Why Is the Alphabet in That Order? Is It Because of That Song?

By Morice, David | Word Ways, August 2012 | Go to article overview

Why Is the Alphabet in That Order? Is It Because of That Song?


Morice, David, Word Ways


Good question. Let's skip it for now. Instead, let's try a different way of ordering. Instead of the traditional a-z, let's consider the ease with which we can pronunce each letter--each letter's name, that is. For instance, consider which parts of your mouth are necessary in order to say A, and B. To me, A is easier to day. There's very little movment involved; mainly the vowel sound does almost all the work. B, on the other hand, needs you to close your lips and use a vocalized sound to differentiate it from P, which starts with bursting out a soft sound (plosive) and ends with a louder sounds.

It is probably possible for scientist tos measure the amount of movement (Perhaps they already have) that the parts of your mouth, lips, chin, nose, etc., make in order to gemerate the movement that leads to the letters that lead to the spoken words.

So, here is a challenge, for readers. Rearrange all twenty-six letters of the alphabet, starting with the letter that seems to you to be the simplest to say, and ending with the most difficult. My answer appears in Answers & Solutions. How close did your answer come to mine. Please email your results to my email address. To evaluate yours with someone elses, write your alphasonic order neatly on a wide sheet of paper. Then, under it, write someone else's version. Figure out how far away both of you were from each other. The top row is yours and the bottom is hers. Let's examine these few letters. The top row is 1, the bottom 2. (A normal game would be played with each player writing out 26 letters that go from simple to complex ponunciation. But lets start with 7 letters to show how it goes. …

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Why Is the Alphabet in That Order? Is It Because of That Song?
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