When Looking at the Written Word Legible Means We Recognize the Letters Themselves; However, Legibility Does not Equal Understanding so I Say to You, “Ugh Ugh Hmm Ugh Hmm Hmm Ugh Hmm Hmm.”

leo-cullum-the-emergence-of-language-cave-woman-we-need-to-talk-caveman-uh-oh-new-yorker-cartoonCommunication is a funny thing. Not funny ha-ha, but funny strange. Once man realized his desire to communicate with his neighbor, I imagine the first conversation went something like this:

“Ugh.”

“Ugh?”

“Hmm.”

“Hmm hmm.”

“Hmm ugh.”

“Hmm ugh hmm.”

When man realized a need for long distance communication, he found that yelling his newly established words was not an effective way. Through his frustration, he learned to beat on various objects. When he discovered hollow logs and the distance the sound would resonate, the problem was solved.

After many, many years and the grand evolution of language, the written word was born.

This allowed messages, information and anything that could travel through the vocal cords, out of the mouth and recorded on parchment to take the show on the road.

Then one day a lonely man, living in a bamboo hut on a desert island had an idea. His only possessions were a pencil, a piece of paper and a bottle of water. His idea was to write for entertainment. After completing his first short story, he found there was a reason to live. He wrote every waking moment, creating what would have been the greatest novels in history. Unfortunately, he had but one sheet of parchment and the constant erasing eroded the sheet so thin it only had one side. The last thing he was able to write on this parchment was a short story of a lonely man with a pencil, a sheet of paper and a bottle of water. Knowing he could not keep this secret from the world, he placed the delicate piece of parchment into the bottle and tossed it into the ocean so the world would have this gift. Due to his excitement, he failed to place the cork into the bottle. He would wile away the rest of his life drinking coconut milk and writing in the sand. It would take another thousand years before writing was used for entertainment. And there you have it, the reason you and I write stories (no matter how ridiculous) for others to hopefully enjoy.

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