Where Do Our Letters Come From?

St Matthew struggling to read the fine print
The first ever English text, the epic Beowulf, was originally set down in runes (which themselves were probably an early rough adaptation of Latin letters). For a kind of creepy linguistic experience, check out what our language sounded like fifteen centuries ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K13GJkGvDw
One of the most fascinating attractions in Pompeii is the graffiti. This wall features political propaganda, but the thoughts of the ancients preserved in taverns are rather lewder.
This 17th Century gravestone in Massachusetts features the use of the weird shorthand for “the,” as well as the f-looking letter that stood in for the first S in a word until about two hundred years ago.

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Former linguistics student; current investment bank analyst who sometimes thinks about something other than spreadsheets

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Sam Quillen

Sam Quillen

Former linguistics student; current investment bank analyst who sometimes thinks about something other than spreadsheets

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