Learning To Read

Entry by: Paul McDermott

1st July 2016
Most Alphabets begin as an attempt to draw pictures of common objects. When we consider that the English language is expressed by a mere twenty-six letters, it is truly amazing we can create such complexity and depth of meaning with such rudimentary tools.
That's before we 'factor in' all the other languages which use the same number of letters, or expand to include other languages which use three, four, six or more 'extra' letters ...
This is what I could manage to cram into the allotted sixty minutes: I fully intend to work on the remaining letters of the alphabet when time permits!

Want. Need. Take.
What must I have to live a day - a day which goes so slow?
How can I tell you
when the words I use
are not words you will know?

So I draw pictures to show you.

A I need shelter.

I draw a skin, tossed over the branch of a tree
Stretched by another branch to make room for me.

B I need to eat, and to capture meat
I draw a bow - with an arrow
To make the message complete

C The skin which provided shelter from the storm
Was good: but better (and easier to warm)
A deep, dry cave where I can sleep at night
Waking refreshed with the new day's light

D A dirk or dagger in my hand
To slice a vegetable, fruit or viand
In pieces small enough to chew
Would be a most precious tool

F Food, fuel, fire all begin with the same sound
And thus my picture of a living flame is found

I tried using WordArt to "illuminate" these five Capital Letters in the style of a mediæval monk, but couldn't load the results as 'pictures' to the site: I'll have to leave them to your imagination!