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). 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 most likely began as a consequence of political expansion in ancient cultures, which needed reliable means for transmitting information, maintaining financial accounts, keeping historical records, and similar activities. Around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration in Mesopotamia outgrew human memory, and writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent form. In both Ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica writing may have evolved through calendrics and a political necessity for recording historical and environmental events. The oldest known use of writing in China was in divination in the royal court.
Famous quotes containing the word writing:
“I can hardly bring myself to caution you against drinking, because I am persuaded that I am writing to a rational creature, a gentleman, and not to a swine. However, that you may not be insensibly drawn into that beastly custom of even sober drinking and sipping, as the sots call it, I advise you to be of no club whatsoever.”
—Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (16941773)
“You may be used to a day that includes answering eleven phone calls, attending two meetings, and writing three reports; when you are at home with an infant you will feel you have accomplished quite a lot if you have a shower and a sit-down meal in the same day.”
—Anne C. Weisberg (20th century)
“...I dont have an inner drive to do as well as anybody else ... I have a great pleasure in writing and part of that is political and part of that is Im surprised that Ive done as well as I have. I really am just surprised.”
—Grace Paley (b. 1922)