Why is there 2 ways to write lower case "a"?

JR_IsP

Overthinker in Chief
I was wondering this earlier this morning. When I write the "a" is more like the greek alpha, but almost every font has this elegant fancy-looking "a".

Why the difference?

Does this have to do with a previous european alphabet or something?

QuickTwist

Alive - Born Anew
I wondered this when I was like in 2nd grade. I never got a satisfying answer, but I was in second grade.

Serac

A menacing post slithers
Well, in the UTF tables the letter 'ɑ' is described as "Latin small letter alpha" whereas 'a' is just "Latin small letter a". That's one explanation although the two you have look like just 'a' in two different fonts

Also, I have no clue what I am talking about

JR_IsP

Overthinker in Chief
My theory so far (and based on my own handwriting and almost everyone with a high science degree) is that we tend to write in the easiest and faster way possible.

Having that said, is obviously easier to write the "a" in a more alpha-looking way than with the fancy gliph above.

However, I've also met (my mother, for example) people who write the "a" just like the "a" used here, so

Dr3vv

Redshirt
Hope this isn't necroposting
I have an hypothesis: lower case "a" is as it is written here, whereas the other "a" (alfa) is cursive. I don't know the origin of cursive, but I suppose it is a way to write faster, as JR_IsP suggested. I remember learning to write "a" in the first way when learning lower case letters at elementary school and then the other way in cursive. I currently write in cursiveish/whatever way I go faster, so I keep the alfa

Thurlor

Nutter
I believe it is to help distinguish between a and o.