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The Alphabet Effect: The Impact of the Phonetic Alphabet on the Development of Western Civilization


reviewed by Miriam Balmuth 1988

coverTitle: The Alphabet Effect: The Impact of the Phonetic Alphabet on the Development of Western Civilization
Author(s): Robert K. Logan
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, New York
ISBN: 0312009933, Pages: , Year: 1987
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One of the mysteries of the field of reading is the intense passion that has so often been brought into discussions of the alphabet and its place in the reading process. Such passion may take the form of extreme repugnance: Horace Mann once referred to the alphabet letters as “skeleton-shaped, bloodless, ghostly apparitions,” while a long-time professor of reading education recently stated publicly and proudly, “I hate phonics.”1 On the other hand, fervor about the alphabetic nature of our writing system may take the form of profound admiration or hyperbolic claims. Rudolf Flesch comes to mind, expressing sentiments like, “The only way to give [schoolchildren] some happiness and joy of achievement is to teach them phonics .”2 The Alphabet Effect is another example. Its author, Robert K. Logan, a physics professor and researcher in the field of computer applications in education, attributes the philosophical, scientific, and monotheistic course of Western civilization to... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 90 Number 2, 1988, p. 316-318
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 508, Date Accessed: 10/23/2017 9:38:48 AM

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About the Author
  • Miriam Balmuth
    Hunter College

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