The Writing Principles

by Theresa Evans 20 days ago in history

History of writing The history of writing traces the development of expressing language by letters or other marks[1] and the studies and descriptions of these developments.

The Writing Principles
Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Why did I choose to do this piece on writing?

In my mind and throughout my life, I have always been a writer. Not because I have been physically writing for years, but because of my life experiences.

My life within itself is a walking, living, and breathing book. I started writing more with words on the actual paper when I started college at the University of Phenix many years ago. I had no idea how impactful writing would and could be in my life at the time.

I use to keep journals for a while, but of course, one day, my ex-boyfriend chose to read my journal and start using it against me when he wanted things to go his way. I stopped writing for years because of this individual, but now I am back.

In the history of how writing systems have evolved in different human civilizations, more complete writing systems were preceded by proto-writing, ideographic systems, or early mnemonic symbols (symbols or letters that make remembering them easier). True writing, in which the content of a linguistic utterance is encoded so that another reader can reconstruct a fair degree of accuracy, the exact utterance was written down, is a later development. It is distinguished from proto-writing, which typically avoids encoding grammatical words and affixes, making it more difficult or even impossible to reconstruct the writer's exact meaning unless a great deal of context is already known in advance. One of the earliest forms of written expression is cuneiform.[2]Inventions of writing[edit]

See also: List of languages by first written accounts.

Sumer, an ancient civilization of southern Mesopotamia, is believed to be the place where written language was first invented around 3100 BC.

The writing was long thought to have been invented in a single civilization, a "monogenesis theory."[3] Scholars believed that all writing originated in ancient Sumer (in Mesopotamia) and spread worldwide from there via cultural diffusion.[3] According to this theory, the concept of representing language by written marks, though not necessarily the specifics of how such a system worked, was passed on by traders or merchants traveling between geographical regions.[4][5]

However, discovering the scripts of ancient Mesoamerica, far away from Middle Eastern sources, proved that writing had been invented more than once. Scholars now recognize that writing may have independently developed in at least four ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia (between 3400 and 3100 BC), Egypt (around 3250 BC),[6][7][3] China (1200 BC),[8] and lowland areas of Southern Mexico and Guatemala (by 500 BC).[9]

Regarding Egypt, several scholars[6][10][11] have argued that "the earliest solid evidence of Egyptian writing differs in structure and style from the Mesopotamian and must therefore have developed independently. The possibility of 'stimulus diffusion' from Mesopotamia remains, but the influence cannot have gone beyond the transmission of an idea."[6][12]

Regarding China, it is believed that ancient Chinese characters are an independent invention because there is no evidence of contact between ancient China and the literate civilizations of the Near East [13] and because of the distinct differences between the Mesopotamian and Chinese approaches to logography and phonetic representation.[14]

Debate surrounds the Indus script of the Bronze Age Indus Valley civilization, the Rongorongo script of Easter Island, and the Vinča symbols dated around 5,500 BCE. All are undeciphered, so it is unknown if they represent authentic writing, proto-writing, or something else.

The Sumerian archaic (pre-cuneiform) writing and Egyptian hieroglyphs are generally considered the earliest true writing systems, both emerging out of their ancestral proto-literate symbol systems from 3400–3100 BC, with earliest coherent texts from about 2600 BC. The Proto-Elamite script is also dated to the same approximate period.[15]

Writing systems[edit]

Main article: Writing system

Accounting tokens

Pre-cuneiform tags, withdrawing of goat or sheep and number (probably "10"), Al-Hasakah, 3300-3100 BCE, Uruk culture.[16]

Clay accounting tokens. Susa, Uruk period

Clay envelop and its tokens. Susa, Uruk period

Symbolic communication systems are distinguished from writing systems in that one must usually understand something of the associated spoken language to comprehend the text. In contrast, symbolic systems, such as information signs, painting, maps, and mathematics, often do not require prior knowledge of a spoken language. Every human community possesses language, a feature regarded by many as an innate and defining condition of humanity (see Origin of language). However, the development of writing systems and their partial supplantation of traditional oral communication systems have been sporadic, uneven, and slow. Once established, writing systems on the whole change more slowly than their spoken counterparts and often preserve features and expressions that no longer exist in the spoken language.

