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:
“For your writing and reading, let that appear when there is no need of such vanity.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“To write weekly, to write daily, to write shortly, to write for busy people catching trains in the morning or for tired people coming home in the evening, is a heartbreaking task for men who know good writing from bad. They do it, but instinctively draw out of harms way anything precious that might be damaged by contact with the public, or anything sharp that might irritate its skin.”
—Virginia Woolf (18821941)
“What is line? It is life. A line must live at each point along its course in such a way that the artists presence makes itself felt above that of the model.... With the writer, line takes precedence over form and content. It runs through the words he assembles. It strikes a continuous note unperceived by ear or eye. It is, in a way, the souls style, and if the line ceases to have a life of its own, if it only describes an arabesque, the soul is missing and the writing dies.”
—Jean Cocteau (18891963)