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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

B, b: November Alphabet Project


All November I'll be blogging about the alphabet and word origins.


B, b: From the Canaanite Beth, “house,” eg: Bethlehem, “house of bread.” The Greeks inverted the letter, renaming it beta and adding a lower story room in the uppercase: B.


Babel: The legendary site of a biblical tower threatening to reach “unto heaven itself,” until God “confounded the tongues,” of man, creating the profusion of languages we know today. As tempting as it is to imagine otherwise, babble does not descend from this, but from baby and the Germanic suffix –le, connoting small repetitive actions as in wobble, twinkle, and gobble. Babel is derived from Babylon, an ancient city whose cuneiform script was cousin to the Canaanite alphabet, whence all Western alphabets are derived.
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Coming November 30th, the RETURN OF THE STOOPID CONTEST!

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