What is Writing: Definition and 712 Discussions

Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writing systems are not themselves human languages (with the debatable exception of computer languages); they are means of rendering a language into a form that can be reconstructed by other humans separated by time and/or space. While not all languages utilize a writing system, those with systems of inscriptions can complement and extend capacities of spoken language by enabling the creation of durable forms of speech that can be transmitted across space (e.g., correspondence) and stored over time (e.g., libraries or other public records). It has also been observed that the activity of writing itself can have knowledge-transforming effects, since it allows humans to externalize their thinking in forms that are easier to reflect on, elaborate, reconsider, and revise. Writing relies on many of the same semantic structures as the speech it represents, such as lexicon and syntax, with the added dependency of a system of symbols to represent that language's phonology and morphology. The result of the activity of writing is called a text, and the interpreter or activator of this text is called a reader.As human societies emerged, collective motivations for the development of writing were driven by pragmatic exigencies like keeping history, maintaining culture, codifying knowledge through curricula and lists of texts deemed to contain foundational knowledge (e.g., The Canon of Medicine) or to be artistically exceptional (e.g., a literary canon), organizing and governing societies through the formation of legal systems, census records, contracts, deeds of ownership, taxation, trade agreements, treaties, and so on. Amateur historians, including H.G. Wells, had speculated since the early 20th century on the likely correspondence between the emergence of systems of writing and the development of city-states into empires. As Charles Bazerman explains, the "marking of signs on stones, clay, paper, and now digital memories—each more portable and rapidly traveling than the previous—provided means for increasingly coordinated and extended action as well as memory across larger groups of people over time and space." For example, around the 4th millennium BC, the complexity of trade and administration in Mesopotamia outgrew human memory, and writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent form. In both ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica, on the other hand, writing may have evolved through calendric and political necessities for recording historical and environmental events. Further innovations included more uniform, predictable, and widely dispersed legal systems, distribution and discussion of accessible versions of sacred texts, and the origins of modern practices of scientific inquiry and knowledge-consolidation, all largely reliant on portable and easily reproducible forms of inscribed language.
Individual, as opposed to collective, motivations for writing include improvised additional capacity for the limitations of human memory (e.g., to-do lists, recipes, reminders, logbooks, maps, the proper sequence for a complicated task or important ritual), dissemination of ideas (as in an essay, monograph, broadside, petition, or manifesto), imaginative narratives and other forms of storytelling, personal or business correspondence, and lifewriting (e.g., a diary or journal).

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  1. BillTre

    Advice Wanted for Book Writing/Publishing

    I have been interested in writing a book for a while and recently got to talk with a book agent to get some understanding of how publishing might work for me in my specific case. This has caused me to rethink some things. The book I want to write is about what it means to biology if you...
  2. Lynch101

    Academic Ghost Writers

    Are academic ghost writers a thing? I've written a paper on the fine tuning argument, defending naturalism and while the arguments are sound (I would say that) it's not really up to a publishable standard. I worked with an editor but he really only did some copy editing, so I was wondering if...
  3. U

    Rapidograph, technical drawing

    In the past was enginners/students draw directly with rapidograph or first with mechanical pencil and after that redraw everything with rapidograph? Is rapidograph good for writing or he works only in vertical position? Why rapidograph if we have ozalid machines?
  4. S

    Could Cephalopods Be the Dominant Species in Parallel Worlds?

    I have a story idea involving MWI and a world where the evolutionary branches that would produce octopuses and mammals split 500+ million years ago. A group of conspiracy theorists think cephalopods became the dominant species in some worlds and want to "visit," and it might be possible. I want...
  5. Eclair_de_XII

    When writing a third-person limited narrative for an amnesiac, what is...

    the protocol for how to refer to the person that the narrative is going to be told through? For more context, the overarching narrative follows different people. The person's name has already been established earlier in the story. Moreover, the person will regain her memory during the last...
  6. ohwilleke

    Physics Guidance For Writing Scientific Papers In A Second Language

    I feel compelled to note a valuable new article in the magazine Science about the task of writing scientific papers in English when your native language is not English. The article is written by a Chinese scientist who did his PhD in the U.K. The basic message is to keep it simple. Use short...
  7. A

    I About writing a unitary matrix in another way

    It is easy to see that a matrix of the given form is actually an unitary matrix i,e, satisfying AA^*=I with determinant 1. But, how to see that an unitary matrix can be represented in the given way?
  8. V

