Portal:Writing

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Introduction

Medieval writing desk.jpg

Writing may refer to two activities: the inscribing of 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 exceptions; for example, the use of a typewriter to record information is generally called typing, rather than writing.) Writing refers to both activities equally, and often both activities occur simultaneously; however one may write while doing only one of the activities.

Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols (known as a writing system). Writing may use abstract characters that represent phonetic elements of speech, as in Indo-European languages, or it may use simplified representations of objects or concepts, as in east-Asian and ancient Egyptian pictographic writing forms. However, it is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and non-symbolic preservation of language via non-textual media, such as magnetic tape audio.

Writing is a distinctly human activity in which text is created on a medium such as a tablet or vellum in the form of signs, symbols or letters. These characters then go together to form words and larger texts which convey meaning and information.

The art of writing, known as calligraphy, has played a huge part in cultures around the world and is still enjoyed by many people today.

Selected article

Mi Fu-On Calligraphy.jpg
Pictured left: Chinese calligraphy written by Song Dynasty (A.D. 1051-1108) poet Mi Fu.

Calligraphy (from Greek κάλλος kallos "beauty" + γραφή graphẽ "writing") is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering (Mediavilla 1996: 17). A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner" (Mediavilla 1996: 18). The story of writing is one of aesthetic evolution framed within the technical skills, transmission speed(s) and material limitations of a person, time and place (Diringer 1968: 441). A style of writing is described as a script, hand or alphabet (Fraser and Kwiatkowski 2006; Johnston 1909: Plate 6).

Modern calligraphy ranges from functional hand//-lettered inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the abstract expression of the handwritten mark may or may not compromise the legibility of the letters (Mediavilla 1996). Classical calligraphy differs from typography and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may create all of these; characters are historically disciplined yet fluid and spontaneous, at the moment of writing (Pott 2006 and 2005; Zapf 2007 and 2006).

Calligraphy continues to flourish in the forms of wedding and event invitations, font design/typography, original hand-lettered logo design, religious art, announcements/graphic design/commissioned calligraphic art, cut stone inscriptions and memorial documents. It is also used for props and moving images for film and television, testimonials, birth and death certificates, maps, and other works involving writing (see for example Letter Arts Review; Propfe 2005; Geddes and Dion 2004). Some of the finest works of modern calligraphy are charters and letters patent issued by monarchs and officers of state in various countries.


Selected picture

Calligraphy.malmesbury.bible.arp.jpg

Calligraphy in a Latin Bible of AD 1407 on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. The Bible was hand written in Belgium, by Gerard Brils, for reading aloud in a monastery.

Selected biography

Henry George.jpg
Henry George (September 2, 1839 – October 29, 1897) was an American writer, politician and political economist, who was the most influential proponent of the land value tax, also known as the "single tax" on land. He inspired the economic philosophy known as Georgism, whose main tenet is that people should own what they create, but that everything found in nature, most importantly land, belongs equally to all humanity. His most famous work, Progress and Poverty (1879), is a treatise on inequality, the cyclic nature of industrial economies, and the use of the land value tax as a possible remedy.

Henry George is best known for his argument that the economic rent of land should be shared by society rather than being owned privately. The clearest statement of this view is found in Progress and Poverty: "We must make land common property." By taxing land values, society could recapture the value of its common inheritance, and eliminate the need for taxes on productive activity.


Did you know...

Hangul.png
...that the Korean alphabet Hangul was promulgated by the Korean king Sejong the Great after being developed under his guidance by a team of researchers? It is the rare example of a writing system that is thoroughly planned after scientific points of view.
Other "Did you know" facts...

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WritingCalligraphyPenmanshipWriting implementsInksAlphabetic writing systemsAbjadAbugidaKanjiLogographic writing systemsWriting systemsCyrillic alphabetsHellenic scriptsScript typefaces

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