The Evolution of the Printed Word

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sunnyday1972
Words 1025
Pages 5
The Evolution of the Printed Word

Print, language, writing and electronic media, has often been referred to as the most influential things contributing to growth in human intelligence. Oral culture has been passed down through countless generations without the ability to document what was said and when until print. Writing has increased reflective and perceptive tendencies due to the missing need for memorization. With this, traditional story-telling was changed forever, now being able to read aloud from a manuscript.
The invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg has often been attributed to the origin of mass communication in the western hemisphere. With it, mass audiences were able to be reached through only one source. However, long before the Gutenberg press, Chinese used ink, block letters and movable clay as a form of writing, and this can be considered the first form of mass communication. Although Europe’s advancement in printing technology came much later than in China, their advancements were much more significant due to a less complex alphabet than the one used by the Chinese.
If not for the refinement of paper, the printing press would not have been able to have been created. The Chinese had developed the first type of paper in the early years of 100 A.D. and were composed of rags and other scrap things such as bamboo. This technology was eventually passed on to the Arab section of the world by Chinese prisoners. Ironically, this technology was much the same even in the 1200’s when Europe began to develop its own form of paper.
In the early 1400’s Europe experienced a culture shift and hunger for knowledge, which in turn resulted in the need for more cheaply produced written products. This is when Johannes Gutenberg, a goldsmith from a small mining town in Germany, borrowed money to develop a technology to accommodate to this need. He…...

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