Updated: May 7, 2019
Around 2000 BC, the Egyptians were having difficulty communicating orders to their slaves who could not read hieroglyphics (hoo-boy. I doubt there was ever a more insulting problem to have). Ancient Egyptian characters were difficult to learn and cumbersome to transport, since their idea of a postcard was a temple wall. Naturally, they developed characters to represent individual sounds. They then proceeded to completely forget how to read hieroglyphics, and the language was lost until the discovery of the Rosetta stone in 1799 (which also once helped a farm boy date an Italian supermodel. It’s a long story). To this day, our alphabet retains a few relics from its Egyptian roots. The letter B derives from the Egyptian word for house, and the letter P comes the mysterious Egyptian expression let’s tell them it was aliens.