I went for a long ride on the #20 and then the #9 (and return) followed by lunch at The Dime today, which allowed me lots of time to finish up a wonderful book called “Alphabetical” by Michael Rosen.

This thick 400+ page tome has 27 chapters, one for each of the letters in the English alphabet plus a chapter on word games at the end.  Each of the first 26 chapters gives a brief history of each letter and a summation of its use in English, followed by a short essay on a subject that is more or less related (for example “C is for Ciphers”, and “P is for Pitman”).  Academic snobs might pooh-pooh the lack of footnotes and specific citations, but this is a lively read full of fascinating detail and personal anecdotes about all things alphabetical.

The author, Michael Rosen, knows whereof he speaks. He is an accomplished poet and host of the BBC Radio show about language, “Word of Mouth“.

I enjoyed this immensely and thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in language and symbols.


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