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During Roman times, there were many variant forms of the letter "A".First was the monumental or lapidary style, which was used when inscribing on stone or other "permanent" media.By the 9th century, the Caroline script, which was very similar to the present-day form, was the principal form used in book-making, before the advent of the printing press.This form was derived through a combining of prior forms."A" is used as a prefix on some words, such as asymmetry, to mean "not" or "without" (from Greek).In English grammar, "a", and its variant "an", is an indefinite article.
Among these were the semicursive minuscule of Italy, the Merovingian script in France, the Visigothic script in Spain, and the Insular or Anglo-Irish semi-uncial or Anglo-Saxon majuscule of Great Britain.
By 1600 BC, the Phoenician alphabet letter had a linear form that served as the base for some later forms.
Its name is thought to have corresponded closely to the Paleo-Hebrew or Arabic aleph.
When the ancient Greeks adopted the alphabet, they had no use for a letter to represent the glottal stop—the consonant sound that the letter denoted in Phoenician and other Semitic languages, and that was the first phoneme of the Phoenician pronunciation of the letter—so they used their version of the sign to represent the vowel , and called it by the similar name of alpha.
In the earliest Greek inscriptions after the Greek Dark Ages, dating to the 8th century BC, the letter rests upon its side, but in the Greek alphabet of later times it generally resembles the modern capital letter, although many local varieties can be distinguished by the shortening of one leg, or by the angle at which the cross line is set.
The uppercase version consists of the two slanting sides of a triangle, crossed in the middle by a horizontal bar.