Sacks, David The Alphabet

ISBN 13: 9780091795061

The Alphabet

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9780091795061: The Alphabet
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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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Review:

"The Alphabet by David Sacks is the history of 26 letters which daily describe and change the world - from Egyptian pictures through the Phoenician, Hebrew, Greek, and Roman refinements to our own variations on those few, now abstract symbols." (Melvyn Bragg)

"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)

"Sacks has elaborate but straight-faced fun with all the letters, stroking them like pets, aware of the mosaic of associations that clings to every one of them" (New Statesman)

"Serious food for linguaphiles Sacks visits each of the letters as if it were an island, with its distinct geography and customs" (Financial Times Magazine)

"Brilliant, entertaining and amusing." (Barbados Daily Nation)

Book Description:

'A wonderfully interesting book' Guardian

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780099436829: The Alphabet

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ISBN 10: 0099436825 ISBN 13: 9780099436829
Publisher: Arrow, 2004
Softcover

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ISBN 10: 0091795060 ISBN 13: 9780091795061
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