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How to ReadA comprehensive guide
First Unit
The Letters


Letter One of Twenty-Six (A a)

Pronunciation
[fig. 1], [fig. 2] As in the A in "this is how to pronounce the letter A."

[fig.3] As in "I can never remember if tall & large are the same thing when ordering coffee. Also, grande."

[fig. 4] As in the word "chat," which is the French word for "cat" and whose vowel is pronounced as that in "chat," which is the English word for "chat."

[fig. 5], [fig. 6] As in, uh, something.
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Any alliteration assigns an author as amateurish and asinine. Also: an asshole.
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A is a wholly unique member of the Alphabet. Not only is it the only letter whose position in the Alphabet is the same as its position in the word "Alphabet" (i.e. first and fifth), but it also begins the majority of single-letter English articles.

The primary nature of A is itself a lesson on the importance of starting things at their beginning. You will find, as you embark upon your quest for literacy, that one of the imperative strategies for reading is to read the beginning of the word first. This is key. In this spirit, our exploration of the Alphabet will commence with the first letter, A, which we have just covered.

Chapter A Exercises

1. Using what you learned in this section, complete the Alphabet:

            __ B C D E F G H I J K L M
            N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

2. Compile a list of everyone you know whose first initial is A. Then, make a list of people whose last initial is A. Compare the lists. Doesn't the term "last initial" seem odd? I think it does.


Letter Two of Twenty-Six (B b)

Pronunciation

Like "be" without the "e" (see E).

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B was first discovered by early etymologists 45 billion years ago (previously known as 45 illion years ago), sparking a heated fissure that created the rogue, fringe group of ex-classical etymologists, known as "ontologists." ~There are no other facts about the letter B. This chapter is over.
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Chapter B Exercises

1. Write a short story using the letter B as a main character. Get it published in every literary magazine in the western world. Forget your dreams of becoming literate. Revel in your fame. Recieve an offer for a movie version of the story. Make a solid bundle. Move to a house made of strong, bare wood with a grand veranda that faces west. The house is on a cool, placid lake. There is a very large bed with very fine linens. Wake each morning in it with different, multiple sex companions who show earnest interest in your story, but know only the details of the film version. Watch less and less television as you see more and more commercials for fast-food figurine toys of the characters from the movie and spend less and less time online as you notice more and more internet ads for the book-on-mp3 version of the novelization of the movie (read by the actor who played B). Wake each morning with people who know nothing of your work nor any literature, really. Begin drinking first thing in the morning. Duck calls from your publisher, from the movie people. Curse the sunset from the veranda. Throw empty liquor bottles at the lake. Fall down your hard, wooden staircase and wake hours later, bleeding, in a small pool of vomit. Wonder how it has come to this. Buy a yacht and set fire to it. Cry every day, all day, in a soft and slow way. Breathe. Dig a shallow hole in the backyard, near the water, near the ashes, and sit in it. Hug the shovel and wait for rain that will not come. Do not shiver in the cool night that beaches itself in from the lake. Breathe. Think of another story, a longer one. One about a man who has nothing and is happy. He dies at the end, in a slow and terrible way and he regrets his happiness. He denies it and then he dies. Do not commit this story to paper or memory. Forget quickly its nuance. Make a mental note to buy a gun. Breathe.



Letter Three of Twenty-Six (C c)

Pronunciation

C is pronounced like S (see ch. 19) or K (see ch. 11), as in "civic" and "coelacanth."

When C is paired with H (see ch. 8) it can have a pronunciation as in "lichen" and "chronometer."
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While C is often referred to as the "bronze medal letter," its third-string placement in the Alphabet belies the integral role it plays in the world. Without C one couldn't comprehend. One couldn't compose. One couldn't couldn't. Without C the chaste would stop abstaining, in haste. It would be chaos, which would be haos, which is so absurd that this hapter is over.

Chapter C Exercises

1. Try to write an entire phrase without using this segment's letter. You will find that it is impossible.

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[User Picture]
On April 10th, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC), ensenchiridion commented:
Might I recommend the IPA, as in every sound you've ever and never made.
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