Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, Aug 27, 2009 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 176 pages
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Without writing, there would be no records, no history, no books, and no emails. Writing is an integral and essential part of our lives; but when did it start? Why do we all write differently and how did writing develop into what we use today? All of these questions are answered in this Very Short Introduction. Starting with the origins of writing five thousand years ago, with cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs, Andrew Robinson explains how these early forms of writing developed into hundreds of scripts including the Roman alphabet and the Chinese characters. He reveals how the modern writing symbols and abbreviations we take for granted today - including airport signage and text messaging - resemble ancient ones much more closely than we might think. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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User Review  - MichaelDC - LibraryThing

Good introductory text on, well, writing and scripts. I thought it was organized a little oddly, with the first two-thirds or so being almost entirely about the writings/scripts themselves, and then ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Mattitiahu - LibraryThing

Robinson's Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2009) reads as a not-unproblematic statement of the communis opinio. I will not trouble myself with writing a full review, but even ... Read full review


1 Writing and its emergence
2 Development and diffusion of writing
3 Disappearance of scripts
4 Decipherment and undeciphered scripts
5 How writing systems work
6 Alphabets
7 Chinese and Japanese writing
8 Scribes and materials
9 Writing goes electronic
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About the author (2009)

Andrew Robinson is a Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge and holds degrees from Oxford University and the School of Oriental Studies, London. He is now a full-time writer who has worked in book publishing, television and journalism, most recently as Literary Editor of The Times Higher Education Supplement from 1994-2006. His previous publications include The Story of Writing, The Man Who Deciphered Linear B: The Story of Michael Ventris, and Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts.

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