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  • The substance of it abecedarium'>the abecedarium seldom varied. First came a cross, a charm "against the devil that may be in the letters"—hence the term "Christ-cross" or "criss-cross" row; next two alphabets, one of small letters and one of capitals; then three rows of syllables, those mystic incantations that sounded in every American schoolroom down to very recent times—"abebib" and "babebibobu"; and last, "In the Name of the Father" and the Lord's Prayer. And there the child's education usually ended.

    --Morris S. Bishop, 1915, Catholic Educational Review 10: 23

    August 9, 2010