Language Visible: Unraveling the Mystery of the Alphabet from A to Z (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Crown Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2008 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 416 pages
1 Review
Letters are tangible language. Joining together in endless combinations to actually show speech, letters convey our messages and tell our stories. While we encounter these tiny shapes hundreds of times a day, we take for granted the long, fascinating history behind one of the most fundamental of human inventions--the alphabet.

The heart of the book is the 26 fact-filled “biographies” of letters A through Z, each one identifying the letter’s particular significance for modern readers, tracing its development from ancient forms, and discussing its noteworthy role in literature and other media. We learn, for example, why the letter X has a sinister and sexual aura, how B came to signify second best, why the word “mother” in many languages starts with M, and what is the story of O.

Packed with information and lavishly illustrated, Language Visible is not only accessible and entertaining, but essential to the appreciation of our own language.
  

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Language visible: unraveling the mystery of the alphabet from A to Z

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Joining the sizable field of popular cultural histories of the Roman alphabet published in the last ten years (e.g., Johanna Drucker's The Alphabetic Labyrinth and John Man's Alpha Beta), this ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
6
Section 3
22
Section 4
27
Section 5
31
Section 6
51
Section 7
54
Section 8
57
Section 22
196
Section 23
218
Section 24
220
Section 25
226
Section 26
228
Section 27
234
Section 28
236
Section 29
244

Section 9
63
Section 10
69
Section 11
75
Section 12
92
Section 13
97
Section 14
99
Section 15
105
Section 16
108
Section 17
115
Section 18
120
Section 19
178
Section 20
184
Section 21
191
Section 30
256
Section 31
264
Section 32
267
Section 33
275
Section 34
285
Section 35
298
Section 36
329
Section 37
330
Section 38
342
Section 39
367
Section 40
368
Section 41
378
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2008)

David Sacks is author of the Encyclopedia of the Ancient Greek World. His articles mainly on cultural topics have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Wall Street Journal and dozens of magazines. He wrote a 26-part series for the Ottawa Citizen on the letters of the alphabet that was received enthusiastically by readers and which he has expanded and developed into Language Visible. Raised in New Jersey, he now lives in Ottawa, Ontario.


From the Hardcover edition.

Bibliographic information