Not only does it allow us to communicate through written and spoken word, but it brings order, sweet delicious order, to our very existence. Numbers are all very well — ranking things from 1 to 10 and what have you — but with letters, there are only 26 of them. There’s something very finite about it. Someone always has to come last when you’re dealing with an alphabet.
Bearing the initials JM as a child meant that more often than not I was in the middle of things, be they queues to get into class, names called out on a register or seats in an examination hall. For a while when I was very young I had a wild fantasy that I would change my name. My two preferred options? Aaron and Zach. Both at opposite ends of the alphabet. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I’ve been running from the humdrum of being ‘middle of the road’ ever since.
So now it is my turn to alphabetise the world as I see it. Some painstakingly order their CDs by letter (and some poor souls into further sub-categories such as genre, hair colour of lead singer etc. Wretched creatures), but I’m aiming bigger. There’s not one thing you come across that can’t be whittled down to one word. And at the beginning of every word is what? A capital letter. The first letter.
In fact, the B-ginning seems a very good place to start.
*All letter pictures courtesy Ianvincible unless otherwise stated.