Alphabet - As Easy As Abc

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Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
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0101Getting Sorted2003051920040621

In five programmes this week, Lynne Truss questions how, when and why we got the 26 letters of the alphabet. Why does the upper case D look nothing like the lower case one? Why are they even called by the names, Ay, Bee, Sea? Alphabetical Order dates back at least three and a half millennia. It helps us find books in shops and words in dictionaries. We know it by heart. But is it fair to list people alphabetically? Especially if your name is Mary Kay Zuravleff?

0102A Isn't For Apple2003052020040622

As children struggle to learn the association between sounds and letters, it becomes clear that about a third of the letters we require for ENGLISH are actually missing.

Where are they? Why haven't we got them? It's an outrage.

0103Latecomers To The Alphabet Ball2003052120040623

Big letters and little letters. Thank the Emperor Charlemagne for the little ones and the Romans for the big. But not all of the alphabet goes back such a long way. Since the letters "J" and "Z" did not exist, the word "Jazz" would have meant even less to a Roman than you might imagine.

Lynne Truss looks at the evolution of the alphabet, and covers the introduction of small letters and the letters 'J' and 'Z'.

0104Letters Have Birthdays2003052220040624

The symbolism of letters. R is the 'dog letter' because it goes 'Rrrr'. Franz Kafka said the letter K was 'nauseating'. L has a birthday on January 21st. X can mean any of the following: you've got an answer wrong; lots of love; you are about to watch an adult movie.

Looking at the symbolism of letters. R is the 'dog letter' because it goes 'Rrrr'. Franz Kafka said the letter K was 'nauseating'. L has a birthday on January 21st. Meanwhile X can mean any of the following: you've got an answer wrong; lots of love; you are about to watch an adult movie.

0105 LASTThe Perfect B2003052320040625

In the last programme of the series, Lynne Truss asks, are letters beautiful? We get so used to reading them that we tend to forget the shapes. The arch of the C, the flow of the S, and so on. Calligraphers, type designers and stonemasons explain how they get joy from a perfect B.

Last in series. Are letters beautiful? We're so used to reading them we forget the shapes. Calligraphers, type designers and stonemasons explain how they get joy from a perfect B.