There are considered to be three writing criteria for all writing systems. The first being that writing must be complete. It must have a purpose or some meaning to it. A point must be made or communicated in the text. Second, all writing systems must have some symbols that can be made on some surface, whether physical or digital. Lastly, the writing system's symbols must mimic spoken word/speech for communication to be possible.[17]

The greatest benefit of writing is that it provides the tool by which society can record information consistently and in greater detail, which could not be achieved previously by spoken word. Writing allows societies to transmit information and to share knowledge.

Recorded history [edit]

Main articles: Recorded history and Early literature

Part I: Principles of Effective Writing

“In science, the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs.” — Sir William Osler Principles of Effective Writing „ “Writing is an art. But when it is writing

„ What makes good writing? „ What does it take to be a good writer?

„ What makes good writing? „ 1. Good writing communicates an idea clearly and effectively. 2. Good writing is elegant and stylish. Takes time, revision, and a good editor!

„ What makes a good writer? „ Inborn talent? „ Years of English and humanities classes? „ An artistic nature? „ The influence of alcohol and drugs? „ Divine inspiration?

What makes a good writer (outside of poets, maybe): „ Having something to say. „ Logical and clear thinking. „ A few simple, learnable rules of style (the tools we’ll learn in this class). Take home message: Writing to inform is a craft, not an art. Clear, effective writing can be learned!

„ Clear writing starts with clear thinking.

Before you start writing, ask: “What am I trying to say?” „ When you finish writing, ask: “Have I said it?”

Once you know what you’re trying to say, then pay attention to your words! Today’s lesson: Strip your sentences to just the words that tell.

“The secret of good writing is to strip every sentence to its cleanest components. Every word that serves no function, every long word that could be short, every adverb that carries the same meaning that’s already in the verb, every passive construction that leaves the reader unsure of who is doing what — these are the thousand and one adulterants that weaken the strength of a sentence. And they usually occur in proportion to the education and rank.” „ — William Zinsser in On Writing Well, 1976

Famous Example: „ “Such preparations shall be made as will completely obscure all Federal buildings and non-Federal buildings occupied by the Federal government during an air raid for any period of time from visibility because of internal or external illumination.” „ (from a government blackout order in 1942)

FDR’s response: „ “Tell them that in the buildings where they have to keep the work going to put something across the windows.”

Help! „ This was the first sentence of a recent scientific article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (Introduction section): „ “Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) immunotherapy is based on the ex vivo selection of tumor-reactive lymphocytes, and their activation and numerical expression before reinfusion to the autologous tumor-bearing host.” „ Aaaccckkkk!!!!! That sentence does not make me want to read on… And here’s the final sentence from the same article… „ “Current studies in our laboratory are focused on the logistical aspects of generating autologous cell-based patient treatments, the genetic modification of lymphocytes with T-cell receptor genes and cytokine genes to change their specificity or improve their persistence, and the administration of antigen-specific vaccines to augment the function of transferred cells.” „ This is academic writing at its finest: boring, unreadable, written to obscure rather than to inform!! Scientific Writing, HRP 214 From: “The joys and pains of writing,” Le Bon Journal … “My professor friend told me that in his academic world, “publish or perish” is really true. He doesn’t care if nobody reads it or understands it as long as it’s published.” There’s a hint of truth here, n’est-ce pas? Overview of principles… Today’s lessons: Words: • 1. Reduce dead weight words and phrases • 2. Cut, cut, cut; learn to part with your words Sentences: • 3. Follow: subject + verb + object (SVO) • 4. Use strong verbs and avoid turning verbs into nouns • 5. Eliminate negatives; use positive constructions instead of • 6. Use parallel Construction Principles of Effective Writing Words • 1. Reduce dead weight words and phrases • Get rid of jargon and repetition “Verbose is not a synonym for literary.”

Examples: “I would like to assert that the author should be considered a buffoon.” Æ “The author is a buffoon.”

My thoughts:

To all my past, present, and future followers, I just want to take this time to say thank you all for allowing me to share my world with you all through words. I know that this journey is not easy, but I still need to thank you all because I could not do what I do with my writing without you. It is because of readers like you that I still write.

Thanks for reading:

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Theresa Evans
Theresa Evans
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Theresa Evans

I am a woman on fire for the love of life and being able to reach one life at a time through my words. If I can reach one then I can teach one the art of healing one's self from the inside out all mentaly

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