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Writing

From Academic Kids

Writing is a process which may refer to two activities: the inscribing characters on a medium, with the intention of forming words and other lingual constructs that represent language and record information, or the creation of information to be conveyed through written language. (There are some cavets to this rule. The use of a typewriter to record information is generally called typing, rather than writing.) The English word "writing" refers to both activities equally, and often both activities occur simultaneously; however one may write while doing only one of the activities.

Contents

Methods and Tools for Recording Information

Writing systems

For details, see the main Writing systems article.

In order for writing to occur a system must exist that allows for it. Most writing systems can be broadly divided into three categories: logographic, syllabic and alphabetic.

As an interesting aside, historians draw a distinction between prehistory and history with the advent of writing systems. The cave paintings and petroglyphs of prehistoric peoples can be considered the precursor of writing systems, but cannot be considered as such because they relied heavily on oral tradition in order to be understood.

Logogramic

For details, see the main logogram article.

A logogram is a single written character which represents a complete grammatical word. The vast array of logograms and the memorization of what they mean are the major disadvantage of the logographic systems over alphabetic systems. While most languages do not use wholly logographic writing systems many languages use some logograms, Arabic numerals being a prime example. The most important (and, to a degree, the only surviving) modern logographic writing system is the Chinese one, whose characters are used, with varying degrees of modification, in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and other east Asian languages.

Syllabic

For details, see the main Syllabary article.

As logographic writing systems use a single symbol for an entire word, a syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. A symbol in a syllabary typically represents a consonant sound followed by a vowel sound, or just a vowel alone. Syllabaries are best suited to languages with relatively simple syllable structure, such as Japanese. Other languages that use syllabic writing include Mycenaean Greek (Linear B) and Native American languages such as Cherokee. Several languages of the Ancient Near East used forms of cuneiform, which is a syllabary with some non-syllabic elements.

Alphabetic

For details, see the main Alphabet article.

An alphabet is a small set of letters--basic written symbols--each of which roughly represents or represented historically a phoneme of a spoken language. In a perfectly phonological alphabet, the phonemes and letters would correspond perfectly in two directions: a writer could predict the spelling of a word given its pronunciation, and a speaker could predict the pronunciation of a word given its spelling. As languages often evolve independently of their writing systems, and writing systems have been borrowed for languages they were not designed for, the degree to which letters of an alphabet correspond to phonemes of a language varies greatly from one language to another and even within a single language.

Tools

Stylus

For details, see the main Stylus article.

Stylus refers to a narrow, elongated staff, similar to a modern ballpoint pen. Many styli are slightly curved to be held more easily. The ancient Romans used a thin metal stick, often made of lead, to scratch on wax-tablets. A quill was used to write on papyrus.

Pens

For details, see the main Pen article.

A pen is a writing instrument which applies ink to some surface. Pens come in a variety of colors, the most common of which are: dark blue, black, red, and green. Types of pens include ballpoint pens, fountain pens and marker pens. Originally the word meant quill. A quill pen is made from a flight feather (preferably a primary) of a large bird, most often a goose. Quills were used as instruments for writing with ink before the pen came into use.

Pencils

For details, see the main Pencil article.

A 'pencil is a handheld instrument used to write and draw, usually on paper. The writing is done with graphite, which is typically covered by a wooden sheath. The prototypical pencil may have been the ancient Roman stylus. Indeed, the word pencil comes from the Latin word penicillus which means "little tail".

Typewriter

For details, see the main typewriter article.

A typewriter is a mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic device with a set of "keys" that, when pressed, cause characters to be printed on a document, usually paper. A typewriter has a keyboard, with keys for the characters in its font. The method by which the typewriter actually marks the paper now varies as greatly, but until the end of the 20th century the impact of a metal type element against an "inked" ribbon caused ink to be deposited on the paper.

Word Processor

For details, see the main Word_processor article.

A word processor is a computer application used for the production of any sort of viewable or printed material. They are descended from early text formatting tools. Word processing was one of the earliest applications for the personal computer in office productivity. Most word processors are powerful systems consisting of one or more programs which can produce any arbitrary combination of images, graphics and text.

Creation of Information

Creativity

For details, see the main Creativity article.

Author

For details, see the main Author article.

Secretary

For details, see the main Secretary article.

See also

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