    Find all the ways of writing N into x^2-y^2

    We are required to find every way in which we can write 112 as x2-y2. I already found one way using a 2≡b2modN. The values 112≡32mod(112) work and we can factor it as 14x8=112, I am confused how to approach this further for determining other values or would I just stop here? If I do test more...
  9. C

    Writing a logarithm in a form not involving logarithms

    logyx + logxy = 3/2 Solution $$\begin{align*}\log_{ y }{ x } + \log_{ x }{ y } &= \frac{ 3 }{ 2 } \\ \log_{ x }{ y } &= \frac{ \log_{ y }{ y } }{ \log_{ y }{ x } } \\ \log_{ y }{ x } + \frac{ 1 }{ \log_{ y }{ x } } &= \frac{ 3 }{ 2 } \\ \left(\log_{ y }{ x } \right)^ { 2 } + 1 &=...
  10. U

    Comp Sci X86 NASM reading from the terminal and writing back to the terminal

    cpu 8086 segment code ..start mov ax,data mov ds,ax mov ax,stack mov ss,ax mov sp,dno mov es, ax start_2 mov ah, 0x0a mov dx, buffer int 21h cmp al, 0 je print_lines inc word [count] mov si, buffer mov di, line mov cx, 100...
  11. A

    I Designing an Invariant Lagrangian: Rules and Considerations

    What are the rules for writing a good Lagrangian? I know that it should be a function of the position and its first order derivatives, because we know that we only need 2 initial conditions (position and velocity) to uniquely determine the future of the particle. I know that the action has to be...
  12. robertphy

    Writing a Physics laboratory worksheet, Inspired by Inquiry

    Hi, the task for me is writing a worksheet about Physics experiments in the classroom with a strong emphasis on Inquiry Methods. If you have any suggestion about it (web, courses, people in the field), I'd be very grateful to hear from you. In the meantime, have a safe day.
  13. S

    Comp Sci Learn How to Write Pseudocode: Questions Answered!

    I just learned about pseudocode, and I am confused about how I should use/write it. For the question, 1: sum ← 0 2: For i in range (3) do: 3: sum ← sum +max(A) 4: remove max(A) from list A 5: return sum The following is the kind of pseudocode I want to write. I have several...
  14. Mikaelochi

    I Writing down an explicit homotopy

    I understand that a homotopy is a continuous deformation. The only thing I really remember is something in my notes like this: F(s, 0) = a(s) for 0≤s≤1 and F(s, 1) = a * Id(s). Basically I have to construct some sort of piece-wise function such that I go something like two loops half of the time...
  15. M

    I Question regarding writing proofs

    I have a couple general questions regarding writing proofs: Do proofs typically fall into being one out of all of the rules of inference (page 6-7 on this pdf) or is it that generally, most proofs may categorically qualify within a very small subset of the rules of inference (say “many common...
  16. plum356

    Writing some ZF axioms with FOL symbols

    The axioms: My work: Extension:$$\forall x\forall y,\,(x=y)\iff(\forall z,\,(z\in x\iff z\in y))$$ Empty Set:$$\exists x|\forall y,\,\neg(y\in x)$$ Pair Set:$$\forall c\forall d,\,\exists e|(c\in e)\wedge(d\in e)\wedge[\forall f,\,\neg((f=c)\vee(f=d))\implies\neg(f\in e)]$$ If you consider any...
  17. Hamiltonian

    I Writing the wave function solutions for a particle in a 2-D box

    The final wave function solutions for a particle trapped in an infinite square well is written as: $$\Psi(x,t) = \Sigma_{n=1}^{\infty} C_n\sqrt{\frac{2}{L_x}}sin(\frac{n\pi}{L_x}x)e^{-\frac{in^2{\pi}^2\hbar t}{2m{L_x}^2}}$$ The square of the coefficient ##C_n## i.e. ##{|C_n|}^2## is...
  18. C

    MHB Writing PDE in terms of x and y

    Hi all, I am hoping someone can help me understand a PDE. I am reading a paper and am trying to follow the math. My experience with PDEs is limited though and I am not sure I am understanding it all correctly. I have 3 coupled PDEs, for $n$, $f$ and $c$, that are written in general form, and I...
  19. Hamiltonian

    Doubt related to notation used in writing Maxwell's equations

    What does ##S=\partial V## and ##C=\partial S## signify, usually I have only seen books writing ##C## when evaluating a line integral over a curve ##C## and ##S## when evaluating a surface integral over a surface ##S##. Could someone clarify what ##\partial S## and ##\partial V## mean?
  20. Haorong Wu

