Language Visible

Language Visible

Unraveling the Mystery of the Alphabet From A to Z

Book - 2003
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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 Visibleis not only accessible and entertaining, but essential to the appreciation of our own language.
Publisher: Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf Canada, c2003
ISBN: 9780676974874
Characteristics: xiii, 395 p. : ill., maps


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Oct 29, 2016

There are three diff versions of this book, & all are the same in text.
One is hardback: Language Visible: Unraveling the Mystery of the Alphabet from A to Z.

One is paperback: Letter Perfect: The Marvelous History of Our Alphabet From A to Z.

And one is?: Letter Perfect: The A-to-Z History of Our Alphabet.

Of course, each of these title versions have a diff ISBN.

All three can be found on ebay, & (sort of) on Amazon.

But, why three diff titles, if they are all the same book on the inside?

Feb 22, 2014

Sacks starts with a clear and appealing discussion of the genealogy of the letters we use every day, from the earliest known alphabet inscriptions found recently in Egypt through the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and Romans up to the present. He then devotes a chapter to each letter, discussing its development from ancient forms, attempting to identify and document its unique significance, and collecting a dazzlingly diverse array of facts that include its role in literature, media, and culture. From discussions of the letter A's role in meat grading, bond rating, student ranking, and punishment for adultery to Z's exotic associations with Zorro, Sacks makes the history of the alphabet a joy to read.

-Library Journal

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