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:
“There is a difference between dramatizing your sensibility and your personality. The literary works which we think of as classics did the former. Much modern writing does the latter, and so has an affinity with, say, night-club acts in all their shoddy immediacy.”
—Paul Horgan (b. 1904)
“Romance reading and writing might be seen ... as a collectively elaborated female ritual through which women explore the consequences of their common social condition as the appendages of men and attempt to imagine a more perfect state where all the needs they so intensely feel and accept as given would be adequately addressed.”
—Janice A. Radway (b. 1949)
“The writing of a poem is like a child throwing stones into a mineshaft. You compose first, then you listen for the reverberation.”
—James Fenton (b. 1949)