Characters with Character: 50 Ways to Rekindle Your Love Affair with Language (Hardcover)
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We who have grown up in societies that rely on written language find it hard to imagine being without one. Written language dominates how we're educated, how we work, and how we play and communicate with loved ones. Without our written language, we clearly would not be who we are.
And yet, our approach to writing has changed in the last few decades. From handwriting as the dominant form of personal writing to typing in one and then many languages to voice recognition, we have moved away from a deep appreciation of the basic component of any writing system, the individual character. This appreciation, once honed in compulsory handwriting and calligraphy lessons, has now given way to a more detached, less hands-on approach to writing.
This book attempts to rekindle that more personal relationship with some of the world's most beautiful written character specimens. While it's true that languages can thrive without writing-after all, more than half of the world's 3000 languages don't have writing systems and have still developed other sophisticated ways of transmitting communication-it's also true that if a language does have a successfully implemented writing system, that writing system and the language it expresses nourish one another.
Many of the stories in this beautifully designed book illuminate that symbiotic relationship. Others illustrate our globe's marvelous multilinguality-a diversity that is increasingly under pressure from dominant languages and cultures. And every story that accompanies the breathtakingly beautiful depictions of writing samples bears witness to the genius of the human mind and its desire and need to express itself.
Whether you're well versed in multilingual matters or have merely dipped your toe in another language, strolling through this book will educate you, amuse you, and rekindle or inflame a passion for language and its beauty.