipframe, Wholesale x, clear frameless art frames, mats and alphab Farm IncKILA Welcome web site Here you ll find information about upcoming clinics, shows events at our dressage oriented farm Uxbridge, MA USA Query Query One easiest ways learn what makes good, standard query simply see an example one that does its job well If fiction LETTER CARRIER PERFECT III Branch NALC LETTER Guide for Carrier NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CARRIERS MINNEAPOLIS REGION CHRIS WITTENBURG Resignation Forbes Update, July , Interest this article has remained so strong I interviewed Fancy again, as four month follow up here Love Romantic Words Copy re wondering perfect love letter, these phrases are great copy adapt Its Startpagina Facebook recensies van Its This place best Friendly faces, excellent quality, reasonable prices Richmond Virginia by Sacks fun, lively, learned excursion into alphabet cultural history Letters tangible language Joining together endless combinations Black With Lyrics YouTube You bring hope my life Where would be Without right beside me Al Jarreau AZLyrics song Al stars gold school got shout, been living Golden Rule In Stationery Santa Santa Barbara specialty studio store specializing kind design, products, branding, marketing etiquette advice likes decoration any room Choose color, style Get final approval design Great gifts per Three cover examples Guardian Three Cover letters first chance have impress employer Five steps graduate CV closing sentence letter When reflect carefully not only opening sentence, but We give some Short Story Tom Farr time Nick noticed Sylvie, she was sitting with her feet tucked beneath oversized chair BRANCH Dear Brothers Sisters, developed further enhance professionalism Carriers within Region Are teacher looking resign from Take look resignation templates make handing your simpleDavid DavidSacks Twitter latest Tweets Founder who backs founders through craftventures Previously Created two unicorns, invested dozen O Wikipedia Oliver born May entrepreneur investor internet technology firms He general partner Craft Ventures, venture capital fund Silicon Valley Business Insider Instead, after months research debate, Insider proud present Silicon annual list people matter most Understanding Wine Chemistry Buy Understanding SHIPPING qualified orders Yammer On September Yammer launched TechCrunch conference co founder Sacks, former PayPal executive, basic concept Howie Henry LLP Personal Injury At Howie, we practise personal injury law And it than years experience, dedication handle serious cases Oliver Wolf Londra, luglio New York, agosto stato un medico, chimico, scrittore e accademico britannico, dal docente di neurologia Sacks Co Clients Media Relations BOB BOILEN YOUR SONG CHANGED MY LIFE DAVID BYRNE BICYCLE DIARIES C Tierney PAKILA listed Best Lawyers since Construction Lawyer Year Phoenix Letter Perfect: The Marvelous History of Our Alphabet From A to Z

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *