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The Alphabet

by David Sacks

ISBN 0091795060 / 9780091795061 / 0-09-179506-0
Publisher Hutchinson
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

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. [via]