Who doesn't remember our early childhood when we learned to write with a sergeant major's quill that we dipped in still and dried with a blotter?
Oh the good times!
Well, those good days are no more, they are dead.
And who has replaced writing: the computer.
Today we don't write anymore. You press your finger on a key representing a letter and it appears on the screen. To the point where we can ask ourselves if our young people are capable of producing a signature to sign their name.
This is what modernism has done to our society.

I have always loved writing and continue to do so to the point that it has become an outlet and a particular pleasure for me.
So I did some research to find out where writing came from and how it got to us.

I like to recall the words of an Auschwitz survivor, Paul Shaffer, who said that "Only writing can preserve the memory of the unspeakable and echo the message beyond the lives of the witnesses. With their passing an invaluable source will be dried up. He also said "What we are able to write, always remains far below what we manage to say.
And this is what Marco Polo is said to have said on his deathbed: "I have not written half of what I saw.

And now a little history:

Since 3000 B.C. of all the great Near Eastern civilizations, the first Pharaoh was Namer. It is with him that the practice of the hieroglyphic writing was born. The first writings dating from the Sumerians were of pictographic structure on clay tablet. One found some in Elam. This pictographed writing, proto-Elamite, dates from the end of the 3rd millennium.

Different modes of writing will be used throughout history: cuneiform (from the Latin cuneus=coin), Akkadian, Persian cuneiform, Archaemenid. As well as the Aramaic, Greek and Pahlevi scripts.

The latter derives from Aramaic and is enriched with many ideograms. The zende writing (see Zoroaster) used for the language of the avesta, sacred book of the Parsis (Persians), used many signs of pahlevi. The Elamite and Akkadian writings took turns until the Bronze and Iron Ages to be deciphered late.
From 1450 to 1100 B.C., Elam knew its apogee. The previous inscriptions in Sumerian and Akkadian were now written in Elamite and many works of art were designed. Around 1350, the Elamite king Hourpatila conquered Babylon.
Around 1186, the Elamite king Shutruk Nahnunte conquered Lower Mesopotamia and brought back to Susa many trophies including the famous column on which is engraved the code of laws of Hammurabi. This stelle is in the Louvres museum in Paris.

Towards the end of the XIIth century, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon invaded Elam putting an end to its development. The Mindian civilization (Crete) had a writing known as linear. It includes hieroglyphic signs as well as some phonetic signs. It could not yet be decoded to this day. More especially as the language which it transcribes is itself unknown. We base ourselves on frescoes, mute testimonies, and exhumed objects in order to have an idea of what was the Mindian civilization.

The Greeks attributed the invention of the alphabet to the Phoenicians, however, it would seem that the Canaanite alphabet discovered in the copper mines of Sinai, is prior to the Phoenician alphabet composed of thirty letters which is the Ugaritic alphabet.

The Boustrophedon, a protocanonical script, commonly called "as the ox turns" goes from right to left and then from left to right, from right to left and from left to right.

Curiously the Phoenician alphabet is called like the Hebrew alphabet. First letter Aleph, seventh Zain, eleventh Kaf, fifteenth Samekh, twenty second and last Tav.(Xiième BCE). It is the same for the Samaritan and Syriac alphabet.
It is therefore not surprising that the Phoenician language is West-Semitic and very much related to Hebrew (twenty-two consonants).
Moreover, it is in Phoenician that the first Hebrew writings were written. Aramaic then became the lingua franca and replaced the old Hebrew.
Modern Hebrew is a descendant of Aramaic and evolved into Arabic in the 4th century B.C.E

Two main variants of Arabic script are recognized: Nashki and Kufic. Syriac was spoken in Edme, a dialect of Aram, spoken in Edessa (now Urfa).
The Bible was translated into Syriac in the 1st century C.E A dialect of Phoenician was developed, Punic, spoken by Jewish tribes.
Matres Leccionis, the mother of reading, long vowels and long word ends. First used in Arabic, then in Greek which had more consonants than the Phoenicians had at their disposal.

One of the less common alphabets of young Europe was: Ogham, the writing system of the Celts of Britain and Ireland. Ogham is thought to be based on a secret language that the Druidic priests used with their fingers:
A long horizontal bar, followed by vertical bars with diagonals at the top and bottom and on both sides (IInd Century).
Writing became the most widespread code that alone allowed ideas and words not to fade away with their author.
It was writing, not printing, that allowed the genesis of its reception to be shifted. Gutenberg (XV Century) did not add the effect in time but in space by its universal propagation.

It can be said that the art of writing is knowing when to stop. Whatever you write, will not have the effect you expect.
I will end with something that would please those who write with mistakes. This is a phrase from Julien Green, a French writer of American origin (1900-98). A letter written in French, without mistakes, surprises today as something from the past.

And now I hear on the radio this morning that a school in California is going to start teaching children how to write.
Did I hear right?


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