Bessie Massey December 14, 2020 Alphabet Worksheet
Have you ever imagined what the world today would be if ancient people hadnt invented the alphabet? I dont dare to think about it but it must be such the worst of the worst. Without the alphabet, mankind would never have advanced to the levels we have today. If alphabet hadnt been invented, book would never have appeared and consequently people would be uneducated and life would be boring. You wouldnt know anything about history, the human knowledge wouldnt have been preserved and you also wouldnt be able to read my essay. We would be narrow minded and shallow. Our imagination would be limited. There would be no paper, no printing press, no television, no Galileo Galilei, no William Shakespeare, no Charles Darwin, no Albert Einstein,... Instead of that, tolerance would be low and the world would have been destroyed by war and cruel. In my opinion, it would be quite a miserable world where no one can read, write, or think freely. To be honest, if alphabet hadnt existed, there would be a new way of communicating ideas.
How legibility takes effect? What is the mechanism, then? In the present world, texts explode. Through internet, one can easily find texts of any subject. The scope of the written world is virtually indefinite. Nonetheless, text still comprises basic individual symbols. Analysis can be done on the symbols and sequence of symbols. By simply analyzing the symbols, we are not overwhelmed by the explosion. These symbols are read and written by human. They have effect on humans via the eyes and brain. Legibility principle originates during reading, and then operates in thinking and writing while visual info is stored and processed in the brain. Although legible symbols can be arranged well and read easier, the visual patterns themselves are not the reason for reading. People read because the reading material reflects real world which is of the readers interest. Reading material is existent beforehand. They have to learn and use existing system regardless of its legibility and tend to read the symbols they are familiar  with. However, Texts of different degrees of legibility have different effects. Legible writing is easily read, memorized, processed by brain and written out. Legible writing impresses the eyes deeper and operates in the brain more effectively and strongly. More writings of greater legibility are read and produced than those with less legibility. After processing by the brain, the text written out has the tendency of being better patterned than those that are read. That is to say, legible writings have greater power to stimulate one to write. As a result, the writings produced later tend to be more legible than the earlier, changing the appearance of the writing system. Legibility is individual-dependent. Individuals writing changes are not at the same pace. Change of a writing system is a result of changes made by all individuals written works. The appearance of post-change system usually does not differ completely from pre-change system. This evolution is a long time process and might become noticeable after generations.
I have considered that alphabet is a result of visual refinement. However, in its thousands of years history, albeit undergoing changes, Chinese didnt develop into alphabet. Characters <1> remain complex over thousands of years development. Major simplification process hadnt occurred until last century. Number of characters was increasing. The question is: why did simplification occur so late? What kept Chinese characters complex for thousands of years? Was legibility principle not taking effect on Chinese system? It should. There should be something that prevented Chinese from developing into alphabet. Lets elaborate the concept of legibility.
The Greek alphabet, although some people may find it easy to read even without the whole knowledge of it, there are different sounds to it, which is different from the widely used alphabet today. This is also because that the Greeks pronounce their letters and words differently. You will also find that most Greek words have an accent mark. To spot words of Greek origin, you may notice that they have "ph" instead of "f" and others. The Greek alphabet is such an interesting matter that one can learn. Being considered as the first real alphabet in history, it is truly worth learning. Language teachers are required to be knowledgeable with the Greek alphabet because it is so important to know how it all started. If you are thinking of getting into the field of communications and language, you might want to learn more about the Greek alphabet, and you will find how interesting it is. From there, you will start to learn more about the alphabets and other things that are related to language and communication that will definitely help you excel in your chosen field.
As representative of Latin systems, English writing system is growing through representing knowledge, recording speech sounds and borrowing, among other means. The trend of Englishs dominance is continuing. Written English is used by more and more people in non-native regions and would eventually be adopted by all. English will also be spoken by more people following the spread of written English . Other writing systems may be replaced, Romanized or coexist with English. Written English is systematic. It has 26 letters, established rules for word-formation and grammar. Will it evolve in fundamental level, i.e. its scripts, lexicon or grammar? Or it will only continue growth basing on current system and rules? In near future, radical change seems unlikely. English has become international language. Without challenge, its basic look would not change. Rather, it would grow upon existing system when other language, culture and new-found knowledge are represented. On the long run, radical change cannot be ruled out. Theoretically, its future can be studied from its visual feature and is governed by legibility principle. In reality, the evolution is now a global process with billions of peoples participation. That is absolutely very complex. It is shaped by writings of every individual.
When text is arranged horizontally, external growth further simplifies symbols as horizontal visual span extends farther. Contextual effect leads visual span to extend further forward as people guess out meaning from text of less acuity. Rapid eye movement also contributes to simplification because less time is spent on each symbol. For instance, for left-right writing more symbols to the right are read than those to the left , probably more than the width of right visual span. Horizontal writing has undergone successful simplification, standardization and systematization into a small number of letters - alphabet.