Coming first in the alphabet, the letter A is overly familiar and taken for granted, abused for its position as often as offered as a mark of excellence. Hence all the Aarons of the world who take their first rankings as a given—and why shouldn't they?—simply expecting all the A qualities of life. And by "A qualities" you know immediately that I am talking about excellence, because in the end, in many ways, that is everything that the letter A is about, or people's unseemly grasping after it. Consider the worst abuses of the letter A, which may be found still in yellow pages telephone directories, where a column or more can occur of names beginning with at least three of them, often more, e.g., AAAA House & Key. There's a reflexive state of mind for you, isn't it? Locked out of the house. Panicked. Worried. Look up a locksmith. There they are. Yes. Better get AAAA. These charlatans don't even pretend to stand for anything. I think they just add another A every generation or so. At least Alcoholics Anonymous, the Automobile Association of America, and the American Association of Retired Persons go to the fig leaf of a real name. But alas the telephone directory mentality presides as well over sporting organizations, financial instruments, even meat regulations. It's not good enough to get a Grade A cut of meat. Oh no, it has to be Grade AAA. There appears to be no such thing as B in many of these places—on the rare occasion when it does appear, as with the ponderous exercises of financial instrument ratings agencies (AAa and Bb, and all that ... speaking of charlatans), even then there is never a C. It is a tiny alphabet indeed in these worlds. And what is the meaning of all the As? Sometimes more seems to signal an increase in excellence, as with minor league baseball teams. In other cases, as with divisions in the NCAA athletic programs classifications, fewer means the same thing. Oh wait. Those are Is, a subject for another time. At any rate, you see the problem, the usual classic one of psychological inflationary forces. It's rather like deciding that "excellent," with its crashing crescendo at the back of the throat on the "ex" and the satisfying many syllables, just didn't say enough in conversation any longer, and from now on one needed to say "excellent excellent" to mean the same thing. "Excellent excellent pie, Mrs. Cleaver." It is ridiculous on its face. Thank you, grasping world of commerce. And knowing people as we do, I think it's not unlikely that by the time of the 22nd century or so people will indeed be thanking hosts for excellent excellent excellent evenings. These are just a few of the problems familiar to the letter A, which otherwise does such yeoman's work as the third most used letter in the alphabet, on which score it doesn't hurt that it's also a vowel, representing sounds made in every language.