From picture to letter. This drawing illustrates the acrophonic principle, in which symbols no longer stand for the objects they depict but rather for the first sound in the object’s name. In this example, the picture of the cat contributes the hard “c” sound, the apple adds the sound of “a” and the ball contributes the sound of “b”; putting the pictures cat-apple-ball together, we spell “cab.” The alphabet was originally developed on the basis of the acrophonic principle. The alphabet enabled all words to be expressed with less than 30 signs, an enormous simplification.