THE MAGIC OF LETTERS
A letter is a character or symbol that we correlate to a specific sound in speech and a particular glyph in writing. Every word you read on this page was typed and created from a particular combination of letters. Letters are the building blocks of language. Similar to individual ingredients of a magic potion, letters spell words. The spelling of each word is much, much more interesting when you fully understand each letter that is included. Before we explore this power of spelling, let’s first understand the history of letters, the history of the current English alphabet, and the meaning of each letter.
HISTORY OF LETTERS, ALPHABET
Prior to letters, civilizations such as Ancient Egypt utilized hieroglyphs or pictographs. The issue with both hieroglyphs and pictographs was that of ambiguity in the possible interpretations. Memorizing thousands of symbols can be extremely difficult for both children and adults. Therefore, there became a need for a more precise method of constructing and conveying messages that was easier to learn and use.
The need for efficient communication flourished the first alphabet, which given its age is actually not much different than our own English alphabet of today. The Phoenicians (notice the close resemblance of the elementary school subject “phonics”) created a 22 letter alphabet in order to create ideas (eventually words) easier.
Many of the world’s alphabets were birthed from the Phoenician alphabet, including the Hebrew alphabet, Greek alphabet, and Latin (Roman) alphabet. The modern English alphabet consists of 26 letters, each with an upper and lower case form.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
As we progress in this knowledge, it is interesting that the alphabet we have finally agreed upon and use today has 26 letters. The reason why is uncovered once we unveil the practice of Gematria in later information on the website.
LETTERS SPELL WORDS
Consider how letters are used to put together or form a word. We don’t say “make a word” or “construct a word”. We don’t even say “form a word” like the previous sentence mentions. The verb we use to construct a word is spell. This is interesting given the meanings of the word spell. An equally known definition of spell is “a form of words used as a magical charm or incantation”. What if our spelling of letters into words is a form of incantation?
Letters can ultimately be written or spoken. Can you guess which one may be more powerful? More on that subject to come.