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Report

  • Submitted by: scarson
  • on November 17, 2013
  • Category: History
  • Length: 333 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Report" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

“People who pride themselves on being civilized have always viewed writing as the sharpest distinction raising them above “barbarians” or “savages”.” (215) This is what Diamond states in his chapter Blueprints and Borrowed Letters from his book Guns, Germs, and Steel. Why is it though that people are superior to others if they can write and therefore read? Writing was originally used for record keeping, but as civilizations grew they needed it for other things. A lot of this has to do with location of where civilizations started and how they were able to evolve from there.
Based on how evolved how certain civilizations were, such as Sumeria and Mesoamerica, it is easy to see how some may have been able to come up with some sort of writing, whether it was their own or if it was borrowed. More advanced civilizations may have had the opportunity to make their own writing systems because of their knowledge they already had. The first scribes had to recognize sounds and put them with a word or symbol and decide how lines were to be read (left to right and up and down). Think of when you were a child trying to make up secret codes and languages with your friends. That would only be a small fraction of what the scribes had to do.
Where you are in the world makes a huge difference on what kind of writing system you need. Areas with hunter-gatherers and small-scale herding or farming did not need to keep to records like some other larger and more complex areas needed for record keeping. This allowed civilizations to keep inventory, trade encounters, and loans of sorts. As their needs grew their writing became more advanced and specific to what they needed it for. These writing systems they used then have been transformed into something we have today. Languages from all over the world are what is left of something we as humans wish we could understand.

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