No one knows why ‘A’ is the first letter of our alphabet. Some think it’s because this letter represents one of the most common vowel sounds in ancient languages of the western hemisphere. Other sources argue against this theory because there were no vowel sounds in the Phoenician language. (The Phoenician alphabet is generally thought to be the basis of the one we use today.)

No one also knows why the ‘A’ looks the way it does, but we can construct a fairly logical chain of events.

Some say the Phoenicians chose the head of an ox to represent the ‘A’ sound. The ox was a common, important animal to the Phoenicians. It was their main power source for heavy work. Oxen plowed the fields, harvested crops, and hauled food to market. Some sources also claim that the ox was often the main course at meals. A symbol for the ox would have been an important communication tool for the Phoenicians. It somewhat naturally follows that an ox symbol would be the first letter of the alphabet.

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