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

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Pictured left: Blisssymbols stating "I want to go to the cinema"

Blissymbolics or Blissymbols were conceived of as an ideographic writing system consisting of several hundred basic symbols, each representing a concept, which can be composed together to generate new symbols that represent new concepts. Blissymbols differ from all the world's major writing systems in that the characters do not correspond at all to the sounds of any spoken language.

They were invented by Charles K. Bliss (1897-1985) after the Second World War. Bliss wanted to create an easy-to-learn international auxiliary language to allow communication between people who do not speak the same language. He was inspired by Chinese ideograms, with which Bliss became familiar while in Shanghai as a refugee from Nazi anti-semitic persecution. His system World Writing was explained in his work Semantography (1949). This work laid out the language structure and vocabulary for his utopian vision of easy communication, but it failed to gain popularity. However, since the 1960s, Blissymbols have become popular as a method of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for non-speaking people with cerebral palsy or other disorders, for whom it can be impossible to otherwise communicate with spoken language.


Selected picture

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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

Rudolf Koch (November 20, 1876 - April 9, 1934) was a leading German calligrapher, typographic artist and teacher, born in Nuremberg. He was primarily a calligrapher with the Gebr. Klingspor foundry. He created several fonts, both in fraktur and normal formats. Fritz Kredel studied under Koch.

Koch wrote a book of 493 old-world symbols, monograms and runes entitled The Book of Signs which was published in 1955 by Dover Publications, INC. and which belongs to the Dover Pictorial Archive Series.

Some of Koch's work can be seen today at the Klingspor Museum in Offenbach.

Some typefaces developed by Koch include:

  • Neuland (1923)
  • Kabel (1927)
  • Zeppelin (1929)
  • Prisma (1931)
  • Holla (1932)
  • Marathon (1938)


Did you know...

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...that screenwriter Richard Baer's writing credits for television included twenty-three episodes of Bewitched and five episodes of The Munsters?
Other "Did you know" facts...

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WritingCalligraphyPenmanshipWriting implementsInksAlphabetic writing systemsAbjadAbugidaKanjiLogographic writing systemsAlphabetic writing systemsWriting systemsCyrillic alphabetsHellenic scriptsScript typefaces

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