A is for Alphabet

April 1, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Posted in Family, Family History, History, Writing and Life | 8 Comments
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A2Z-BADGE-000 [2014]

I have joined the 2014 April A to Z Challenge. To complete the challenge, I must write 26 posts, each on a topic beginning with a letter of the alphabet, beginning on the 1st of April with A and ending on the 30th of April with Z. There are four Sundays in April, and these are ‘days off’, so the challenge fits well into the month. Here is my first post, and what topic would be more fitting that the alphabet?

Alphabet B&W Ravie

When I was still in the middle years of primary school, I heard my mother saying the alphabet backwards. I thought that was so amazing that I had to learn to do it too.

I can’t remember how long it took me to get it right and to be able to do it time after time, but it is something I have been able to do ever since.

Dad told me how he learned to do it when he was a young child too. He was visiting his aunt and uncle one day, and his uncle asked him if he could say his alphabet backwards, adding that every child should be able to do it. He showed Dad a shiny sixpence and told him that if he could come back and recite the backwards alphabet, he could have that sixpence.

Photo thanks to Wikihow

Photo thanks to Wikihow

In those days, the 1920s, sixpence was a lot of money, especially for a poor working man’s son. Highly motivated by the challenge, Dad spent the rest of the two hour visit to his aunt and uncle’s house teaching himself how to do it. Before he left to go home with his parents, Dad gleefully received the sixpence from his surprised uncle. He had met the challenge.

It might not be a big thing to say the alphabet backwards, but I am constantly surprised by how many people never even thought to learn how to do it. And I constantly surprise them by rattling it off in one breath.

Just as Dad met the challenge of learning to go backwards from Z to A, I intend to meet this challenge of writing a blog post for each letter, A to Z.

Photo thanks to Wikihow.

Photo thanks to Wikihow.

Can you say the alphabet backwards? Do you think it is an unusual skill?


© Linda Visman


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  1. Hey, welcome on board, so good to have the company of someone I know in the flesh. Great first post Linda and so interesting. No I never thought of learning how to say the alphabet backwards but to have learned it in two hours is astounding. Looking forward to reading your other contributions 🙂

    • Thanks Linda, it is great to be along for the ride. I decided I need the challenge, as I am much more likely to write if I have a focus. Glad you like the starting item. 🙂
      I am going better with my second novel now. After a suggestion by a young member of our writing group, I began a small group that meets once a month (so far) to do ‘rough writing’ on our works in progress. We just write without editing, and have a couple of 15 minute ‘sprints’, where we write as many words as we can. There are only two regulars (me & the original proposer), but another three members turn up now and then. It’s a great way to kill writer’s block and stop the internal editor. 🙂

  2. Linda, I wouldn’t know where to begin. 🙂 I’ve never done it.

  3. I actually could do it as a kid. I have no idea why I learned to do it. I still can if I take it slow. Good luck with the Challenge!

    Stopping by on behalf of Untethered Realms for the A to Z Challenge. 🙂 Untethered Realms

    • Hi Christine. Thanks for dropping by. Keep practising – it’s a good party trick – for kids 🙂
      I tried to comment on you blog post but the site wouldn’t accept my url.

  4. Hi Linda – I have tried to do the alphabet backwards, but failed! Not easy at all! Never actually thought to try it! Excellent first entry!

  5. […] before it began, so I had a few hours to come up with the first entry. I did it easily, and posted ‘A is for Alphabet’ the following evening. Then I wrote ‘B is for Butcher and Bicycle’ and posted it on the second […]

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