Carol Donoughue The Story of Writing

ISBN 13: 9780714130231

The Story of Writing

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9780714130231: The Story of Writing

The fascinating story of the written word -- from how it all began to the age of the Internet.

The Story of Writing is the compelling story of how writing was invented, how it developed over the centuries, how it has changed people's lives overtime -- and what it means to us now.

The book features sections on:

  • Why people write
  • How writing began in different parts of the world
  • How climate and available materials affected the forms of writing
  • Who wrote, and why -- with quotations from ancient sources
  • The spread of literacy
  • The invention of the printing press and its effect on communication
  • The emergence of the Internet, e-mail and text messaging.

Valuable sidebars -- "Find Out More" and "You Are There" -- encourage the reader to explore new topics and engage the imagination with real-life descriptions of people and how they wrote.

With more than 100 photographs of artifacts and documents from the collection of the British Museum, The Story of Writing is a fascinating history and a remarkable reference.

Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

About the Author:

Carol Donoughue is the author of The Mystery of the Hieroglyphs: The Story of the Rosetta Stone and the Race to Decipher Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Why writing?

What have you written today? Have you written something in school -- a story, or notes on something you have read, or a description of a science experiment? Have you written something at home -- a diary or a letter or a text or email message to a friend? Did you use a computer, or did you write on paper with a pen?

By writing things down we can store information, we can communicate with other people and we can remind ourselves of things we have done or things we need to do. If we couldn't write things down, we would have to rely on talking and listening -- and having a very good memory.

This book tells the story of how different people in different parts of the world invented their own ways of writing things down. It is about how writing came to be invented hundreds of years ago because people needed to remember things and to send messages. In the British Museum, and in other museums, you can look at writing from all periods of history and all parts of the world.

Pictograms

The story begins about 6,000 years ago. Rulers and important people wanted to keep records to make sure things weren't forgotten. Without writing, how could they do it? At first, people drew pictures to stand for objects. We call those pictures pictograms. We still use pictures today to give information. We sometimes call these pictures 'icons'.

We use icons in this book. In every chapter except Chapter 3 there is [one] and the words 'You are...' When you see this icon you can travel back through time and imagine that you are learning to write at a certain time and place.

Chapter 3 describes the invention of our alphabet (a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z). So far, archaeologists have not found anything from that period that tells us how children learned to write. So, you will not find the icon in that chapter.

Clues from the Past

How do we know what it was like for those people learning to write in the past? Archaeologists have found all kinds of clues to tell us how people wrote and what they used for writing. Sometimes, the people of the past described how they learned to write and we can still read their words. For example, we know that before Roman times, girls were hardly ever taught to read and write.

At the beginning of each chapter you will find words that people in history have written about writing. You will see how much writing varies in different places at different times.

Find Out More

On some pages of the book you will find an icon like this and the words 'Find out more'. Under this icon there is more information about writing at that time in history and about the people of the period. There is also a map on page 47 to help you work out where the different kinds of writing in this book come from.

You will see that some words are printed in bold print. That means you will find an explanation of what they mean in the Glossary on page 46.

Le informazioni nella sezione "Su questo libro" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

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Carol Donoughue
Editore: British Museum Press (2007)
ISBN 10: 0714130230 ISBN 13: 9780714130231
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