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Alphabet

.

This is the only word compounded of letters only. The Greek alpha (a) beta (b); our A B C (book), etc.

⁂ The number of letters in an alphabet varies in different languages. Thus there are

21

letters in the Italian alphabet.

22

Hebrew & Syriac

alphabet

23

Latin

24

Greek

25

French

26

English, German, Dutch

27

Spanish

28

Arabic

32

Coptic

33

Russian

38

Armenian

39

Georgian

40

Slavonic

45

Persian (Zend)

49

Sanskrit

⁂ The Chinese have no alphabet, but about 20,000 syllabic characters.

Ezra vii. 21 contains all the letters of the English language, presuming I and J to be identical.


Even the Italian alphabet is capable of more than seventeen trillion combinations; that is, 17 followed by eighteen other figures, as—
17,000,000,000,000,000,000;
while the English alphabet will combine into more than twenty-nine thousand quatrillion combinations; that is, 29 followed by twenty-seven other figures, as—
29,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.


Yet we have no means of marking the several sounds of our different vowels; nor can we show how to pronounce such simple words as foot, (pull and dull), sugar (father and rather), (gin and be-gin), calm, Bourges, Bœuf in “Bœuf-gras,” œufs, and thousands of other words.

We want the restoration of th to distinguish between this and thin; a Greek ch to distinguish between Church and Christ, two g’s (one soft and one hard), two c’s, two o’s, half a dozen a’s, and so on.

⁂ Take a, we have fate, fat, Thames (e), war (o), salt (au), etc. So with e, we have prey (a), met (e), England (i), sew (o), herb (u), etc. The other vowels are equally indefinite.

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ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Alnaschar of Modern Literature
Aloe
Along-shore Men
Alonzo of Aguilar
Aloof
Alorus
A l’outrance
Alp
Alph
Alpha
Alphabet
Alpheos and Arethusa
Alpheus (in Orlando Furioso)
Alphesibea
Alphonso
Alpleich
Alpue, Alpieu (Alpu)
Alquife (al-kē-fy)
Alrinach
Alruna-wife (An)
Alsatia