Alpha-whaaa?

Oct 11, 2010

Ever wondered how the ABC’s became the ABC’s?  Was English always written like it is today?  The answer is a resounding “Nope!”  The Alphabet of today has gone through a lot of changes over the centuries.  To catalog all of those changes would take a lot more time than I have available at the moment, so in this installation, I’ll just show you a couple of interesting things about Runes and their relationship to our current writing system.

The Runic alphabet is sometimes called “fuþorc” [futhorc] after the first 6 letters, much like our “ABC’s” comes from the first 3 letters and “Alphabet” comes from “Alpha Beta” from the Greek writing system.  Futhorc was used by the Anglo-Saxons to write Old English and other languages.  Can you see any similarities between the Runes and modern English letters?

Here’s a brief glimpse into the history of a couple of letters that are no longer used in modern English.