Alpha Beta: How 26 Letters Shaped the Western World by John Man

By John Man

Compliment for Alpha Beta
"This booklet comes on the ideal second as we rediscover the significance in early analyzing of cracking the alphabetic code. the tale of the way that code got here into being is an engaging one, and guy is the right author to inform it." occasions academic Supplement

"A richly soaking up exploration, from B.C. to desktops, of the evolution of the main basic characters of our cultural historical past, the alphabet we a lot take without any consideration. John guy writes with a compellingly stressed interest and immediacy. The ever brilliant, exotically designated narrative in his informative booklet makes it as undryly stress-free as a winning archaelogical dig of 1 of Alan Moorehead s colourful histories of African exploration." David Grambs, writer of The Describer s Dictionary and The Endangered English Dictionary

"Text that's crisp, taut, and as transparent as a bell.... a desirable tale with many a beguiling subplot alongside the way." New Scientist

"Letter ideal the simplest histories and mysteries of our ABC s!" Jeff McQuain, writer of by no means adequate phrases and tool Language

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And beat me. ’ and beat me. ’ and beat me … So I began to hate the scribal art and neglect the scribal art. My teacher took no delight in me. Actually, it was not all bad. The exercise ends with the boy asking his father to invite the head teacher to his home. Perhaps this is a little piece of wishful thinking for teachers, because he is showered with food, clothes and cash. In gratitude, he wishes his wayward pupil well. ’ But there is no suggestion that he ever wrote anything of interest, or grew to enjoy his labours.

It was built to last, and it has done so as well as the pyramids (which still endure, poking up through the floods of a vastly extended Mediterranean). On it are sets of pictures. Their purpose mirrors the worst and the best of a vanished civilization. Beneath the feet of the settlers, their distant ancestors tried to seal up the fuel that had once seemed a miracle, and became a curse. In their wisdom and deep concern, the ancestors wished to issue a lasting warning. The pictures clearly say: danger!

I shall make its beauties be shown to you. Now, it is greater than any other profession. There is not its like in the land. Writing served the priestly agenda: to buttress the privileged position of the elite servants of the godhead, the pharaoh. It was not exactly in their interests to bring writing downmarket. < previous page page_55 next page > < previous page page_56 next page > Page 56 Yet hints of a more populist literature, perhaps an oral tradition, survive. Rich Egyptians liked to adorn their tombs with inscriptions known as funerary autobiographies in which the dead man regales passers-by with his life story, in an idealized form that emphasizes his virtues.

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