What is Cuneiform Script?

A Brief History of Wedge Shaped Writing

During the 4th millinmium BC a writing form we call cuneiform arose.  Cuneiform simply means wedge-shaped, this particular form of writing could be found in Mesopotamia with the Sumerians.  Three basic wedges would form a cuneiform sign.

Forming Cuneiform Writing

The end of reed stylus was pressed into moist clay enabling the Sumerians to draw.  At first they would just draw pictures that would stand for an object.  An example would be a picture of a mouth which could be taken to mean the noun 'mouth' or verb 'to speak'.

Over the course of time the picture would go on to represent syllable(s) in the word which the picture would be shown.  A sign such as 'mouth' which was ka could also be used for writing a syllable in another word.  This led to a complicated system of writing, that contained pictures, were so stylized that would become virtually unrecognizeable - representing ideograms (whole words) or syllabograms (individual syllables).

In its advanced form cuneiform script had upwards of 500 signs, with most signs having several syllabic and ideographic values.

Things to Know About the World's Oldest Writing System:

1. Cuneiform isn't a language or an alphabet.  Main languages written in Cuneiform were Sumerian and Akkadian.

2. First Used Around 3,400 BC, preceeding Egyptian hieroglyphic writing.  Used until the first century AD.

3. A Reed and Clay Were All That Was Needed.  Cuneiform comes from the Latin cuneus which means 'wedge'.  This shape was made everytime a reed was pressed into the clay.

4. Cuneiform is Looked On As the World's Most Difficult Writing.

5. Children Are Natural Experts at Cuneiform Writing.

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Take Your Writing to the Next Level: Become an Effective Proofreader With These Three Courses

First impressions really count, especially if you're writing after a job or just writing an email.  The way you write is a lot like handing out a business card.  A bit like introducing yourself to someone you've never met before.

You need to ask yourself what your writing may say about you as a person? Does your writing show that you care about your work? What would a few unchecked errors say to a stranger?

Creating a good impression of yourself and showing that you're more than capable of handling certain things, proofreading can really help you to do this.

Proofreading Power: Become an Effective Proofreader

This unique online class will help address the basics of proofreading but also provide a practical application of the skills with hands-on exercises and quizzes

What You'll Learn & Practice:

  • Grammar Assessment
  • Proofreading  Pre-test
  • Proofreading Basics
  • Proofreading Tips
  • Proofreading Strategies
  • Proofreading Laws
  • Proofreading vs. Editing
  • Proofreading Marks
  • Recognizing Error Hot-spots
  • Proofing for Spelling
  • Proofing for Punctuation
  • Proofing for Capitalization
  • Proofing for Numbers
  • Proofing Challenge
  • Bonus eBook: "Practical Grammar Essentials"

Read more 

How to Find & Correct Writing Errors: The Proofreading Guide

For writers and editors of any genre looking to develop their proofreading skills and prevent embarassing errors in written documents.  Find out how to develop the mindset to catch errors from a professional proofreader.

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Easy Comma Rules

Learn the importance of using the comma correctly and how it will benefit your proofreading skills.

Read more

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

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A Writer's Guide to the Perfect Work Space

Have you given much thought to the space you writer in?

My writing space is pretty simple:
  1. One desk
  2. One Chair
  3. One Computer
I don't have much room to move around in because my writing space is in my bedroom.  But I do have a relatively quiet space in which I work in.  Here is a quick guide to the ultimate home office for writer's:

Be More Ergonomic

This is a great place to start, how you display your computer:
  1. Top of your computer screen should be at eye level, this reduces fatigue.
  2. Your keyboard should be positioned so that your forearms are parallel to the floor.
  3. Your seat should be adjusted so that they're firmly resting on something.
Learn to Love Natural Light

If you're room has a window in it, use it.  The whole idea of working from home is to be free from the cubicle style work space that many people work in.  Make sure your desk is facing a window so you can look at the scenery and take-in the natural light.

Use Additional Lighting

In the dark winter months you'll need a lamp for the darker part of the day.  Try a table lamp with soft lighting and an interesting design, to give your space a personality.

Be Inventive with Storage

If you like to write on notepads then stacking boxes are a great way to store away all those notes you've been making.  Shelves for book storage or book cases.  If you need space for paper why not try a filing cabinet, it doesn't need to be huge just enough for your business needs.

Form a Creative Space

If you have the room why not create a space to let your creative juices really flow.  A simple coffee table, bean bag or chair and a lamp to help your thinking when you have a break.

Go Green

Add plants, because they make people happier, and some plants don't need to be watered that regularly.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

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A Short History of Writing

Writing, a Brief History

Many people have speculated about when and people started writing.  The most popular thought is that of permanently recording grain and animals, recipes for beer etc, many of these things were an important part of ancient societies and used around temples and palaces.

Archaeologists have discovered many clay tokens of different shapes and sizes in and around Middle-Eastern sites from as early as 8000 BC.  Many historians suppose that these tokens were used for counting items for trade.  It has also been discovered that the Inca Empire used quipu, a group of strings of various colours that were knotted at intervals to record their taxes and census statistics.

From these tokens came a system of symbols to symbolise words and ideas.  These earlier writings would have been pictographic and can be found in many cave paintings all around the earth.  Pictogram's are still used today to convey simple message - such road signs or even public toilet signs.

Cuneiform script was to assign a phonetic (sound) to a symbol and radically transformed how people communicated.  Many think the Sumerians used this around about 3300 BC and can be found in southern Iraq.  Scripts were found in Egypt (3100 BC), Indus Valley (2500 BC), Crete (1900 BC), China (1200 BC) and Central America (600 BC).

No one culture has been found to wholly influence the advancement of writing, many systems have been found around the world and all sound unique, but all play a key part in enabling us to communicate through writing.

Figuring Out Ancient Texts

Sadly the ability to read ancient manuscripts has been lost.  In some cases the ability has been regained through the process of studying archaeological treasures.

The Rosetta Stone, discovered by French soldiers in 1799 during Napoleon's invasion, has helped decipher many Egyptian hieroglyphs.  Discovered in the small village of Rashid Egypt this relatively small stone slab as carved an inscription in three different languages and scripts - demoic script, hieroglyphs and ancient Greek.  Inscribed is a decree given in three different languages passed by the general council of priests throughout Egypt on the first anniversary of the accession of Ptolemy V Epiphanes King of Egypt 27 March 196 BC.

With comparisons to other monuments, scholars such as Thomas Young and French Physicist Jean-Francois Champollion could easily identify the names found in the hieroglyphs.

Alphabets and Syllabaries Revealed

Many early scripts were found to be syllabaries (such as cuneiform or Linear B).  Simply put these manuscripts were written in syllables.  This kind of writing required lots of signs and very few consonants.

The Egyptians used a lot of pictogram's showing a lot of complicated consonants, but weren't able to cope with writing any vowels.

A script was developed in Phoenicia using a handful of signs and was used from 1400-1200 BC.  In the first millennium the Israelites, Phoenicians and Canaanites used 22 signs.  All of these were consonant scripts with very little vowels being used.

The Greek alphabet was invented as early as 10th or 11th century BC, having signs for each consonant and each vowel, with about 25 signs in all.  This enabled them to write a lot more clearly and very much like we write today.

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Writing a Successful Blog Post in 20 Minutes

Writing schedules can be hard to grasp sometimes, trying to write a blog post that's both unique and contain useful information, can sometimes seem like an impossibility.  The secret to writing a good blog post is putting your own stamp or spin on the chosen subject.

In order to post articles frequently you need to be productive and efficient enough to have a flow of information already in your mind waiting to be written up and posted online.  Putting aside 20 minutes per day or even once a week to write an article can seem like a chore sometimes, but the real problem lies in finding what works best for you.

Ascertain Your Productivity

Groundwork for any writer is work out when they're at their most productive.  That may include whichever part of the day they work best in.  Day or night?  Does your routine include music in the background or TV gently playing as you write your blog post.  If you're not sure what your own personal capabilities and limitations are try running some simple experiments.  Try gentle music or TV playing the background.  If that one doesn't work try complete silence.

How much work can you do depending upon the environment you're in?  You might think that writing with loud music in the background is really distracting, some people can be more productive this way.  Try and set yourself a weekly routine.  If it doesn't work tweak it until you're more comfortable.  You'll quickly discover when your most creative and your natural ebbs and flows.  Making your blog post writing much more enjoyable.

Refine Your Creativity

When you go through periods of writer's block you begin to understand how simple tasks can seem really hard.  This can often lead writer's to burn out and nothing being done for weeks or even months.

If you have a set schedule of blog posting, it's important to keep to that schedule, otherwise your readers can be confused and disenchanted.  You need to be able to keep their attention and keep them interested in order for them to read your blog.  I've said this in many of my previous blog posts that simply carrying around a notebook, can help you capture thoughts that may not come into your at a later date.  From these simple thoughts you can craft and build your blog post the way you want it.

Writing a 20 minute blog post means that your generating a well written article with concepts and delivering them efficiently.

Applying the Right Format

We're living in the age of the lazy reader i.e. people who no longer want to get their information from books, but instead want to switch on their mobile phones or tablets and Google their information.  People like their information to be easily digested and of good quality.  So find out what your readers want it give it to them!

Many writer's (myself included) will usually use bullet points or numbered points to break down relevant information.  This is a great way to make a blog post scanner friendly and hold your readers attention.  Also by writing around 500 words per post, this gives your readers intensely focused content wrapped up in valuable information, without taxing the minds too much.

By focusing your efforts and improving your content process you can have a writing routine that works for you and your readers.

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments about your blog post writing routine.

This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you purchase through these links you are supporting 1976write and we thank you for that.

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