Writing is one of the activities that makes us humans so unique. For thousands of years, the human race has been attempting to record its thoughts and experiences with various forms of the written word. From its beginnings, the written word has become one of the most powerful tools we have when it comes to self-expression, and the history of penmanship is one marked by achievements in human expression.
For over five thousand years, this method of communication has grown and developed, from the earliest stories writing to the modern masterpieces of our current era, the invention of writing has spawned a fascinating history.
While the language itself is much older, historians believe that the earliest known attempts at transcribing language took place in ancient Sumer, around 3500BC – 3000BC. The earliest-known writing system from which a recorded language developed was the invention of a system called cuneiform. To write in cuneiform was a much more laborious process than picking up a pen today, as texts were made by carving into wet clay. With such a complicated process, the information that was expressed in this form of writing had to be carefully thought of in advance, as there’s little margin for error!
The initial motive for the development of writing in Mesopotamia was for the purposes of long-distance communication. The area in which the first written language appeared, as well as other areas in which historians have found ancient writing, are civilizations that relied on trade. In order to be able to communicate with distant traders, these societies had to come up with innovative ways of preserving information about products and prices across long distances. Although transcribing language may have started as a very pragmatic and practical tool to assist the conducting of business, the development of writing skills has utterly changed human society.
As the development of writing has continued throughout history, its use has become more expressive than the simple trading information of ancient times. Academic writing, literature, and poetry are all powerful forms of expressing knowledge, experiences, and feelings. Anyone who remembers their school days will be more than familiar with the power of a well-written text from their experience with essay writing. One can find some good examples of well-written texts by searching through essay writing service reviews. The thing is, these articles, like this PaperRater review, show the pros and cons of some modern services that provide academic help. The works written by these professionals are generally considered perfect examples of how to convey a message in writing. After all, when it comes to transmitting a powerful message that sticks with its audience, there are a few more impactful ways than putting pen to paper.
Modern methods and mass literacy
For much of history, writing skills and the ability to read were abilities reserved for very few in society. Traders needed to be able to create and read ledgers, and the elite and well-educated of society used the written word in order to communicate important messages with one another. In many societies, being able to write was one of the highest privileges that could be earned, and books were a rare commodity.
However, since the invention of the printing press in the 1460s, the production of books and written texts became increasingly more widespread. With this increase in access to the printed word, more and more people across the world began to learn to read and develop their writing skills. This led to a flourishing of the literature scene, and the development of the college system and academic writing. What many students don’t realize as they sit down to write important papers, is how the invention of the printing press is what made their education possible! In fact, the history of writing makes for a great topic for students tasked with essay writing.
The written word today and beyond
The history of the written word is an integral part of the story of modern human development and continues to play a key role in our society’s development. What began as an innovative trade solution to physical limitations continues to connect people across vast distances and cultures. A greater proportion of humanity is now able to read and write. With the advent of digital technology and instant messaging, the written word continues to allow people in different corners of the world to express themselves to one another as it did in ancient times. In this sense, the act of writing not only connects us to each other but also to our ancestors across time.