Writing as a definitive in our culture

By: Laura Viera A
Photos: Nessa Twix
"Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life."
- Hunter S. Thompson -

Without a shread of a doubt, writing is one of the most useful communication methods there is given that we deliver messages, ideas and it allows the author to show their truth.

Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.

How ever, even if it is one of the most important communications methods we don’t give it all the credit it deserves.

So, we must begin by asking ourselves a very important question: What is the importance of writing in our history? Simple: absolute. This means that the transition between prehistoric times and the moments in time we have been able to register and document, we find ourselves with writing, with was created in the asian Mesopotamia.

All the prehistoric era needed to be studied by archeologist in order to establish connexions between knowledge and the past. That being stated, writing gave us the possibility to reconstruct the past and to interpret it taking into account several documents.

It is to be noted that writing didn't appear out of the blue. The need to express in a graphic manner certain messages already existed. Around 3000 BC the fist alphabets appeared and the need to write them down as well.

Basically, the written word has to be considered a linguistic phenomenon created by society to replace oral language. So much so that, witting appeared at the exact moment when the socioeconomic evolution pressured for an alternative code that was efficient in situations where oral communication was not enough.

We must be clear, the written word is the preferred communication system. The most important one. Undoubtedly, it was the first to allow the transmission of a message from one person to another even if they where not in the same place and at the same time.

Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.

It's main purpose, as all communications systems, its goal is to serve as a transmission mechanism of messages and ideas. I think that the main points is to prevail in time, even the person who writes a message does not exist anymore.

A writing system permits a language too persist. Writing allows the message to reproduce itself even long time after it was created. It seems to me that a world without the written word.

It must be said, communication is complicated when referring to the written word. This given that not every person in the world share the same alphabet.

During a very long time, letters where the most popular form of communication between people. Obviously, the transportation methods helped with this a great deal.

With in the pshycology field, Gordon Wells (1987) explores the concept of the written word and decides it into four categories: executive, functional, instrumental and epistemic.

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1. The most basic is the executive. It consists on the written code control, the capability of coding and decoding signs.

2. The functional includes interpersonal communication and it demands the knowledge of different contexts and genres.

3. The instrumental in the method to achieve scientific knowledge.

4. The epistemic deals with more cognitive developed use, in which the author transforms knowledge from his personal experience to the creation of ideas.

With in writing, spelling has a great importance. But we live in a new century where technology has changed every persons life. And today, technology has watched every young persons attention. The new communications codes, have been altered, the speed has made the written expression change.

Taking this into account, the importance of learning how to write correctly has changed and lost its importance in our society.

On the other hand, two of the most important advances have been literature and journalism. I don't say this because I fell attached to both of them but because history was marked by both.

Photo: Nessa Twix
© all rights reserved.

Literature, possessed with its emotions and expressiveness and journalism with its capability and power to form and develope opinions and channels of information.

It is no secret that reading is extremely healthy for our minds. It helps us develop our imaginations and helps us understand others. Journalism, has an intense power. It stablished the pattern of current events.

So, language is one of the most important parts of culture. So much so that without it the concept of culture would not exist. Language is one pf the pillars of culture. Writing is the method we use to save keep events that happen around us. Writing gives us the opportunity to pass on ideas; ideas that travel through time and space. Where would we be without writing? One thing is for sure: written language changed the world forever.

Brian M. Fagan, Charlotte Beck, ed. (1996). The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. Oxford University Press. p. 762. ISBN 978-0-19-507618-9. Prehistoric archaeology. (1996). The Oxford Companion to Archaeology.



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