An alphabet is a standard set of letters that represent the phonemes of any spoken language used for its written form. This is in contrast to other types such as syllabaries and logographic systems; the first phonemic script, the Proto-Canaanite script known as the Phoenician alphabet, is considered to be the first alphabet, is the ancestor of most modern alphabets, including Arabic, Latin, Cyrillic and Brahmic. Peter T. Daniels, distinguishes an abugida or alphasyllabary, a set of graphemes that represent consonantal base letters which diacritics modify to represent vowels, an abjad, in which letters predominantly or represent consonants, an "alphabet", a set of graphemes that represent both vowels and consonants. In this narrow sense of the word the first "true" alphabet was the Greek alphabet, developed on the basis of the earlier Phoenician alphabet. Of the dozens of alphabets in use today, the most popular is the Latin alphabet, derived from the Greek, which many languages modify by adding letters formed using diacritical marks.

While most alphabets have letters composed of lines, there are exceptions such as the alphabets used in Braille. The Khmer alphabet is the longest, with 74 letters. Alphabets are associated with a standard ordering of letters; this makes them useful for purposes of collation by allowing words to be sorted in alphabetical order. It means that their letters can be used as an alternative method of "numbering" ordered items, in such contexts as numbered lists and number placements; the English word alphabet came into Middle English from the Late Latin word alphabetum, which in turn originated in the Greek ἀλφάβητος. The Greek word was made from the first two letters and beta; the names for the Greek letters came from the first two letters of the Phoenician alphabet. Sometimes, like in the alphabet song in English, the term "ABCs" is used instead of the word "alphabet". "Knowing one's ABCs", in general, can be used as a metaphor for knowing the basics about anything. The history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt.

Egyptian writing had a set of some 24 hieroglyphs that are called uniliterals, to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, plus a vowel to be supplied by the native speaker. These glyphs were used as pronunciation guides for logograms, to write grammatical inflections, to transcribe loan words and foreign names. In the Middle Bronze Age, an "alphabetic" system known as the Proto-Sinaitic script appears in Egyptian turquoise mines in the Sinai peninsula dated to circa the 15th century BC left by Canaanite workers. In 1999, John and Deborah Darnell discovered an earlier version of this first alphabet at Wadi el-Hol dated to circa 1800 BC and showing evidence of having been adapted from specific forms of Egyptian hieroglyphs that could be dated to circa 2000 BC suggesting that the first alphabet had been developed about that time. Based on letter appearances and names, it is believed to be based on Egyptian hieroglyphs; this script had no characters representing vowels, although it was a syllabary, but unneeded symbols were discarded.

An alphabetic cuneiform script with 30 signs including three that indicate the following vowel was invented in Ugarit before the 15th century BC. This script was not used after the destruction of Ugarit; the Proto-Sinaitic script developed into the Phoenician alphabet, conventionally called "Proto-Canaanite" before ca. 1050 BC. The oldest text in Phoenician script is an inscription on the sarcophagus of King Ahiram; this script is the parent script of all western alphabets. By the tenth century, two other forms can be distinguished, namely Aramaic; the Aramaic gave rise to the Hebrew script. The South Arabian alphabet, a sister script to the Phoenician alphabet, is the script from which the Ge'ez alphabet is descended. Vowelless alphabets are called abjads exemplified in scripts including Arabic and Syriac; the omission of vowels was not always a satisfactory solution and some "weak" consonants are sometimes used to indicate the vowel quality of a syllable. These letters have a dual function since they are used as pure consonants.

The Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite script and the Ugaritic script were the first scripts with a limited number of signs, in contrast to the other used writing systems at the time, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Linear B. The Phoenician script was the first phonemic script and it contained only about two dozen distinct letters, making it a script simple enough for common traders to learn. Another advantage of Phoenician was that it could be used to write down many different languages, since it recorded words phonemically; the script was spread by the Phoenicians across the Mediterranean. In Greece, the script was modified to add vowels, giving rise to the ancestor of all alphabets in the West, it was the first alphabet in which vowels have independent letter forms separate from those of consonants. The Greeks chose letters representing sounds. Vowels are significant in the Greek language, the syllabical Linear B script, used by the Mycenaean Gr

Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis is a private research university in Greater St. Louis with its main campus in unincorporated St. Louis County and Clayton, Missouri, it has a West Campus in Clayton, North Campus in the West End neighborhood of St. Louis and Medical Campus in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853, named after George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all 50 U. S. states and more than 120 countries. As of 2017, 24 Nobel laureates in economics and medicine, physics have been affiliated with Washington University, nine having done the major part of their pioneering research at the university. Washington University is made up of seven graduate and undergraduate schools that encompass a broad range of academic fields. To prevent confusion over its location, the Board of Trustees added the phrase "in St. Louis" in 1976. Washington University is a member of the Association of American Universities. Washington University was conceived by 17 St. Louis business and religious leaders concerned by the lack of institutions of higher learning in the Midwest.