    Other I feel anxious when writing my first paper

    Hi, there. I am starting writing my first paper now. But I do not feel very well. First, my brain is almost empty when I start to write the introduction section. I feel I have many things to say but they disappear when I really start to type. I am afraid the structure of this section will not...
  21. anmac1789

    Other Publisher/editor writing science textbooks

    how do publishers and editors write and make mathematical function graphs and format their textbooks... ? what softwares and programs do calculus or chemistry publishers use to create their textbooks ? Thanks
  22. A

    Writing the charge density in the form of the Dirac delta function

    Hey guys! Sorry if this is a stupid question but I'm having some trouble to express this charge distribution as dirac delta functions. I know that the charge distribution of a circular disc in the ##x-y##-plane with radius ##a## and charge ##q## is given by $$\rho(r,\theta)=qC_a...
  23. imbadatphysics212

    Writing an expression for work done by frictional force

    I took a stab at the question, but I don't think I did it right. I know that Work = Change in Energy thus, Work = final energy - initial energy Because there is no energy at the final position, then final energy = 0 (I'm not sure if this is correct). So I got the equation W = 0 - (1/2kA^2 +...
  24. Arman777

    Python How to Write Python Output into an Excel CSV File?

    I have a code like from random import randint from string import ascii_lowercase file = open("data.txt", "w") numbers = [] for j in range(26): # generating a list of random number random_num = [randint(0, 7) for i in range(120)] numbers.append(random_num) # matching these numbers...
  25. DanjoJojo

    Comp Sci Writing a Little Man Computer program to compare 2 integers

    I've attempted and I can retrieve a 0 when the first input is greater than the second using BRP. I can't seem to get the output of 1 if the first input is equal to the second input. I also don't get a 2 output with the first input being less than the second. I also have no idea how to loop a...
  26. K

    Ideas for novel I'm writing I would love some insight on a concept

    Summary:: Ideas for a novel I want to begin writing. Brainstorming ideas and need help with a certain concept. Any help is appreciated! Hello to you all, this is my first post, and I Google searched this astrophysics forum because I thought it might be a good place to begin asking for advice...
  27. Hacker Jack

    Do you consider writing this program a bit of a challenge?

    Do you consider writing a program that takes 3 integer inputs and orders them in ascending order (accounting for same numbers) difficult? You can only use if statements (if, else if, else). I know there is some thing called "sort" that does the tedious work for you but do you find this simple...
  28. Eclair_de_XII

    Python Writing modules that require supplementary files

    I'm working with Python modules at the mo', and I am having trouble trying to decide how best to include supplementary material that is accessed by my module, but not necessarily a part of it. The program works alright when accessing it from the IDE, but it fails to recognize the files when I'm...
  29. S

    B What is the difference between writing f and f(x)?

    Some people say f is the function and some say f(x) is the function. f and f(x) are often used interchangeably. I have seen in many textbooks, sentences such as "Let f(x) be a function ...". But as we know that f represents our function then why it is given "f(x) is a function". i am confused...
  30. wrobel

    Write a Paper: Is Environment "Fact" OK?

    Stupid question. Is that possible form the style and language viewpoint to write such things in the article: is the environment "Fact" ok?
  31. PainterGuy

    Writing a Paper in Word 2019: Questions & Answers

    Hi, I was practicing writing a paper in MS Word 2019 and need your help with few important points. I understand it's little too many queries but they are all related so I thought asking them together would be a better idea. Thanks in advance! 1: Suppose once I was done adding all the...
  32. M

    Closing the writing loop, again with thanks

    It's only a small PF shout out for my third novel, Handwavium, because it is more techno thriller than pure sci-fi story, so it didn't ask much from the collective brainpower of the forums. Still @Vanadium 50 and @stefan r gave their assists with gravitational wave triangulation, for which I...
  33. Y

    Please help solving this problem: Reading & Writing Records in a Structure

    Hi I have a funky problem I have been working on for over a day, it is supposed to be quite simple, but I have funny result. What the program does is to pick out one of the five records(of structure) stored in the file, modify it and store back into the file in the same position. It supposed to...
  34. S

    Comp Sci Alternative way of writing "Either Alice or Bob is not in the room."

    Let P stand for Alice is in the room. Let Q stand for Bob is in the room. (P ^ ~Q) v (~P ^ Q) Either Alice is in the room and Bob isn't or Alice isn't in the room and Bob is. Would this be acceptable?
  35. J

    What type of letters are used in aero-engineering when hand writing?

    Which type of letters is rule to use in aero-engineering when hand writing? All capitals-block letters, cursive, upper and lower case-block letters. .?
  36. AN630078

    How Do You Solve Simultaneous Equations for Time and Distance in a Car Journey?

