Win a Family Weekend Break with Lovereading and VisitWiltshire - click here for details...

likeyoulove join us on facebook
Search our site
The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn Read the opening extract of the brand new A. J. Finn book before its publication on 22/01/2018

The Alphabet by David Sacks
  

The Alphabet

Books for the Boys   The Real World   
Download an extract Share this book

Lovereading view...

This yearâs Eats Shoots and Leaves looks at the history of each letter of the alphabet through 40 centuries.

Synopsis

The Alphabet by David Sacks

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? Why is X the mark of the Unknown or shorthand for a kiss? 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 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, with an inventory of 60,000, where an alphabet needs typically less 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.

Browse inside this book

Reviews

'A wonderfully interesting book'
Guardian

About the Author

David Sacks
David Sacks is a freelance writer for New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Harper's Bazaar, Elle etc. He now lives in Canada with his wife and two children. He is 51.

photo: Carol Barnstead photography

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

7th October 2004

Author

David Sacks

More books by David Sacks
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

www.alphabet-history.com/

Publisher

Arrow

Format

Paperback
416 pages

Categories

Books for the Boys
The Real World

Historical & comparative linguistics
Language: reference & general

ISBN

9780099436829

It's information about new books so, for a book lover like me, what's not to like!

Joan Hill

The books for review are always great reads, brilliantly written, and introduces me to a huge variety of, established and new, authors.

Lesley Hart

Lovereading is pitched at just the right level for all the various types of people who enjoy reading in its many forms.

Pam Woodburn

You'll always find what you never knew you were looking for and you're always spoilt for choice.

Helen Jones

It has opened my eyes to different authors and genres. Just log on and try, you will be surprised and not want for reading material again.

Jocelyn Garvey

Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!

Sheila Dale

My favourite thing about is the 'like for like' page this has really introduced me to some good reads! That and lots of honest reviews.

Sam Lewis

Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools