4.20.2022 – by means of which sounds

by means of which sounds
represented, language
is made visible

Adapted from the book, Facts for Everybody by Robert Kemp Philp,  1863, T. Nelson and Sons, Paternoster Row, London.

The fact from Facts for Everybody that I am quoting is the listed under ALPAHABET.

Mr. Philp writes thusly:

ALPHABET. The most important invention of man, ascribed to a Phœnician, by means of which sounds are represented, and language made visible to the eye by a few simple characters.

Previous to this invention, pictures, or hieroglyphics, were used to record events; and letters were, probably, a generalization of these.

At this day, the Chinese have no letters, but have 214 keys to classes of words, distinguished by the number of strokes combined in each, The English language has 26 letters; the French 23; Hebrew 22; Greek 24; the Latin 22; the Arabic 28.

The figures used in arithmetic are an universal character, and many attempts have been made by the learned to introduce an universal character into language, but at present (1863 remember) there are 200 or 300 various alphabets.

The most important invention of man?

But what about …

But what …

But …

The most important invention of man!

Language made visible.

I am not sure that anything I have written or quoted (including Mr. Hemingway’s Novel in 6 words) has packed so much into so few words.

Language made visible.

I recall another quote in a post quoting Alain de Botton.

I began word painting because such a factual description seemed of little help to me in pinning down why I found the scene so impressive.

Word painting with language made visible through use of the alphabet.

Word painting in 2022 using a keyboard of letters developed in 1870 and a description describing language made visible written in 1863 about an invention that dates back perhaps to 1000’s of years before the birth of Christ.

The most important invention of man.

I am okay with that.

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