Missouri State Senator Wayman Crow and Unitarian minister William Greenleaf Eliot, grandfather of the poet T. S. Eliot, led the effort; the university's first chancellor was Joseph Gibson Hoyt. Crow secured the university charter from the Missouri General Assembly in 1853, Eliot was named President of the Board of Trustees. Early on, Eliot solicited support from members of the local business community, including John O'Fallon, but Eliot failed to secure a permanent endowment. Washington University is unusual among major American universities in not having had a prior financial endowment; the institution had no backing of a religious organization, single wealthy patron, or earmarked government support. During the three years following its inception, the university bore three different names; the board first approved "Eliot Seminary," but William Eliot was uncomfortable with naming a university after himself and objected to the establishment of a seminary, which would implicitly be charged with teaching a religious faith.

He favored a nonsectarian university. In 1854, the Board of Trustees changed the name to "Washington Institute" in honor of George Washington. Naming the University after the nation's first president, only seven years before the American Civil War and during a time of bitter national division, was no coincidence. During this time of conflict, Americans universally admired George Washington as the father of the United States and a symbol of national unity; the Board of Trustees believed that the university should be a force of unity in a divided Missouri. In 1856, the University amended its name to "Washington University." The university amended its name once more in 1976, when the Board of Trustees voted to add the suffix "in St. Louis" to distinguish the university from the nearly two dozen other universities bearing Washington's name. Although chartered as a university, for many years Washington University functioned as a night school located on 17th Street and Washington Avenue in the heart of downtown St. Louis.

Owing to limited financial resources, Washington University used public buildings. Classes began on October 1854, at the Benton School building. At first the university paid for the evening classes, but as their popularity grew, their funding was transferred to the St. Louis Public Schools; the board secured funds for the construction of Academic Hall and a half dozen other buildings. The university divided into three departments: the Manual Training School, Smith Academy, the Mary Institute. In 1867, the university opened the first private nonsectarian law school west of the Mississippi River. By 1882, Washington University had expanded to numerous departments, which were housed in various buildings across St. Louis. Medical classes were first held at Washington University in 1891 after the St. Louis Medical College decided to affiliate with the University, establishing the School of Medicine. During the 1890s, Robert Sommers Brookings, the president of the Board of Trustees, undertook the tasks of reorganizing the university's finances, putting them onto a sound foundation, buying land for a new campus.

Washington University spent its first half century in downtown St. Louis bounded by Washington Ave. Lucas Place, Locust Street. By the 1890s, owing to the dramatic expansion of the Manual School and a new benefactor in Robert Brookings, the University began to move west; the University board of directors began a process to find suitable ground and hired the landscape architecture firm Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot of Boston. A committee of Robert S. Brookings, Henry Ware Eliot, William Huse found a site of 103 acres just beyond Forest Park, located west of the city limits in St. Louis County; the elevation of the land was thought to resemble the Acropolis and inspired the nickname of "Hilltop" campus, renamed the Danforth campus in 2006 to honor former chancellor William H. Danforth. In 1899, the university opened a national design contest for the new campus; the renowned Philadelphia firm Cope & Stewardson won unanimously with its plan for a row of Collegiate Gothic quadrangles inspired by Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

The cornerstone of the first building, Busch Hall, was laid on October 20, 1900. The construction of Brookings Hall and Cupples began shortly thereafter; the school delayed occupying these buildings until 1905 to accommodate the 1904 World's Fair and Olympics. The delay allowed the university to construct ten buildings instead of the seven planned; this original cluster of buildings set a precedent for the development of the Danforth Campus

1981 Oakland Athletics season

The Oakland Athletics' 1981 season saw the A's finish with an overall record of 64 wins and 45 losses. They finished the season with the best record in the American League. Due to the infamous 1981 players strike, the league resorted to a split-season format; the A's qualified by posting the AL West's best record in the first half of the season. While they swept the Kansas City Royals in the AL West playoff, they were themselves swept by the New York Yankees in the 1981 American League Championship Series; the Athletics' 1981 season ranks among the organization's most interesting. The A's, only two years removed from a disastrous 54-108 finish, won their first AL West crown since 1975 under second-year manager Billy Martin; the "Billyball" A's began the season with a then-AL record 11 consecutive wins. The squad followed its first loss of the season, a tough 3-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners, with six more victories, their 17-1 start remains unmatched. The A's starting rotation received national attention during the torrid start.