    Equation 1: Where t1=time spent on motorway Where t2=time spent on country roads t1+t2=4 Equation 2: Using distance = speed * time 200 = 70*t1+40*t2 Rearrange equation 1 in terms of t1; t1=4-t2 Substitute the rearranged form of equation 1 into equation 2: 200=70(4-t2)+40t2 200=280-70t2+40t2...
  37. FourEyedRaven

    Netflix series DARK - Taking Sci-Fi Writing to a New Level

    Hi. Any fans of DARK here? This show was mind blowing. The feel of the show may be to heavy for some, especially in the beginning. So it may not be your style. But if you like that atmosphere, the series is truly amazing. The writing is on a whole new level. If you haven't watched it, I...
  38. DaveC426913

    Can Humans Metabolize Alien Life Forms on a Colonized Ocean World?

    I'm writing a science fiction short story about an ocean world with indigenous life, colonized by humans, and I want to check some of my "facts".1. Given the possibility/assumption of panspermia, spreading hydrocarbons and possibly even simple enzymes between systems, is it plausible for a...
  39. Diracobama2181

    Is There a New Code Format for Writing Equations on Physics Forums?

    Is there a new code format for writing equations here? I usually use $$ or ## to delineated code, but that doesn't seem to work anymore. Thanks.
  40. devadmin

    Need linux/python help with writing to csv file in cron

    I'm writing a simple script that writes to a csv file. When ran from console it works fine. When ran with cron, it doesn't write. No errors in the log. All files and folders are 777. The cron is active and running. What am I missing?
  41. J

    MATLAB Writing a matlab program to solve the Kepler Problem (Universal Vars)

    Introduction: I am writing a Matlab program that solves the Kepler problem for any Elliptical, Hyperbolic, or Circular orbit. Given an initial position vector, velocity vector, find the position vector and velocity vector after some given time. I am not doing this for any class, I have been...
  42. Z

    Is Write-Only Memory a Real Thing in Hardware Design?

    I have bolded the text. I have two problems: Page fault occurs if the page is not in memory but the above text says that (a)the page fault occurs at the time of modifying or writing the page? I can’t understand that. (b) Also I can't understand the text “, allowing the operating system to set...
  43. M

    Closing the writing loop, with thanks

    I haven't been on PF that long, and I mostly post in the Science Fiction section, but I have noticed in the "Writing and World Building" forum that few of us loop back after asking for help to let people know, "My novel is done". So, just to let you know, my novel is done and is live in the...
  44. S

    I Writing about a simple physics lab

    One of my novel's leads is a physics student. In the following lab: what would students learn about waves? What kind of measurement results would they get (not specific numbers, but, for instance, proportions of node lengths to rope lengths)?
  45. Z

    Writing a squared observable in Dirac notation

    Edited after post below: Hi, I need to show that the square of the expectation value of an observable takes a certain form in Dirac notation. I know in wave notation that the expectation value is a sandwich integral which looks like this: ##<A>=\int_{-\infty}^\infty \Psi^*(x) \hat A \Psi (x)...
  46. BWV

    Technical writing style question

    Curious on thoughts here about writing with negative numbers, i.e. do you write A) xxx declined -2% or B) xxx declined 2% this is for the general public, if that makes a difference Argue about this at work, have not seen any style guide addressing this.
  47. mfig

    Other Guide to obtaining research funding or grant writing?

    Hello, I am looking for advice on where to go to find funding opportunities in the hard sciences, and how to go about the application prcess once a source is identified. I know that is pretty general, but my knowledge is at the beginner's level. I would take links to websites that talk about...
  48. BillTre

    News Michael D. Coe, Decoded Mayan Writing, is Dead

    Michael Coe who broke the code of Mayan writing has died of a stroke. Until his work, Mayan writing was not understood and many thought they were just pictures. This kind of work was limited by lack of material as most examples of Mayan writting was destroyed by Spanish Conquistadors. He...
  49. Wrichik Basu

    LaTeX Writing Feynman slash notation in LaTeX

    I started reading QFT recently. With respect to the Dirac spinors, I was introduced to Feynman's slash notation: OR There are sites which say how this can be inserted in LaTeX documents. I checked out the LaTeX guide of PF, but found that it is not listed there. Writing...
  50. M

    Writing the Equations of motion

    I have attached the problem and I have also taken a photo of my working for it, it seems my answer is wrong. I would be grateful if you could please check where I have gone wrong. Thanks a lot.