Why writing?

I wish I had created this.

“This” is a series of a dozen extremely short animated videos describing the entire worldwide history of writing and writing systems — in under an hour total time for all the bite-size videos combined. They are entertaining, accurate, and comprehensive: quite an accomplishment! The link in my opening sentence goes to the first video in the series on YouTube; the others following readily, one at a time.

When I say that I wish I had created this series, I really mean it. In theory I could have done so. There’s nothing in the videos that is beyond my knowledge base, and I love the mixture of Big Ideas and important details. There’s one thing, of course, that is beyond my capabilities: I have no idea how to make animated videos. Sigh. So we’ll just to enjoy the contributions of… hmmm… who is the creator (going by the username NativLang)? Who is the narrator? Are they even the same person? I don’t know! If you check all of their works on YouTube, you’ll see an astonishing array of enticing videos, which I am about to start going through. If your research is successful and you can unearth the identity of the creator of the videos, please let me know!

Addendum: Thanks to my former student, Jane Cubelli, who figured out that it’s Joshua Rudder.

Oh — if you can put up with a minor spoiler, the best writing system turns out to be Korean. I wrote a bit about it last year, but it deserves much more specific attention.



Categories: Linguistics