June 20, 2008

Chapter 1 - Linguistic Background

My interest in the history of the alphabet began with this fascinating book. It's helped me, as I learn the alphabet, understand why these letters literally took shape the way they did, and how important the Phoenician alphabet was as the common ancestor of the Hebrew and Roman alphabets.

Looking at the original forms of the alphabet--their pictures and meanings--can help explain why they look the way they do, and maybe even help keep similar-looking letters apart. But I didn't do too much of this at first because I didn't want more to memorize.

Here's Sacks on aleph: (also see Benner on aleph)

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