Sacks, David The Alphabet

ISBN 13: 9780099436829

The Alphabet

3.94 avg rating
( 459 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780099436829: The Alphabet

There is a story behind each letter of the alphabet. Why is X the Unknown or shorthand for a kiss? Which letter came last, historically, in the alphabet? (J). How did a few squiggles, invented a thousand years ago to denote sounds of a now vanished Semitic 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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Review:

'A wonderfully interesting book' -- Guardian

'‘Sacks has elaborate... fun with all the letters' -- New Statesman

From the Back Cover:

THIS IS THE STORY OF 26 LETTERS
There is a story behind each letter of the alphabet. How did A become the symbol for quality or the badge worn by adulterers in Puritan England? When did Z - the least used letter in English - become an emblem of African-American Hip Hop culture? Which two letters came last, historically, to the alphabet? (J and V). How did a few squiggles, invented 4000 years ago, 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, with an inventory of 60,000, where an alphabet needs typically fewer than 30.
From A to Z, David Sacks provides answers to the most fascinating questions about the way we talk, write and think, in a book that takes you on a gripping journey through 40 centuries of the alphabet's evolution.
'Sacks' clever, simple idea is to follow the individual letters, one by one. He takes us back in time to find how each came to us and how it gained its special properties...A wonderfully interesting book' Guardian

'A fine book that is instructive and amusing for those who enjoy language as an abstract, and who want to know more about the 4000-year history of the letters of the alphabet' The Times Literary Supplement

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Sacks, David
Published by Arrow Books Ltd (2004)
ISBN 10: 0099436825 ISBN 13: 9780099436829
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Book Description Arrow Books Ltd, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099436825

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Sacks, David
Published by Arrow Books Ltd (2004)
ISBN 10: 0099436825 ISBN 13: 9780099436829
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
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Ergodebooks
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Book Description Arrow Books Ltd, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0099436825

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