Thursday, November 20, 2014

AlphabeThursday - A is for an Archaeological discovery

Archaeologists discovered the oldest Canaanite letter list, dating back to 1300 BC.  The first symbol was an ox, aleph.  As David Sacks writes in Letter Perfect, “Because aleph came first for the Bronze Age Semites, the letter A comes first for us,” in English.

The Canaanite alphabet traveled through the Phoenicians to the Greek (in the Western world.) There, the letter aleph became alpha.  The Phoenician letter A used to be laying down (in our view of things).  But the Greeks stood it up!  From Greece this alphabet traveled to Italy (ca. 700 BC,) then France and finally to England, during the time of the Norman Conquest (1066 AD.)

For English speaking children, the letter A is ingrained in us from childhood.  In America, it signifies excellence, such as schoolwork, many of the best foods and even monetary bonds are graded with an A.  How many businesses use CCC (and not AAA) before its name?  I don’t think you’ll find them, unless they are initals for words.  The only time the letter A has been used to denote disaster is in medieval Europe and Puritan England (and America), when an adulterer was force to wear the letter A on his or her clothing (see The Scarlet Letter!)

Come by Ms. Jenny’s website, …off on my tangent… 
to find more about words that start with the Letter A.


Sarah Beth said...

Interesting post! I had no idea that the A was sleeping at the beginning! And, speaking of AAA's, how many businesses begin with A just to be at the top of the list in the phone book -- which nobody uses anymore!!

(I've been gone forever, but back with a new look!)

Jim said...

Such goooood news!!! I learned a lot today, the other thing already found out is what a flat-plane crankshaft is, the 2016 Shelby Mustang GT 350 should have them in it's 502 cu engine.

I sure hope the Canaanites and the Phoenicians got the word back from Greeks. It is much prettier standing up. Alpha is fine with me too but it is a longer, two-syllable, word. "W" is our exception to the one syllable standard.

carol l mckenna said...

Creative post for A ~ fascinating!

Happy Weekend to you,
artmusedog and carol

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

A very informative post!

Brona Joy said...

I love that the letter A started off as an ox!
Will you be researching the history of all the letters of the alphabet this round?

Monica said...

Interesting post! My maiden name starts with an A...I grew up having to go first all the time!

Gattina said...

"A" indeed is a very good level ! Haven't thought about that !

Wandering Wren said...

Your post is exactly why I love reading blogs - you never know what you might learn. Great A for Alphabe Thursday!
Wren x

Jenny said...

This is interesting indeed.

I've learned so much in this round of Alphabe-Thursday.

Absolutely fascinating.

Thanks for linking.


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