b'Ancient Writing and theHistory of the AlphabetBroadcast September 1221Embark on a journey to the very beginning of writing as a tool of language and see how the many threads of history and linguistics came together to create the English alphabet. Professor McWhorter serves as your guide in navigating this complex evolution. From how Egyptian hieroglyphs work and the quirks of Q and Z . to how punctuation developed and the yesteryears of Y, these lectures remind us that in the span of human history, writing is considered a very recent phenomenon. John McWhorter is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia. His books include The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, andNine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter. 48'