The periodic heroics of Tony Armas and Rickey Henderson drew notice. The Athletics, slumped badly following the 17-1 start. While they regained some of their swagger during the season's second half, they played.500 baseball for the rest of the season. Still, the A's won the AL West's first half with a 37-23 mark; the A's swept these 50-53 Royals in the ALDS. The A's themselves were humbled in the ALCS, as the Yankees outscored Oakland 20-4 in a humiliating three-game rout; the 1981 ALCS is best remembered as the purported birthplace of "the wave". Despite high expectations, the A's collapsed in 1982. A rash of injuries, among other factors, saw; the firing of Billy Martin at seasons' end brought a swift and unceremonious end to the "Billyball" era. All told, the A's would have to wait until 1988 for their next postseason appearance. Only one member of the 1981 team played on the 1988 team. October 23, 1980: Randy Elliott was released by the Athletics. December 8, 1980: Brian Doyle was drafted by the Athletics from the New York Yankees in the 1980 rule 5 draft.

December 9, 1980: DeWayne Buice was drafted by the Oakland Athletics from the San Francisco Giants in the 1980 minor league draft. December 11, 1980: Michael King was traded by the Athletics to the Chicago Cubs for Cliff Johnson and Keith Drumright. January 13, 1981: Steve Kiefer was drafted by the Athletics in the 1st round of the 1981 Major League Baseball draft. February 10, 1981: The Athletics traded a player to be named to the Houston Astros for Jimmy Sexton; the Athletics completed the trade by sending Rick Lysander to the Astros on October 20. March 27, 1981: Bob Lacey and Roy Moretti were traded by the Athletics to the San Diego Padres for Kevin Bell, Tony Phillips and Eric Mustad. March 30, 1981: Alan Wirth was released by the Athletics. Athletics owner Charlie O. Finley's wife sought a divorce and would not accept part of a baseball team in a property settlement. With most of his money tied up in the A's or his insurance empire, Finley had to sell the team. Though Finley found a buyer in businessman Marvin Davis, who would have moved the Athletics to Denver, the tentative deal hit a snag when the Raiders announced their move to Los Angeles.

Oakland and Alameda County officials, not wanting to be held responsible for losing Oakland's status as a big-league city in its own right, refused to let Finley break the lease with the Coliseum. Finley looked to local buyers, selling the A's to San Francisco clothing manufacturer Walter A. Haas, Jr. president of Levi Strauss & Co. prior to the 1981 season. Haas restored the official name of the club to "Athletics" in 1981, but retained the nickname "A's" for marketing purposes. At first, the word "Athletics" was restored only to the club's logo, underneath the much larger stylized-"A" that had come to represent the team since the early days. Former owner Charlie Finley banned the word "Athletics" from the club's name because he felt that name was too associated with former Philadelphia Athletics owner Connie Mack. During the Finley era, average home attendance from 1968–1980 was 777,000 per season, with 1,075,518 in 1975 being the highest attendance for a Finley-owned team. In marked contrast, during the first year of Haas' ownership, the Athletics drew 1,304,052—in a season shortened by a player strike.

Were it not for the strike, the A's were on a pace to draw over 2.2 million in 1981. The A's finished with the second-best overall record in baseball, the best record in the American League; the Oakland Athletics held spring training at Rendezvous Park in Arizona. April 19, 1981: In the first game of a doubleheader with the Seattle Mariners, the A's won 6-1 to win their then-record 11th consecutive game to start a season. April 25, 1981: Prior to a game against the Seattle Mariners, Seattle manager Maury Wills advised the Kingdome groundskeepers to enlarge the batter's box by a foot. A's manager Billy Martin noticed. Martin showed umpire Bill Kunkel that the batter's box was seven feet long instead of si