The English alphabet has 26 letters.
Alpha for the British Empire began in the year 1588 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I when the British navy defeated the Spanish Armada in the English Channel. Her era, the Elizabethan, also saw the flowering of English culture, as the United Kingdom began its colonization, building the mighty English navy.
The rise of the empire was so swift on either side of the Atlantic, its flow was without ebb, much like the poesy of William Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Globe Theater, across the bridge from St. Paul’s Cathedral, which is still a remarkable experience that takes you back in time to the beginnings of the age of global aspirations of the English.
When I visited London the last time, I had several visits to the theater, but two stand out, on either side of The Thames: a performance of Earth by The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House and the tragedy of King Lear at the Globe. Strange as it may seem, the connection between the two captures the context of the times we live in.
All beginnings have prologues and all endings have epilogues. Betwixt lies the story of both people and empires. The prologue of the Queen’s English was the reign of her father Henry VIII who had founded a new faith to secede from Rome. His virgin daughter seeded an empire to succeed Rome.
Since Elizabeth I, many generations have passed. The year 2001 marks generation Z in the United States. If counted back 26 generations or, at 18 years per generation, 468 years, generation A was born in the year 1533, the year of birth of Elizabeth I.
The year 2019 could mark the beginning of the post-English epoch in human history. And the beginning of this end―the epilogue―was King’s Speech, as the flow of Shakespeare ended in the stutter of George VI at the end of World War II and the ensuing decolonization.
When an alphabet ends, a new lingua franca becomes necessary. And that could be the generations born into American constitutionalism connecting with each other in a mosaic of alphabets on the underlying common canvas of the English language in a renaissance of global well-being, beginning the omega of civilization.