Front cover image for A place for everything : the curious history of alphabetical order

A place for everything : the curious history of alphabetical order

Judith Flanders (Author)
Few of us think much of the alphabet and its familiar sing-song order once we've learned it as children. And yet the order of the alphabet, that simple knowledge that we take for granted, plays far more of a role in our lives than we usually consider. From the school register to the telephone book, from dictionaries and encyclopaedias to the library shelves, our lives are ordered from A to Z. This magical system of organization not only guides us to the correct bus route or train schedule or the jar of coriander seeds between the cinnamon and the cumin in the supermarket, but it also, in the library or the bookshop, gives us the ability to sift through centuries of thought and writing, of knowledge and literature. Alphabetical order allows us to sort, to file and to find the information we have, and to locate the information we need. In this entirely original new book, Judith Flanders draws our attention both to the neglected ubiquity of the alphabet and the long and complex history of its rise to prominence
Print Book, English, 2022
First Trade Paperback Edition View all formats and editions
Basic Books, New York, 2022
xxviii, 319 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 21 cm
9781541601161, 1541601165
"Originally published in 2020 by Picador in the United Kingdom"--Title page verso