Writing Then and Now
Cave paintings, pictographs, alphabets, scribes with quills, the printing press, and today…your Blog.
Now that virtually all jobs have moved out of offices and into our own homes, we have time to think about how we got here and where we’re going.
The History of Writing
So let’s go back 17,000 years when inhabitants of the country we now call France painted all sorts of animals on the cave walls at Lascaux. Some of these are static portraits – others seem to be in motion, as if telling a story. But what story, exactly?
Not until many thousands of years later did humans begin to develop the concept of making marks to represent speech. Ancient Egyptians were among the first to create a written language based on images. But pictographs (picture writing) are difficult to understand. It was still hard to tell a story with pictographs.
It wasn’t until about 1100 BC, that the Phoenicians came up with the idea of making marks that would represent sounds, not whole words. In this way, they could rearrange the marks to become any word they wanted. And guess what their first two letters were? Alef and bet! Finally, entire stories could be told by using the alphabet.
For another 2500 years, scribes with quill pens worked day and night to copy Scriptures and the few other existing scholarly works. Their efforts were eventually augmented by craftsmen who carved entire pages onto a wood block and printed one page at a time. Woe to the scribe or craftsman who misspelled a work or got something wrong! The whole page – or maybe the entire scroll or book – would have to be scrapped.
How Johann Gutenberg Changed The World
Much as the Phoenicians had done two and half millennia earlier, Johann Gutenberg of Germany invented movable type in 1439 and changed everything. No longer were pages thought of as complete entities. Printers could easily re-set the type in case of a mistake.
This singular change made mass-production of printed materials economically viable and bolstered the creation of a middle class. Literacy soared. No longer did the literate elite have a monopoly on education. Even the ordinary person had access to books, laws, and news broadsides.
We have alphabets, dictionaries, and the internet. No longer are we hampered by lack of tools or lack of distribution. Our only real concern these days is…what to write about. What story should we tell?
The choice is yours, Dear Reader. Write what you know, write what you believe in. Write your blog, your book, your movie script.
No matter what topic you choose, you will always need paper, ink, and office supplies. Postal Connections is your blogging and writing support team.
Come on in for…
- Printer paper
- Printer ink cartridges
- Staples, paper clips, thumb tacks, and so much more
You can feel confident about shopping for office supplies at Postal Connections because…
- Our staff is following health advisory recommendations: wearing protective face masks, washing hands, social distancing, and avoidance of handshaking and other cultural greetings.
- We have advised our staff to stay home if they show any symptoms or have come in contact with those who have symptoms.
- To protect our staff and customers, we require protective face mask or face covering to be worn while in the store.
We will continue to monitor the situation going forward to ensure customer safety. These measures will remain in place at Postal Connections until further notice.
Find the Postal Connections store nearest you to stock up on copy paper and printer ink for your blog and other writing.