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

by

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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

David Sacks has embarked on a fun, lively, and learned excursion into the alphabet-and into cultural history-in Letter Perfect. Clearly explaining the letters as symbols of precise sounds of speech, the book begins with the earliest known alphabetic inscriptions (circa 1800 b.c.), recently discovered by archaeologists in Egypt, and traces the history of our alphabet through the ancient Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans and up through medieval Europe to the present day. But the heart of the book is the twenty-six fact-filled “biographies” of letters A through Z, each one identifying the letters 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 letter X may have a sinister and sexual aura, how B came to signify second best, why the word mother in many languages starts with M. Combining facts both odd and essential, Letter Perfect is cultural history at its most accessible and enjoyable.

Synopsis:

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. <BR>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. <BR>Packed with information and lavishly illustrated, Language Visible is not only accessible and entertaining, but essential to the appreciation of our own language.
"From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

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, the Ottawa Citizen, and dozens of magazines. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780767911733
Author:
Sacks, David
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Subject:
Linguistics
Subject:
Linguistics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20040631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.24x5.55x.99 in. 1.06 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Anthropology » Linguistics
History and Social Science » Archaeology » Ancient Languages
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General

Letter Perfect: The Marvelous History of Our Alphabet from A to Z Used Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Broadway Books - English 9780767911733 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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. <BR>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. <BR>Packed with information and lavishly illustrated, Language Visible is not only accessible and entertaining, but essential to the appreciation of our own language.
"From the Hardcover edition.
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