Sunday, June 20, 2010

How Did Your Profession Evolve?

Since "The Last Original Idea" chronicles the evolution of Internet marketing, it occurred to me that everyone could track the evolution of their professions. I'm a writer so I decided to take a look at how my profession evolved.

Writers tell stories with words. Prehistoric man told stories through pictures in their caves. In essence these pictographs were the earliest form of the written word. Pictographs evolved into a rudimentary alphabet used by the ancient Egyptians in approximately 3100 BCE which eventually gave rise to the Semite languages - Aramaic, Ugaritic, Phoenician, Hebrew, Babylonian, Assyrian, Ethiopic. The ancient Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet which eventually evolved into Latin and Cyrillic, while Aramaic evolved into Arabic. Handwriting as we know it can be traced back to the end of the Roman Empire. The script in fragments of Latin messages written by members of the Roman garrison at Hadrian's Wall in approximately 100 AD bears a great deal of resemblance to modern European language.

The 16th century brought about a revolution in writing - the engraving of letters on copperplate. The profession of "Writing Master" was created in order to train others in the technique of engraving. Engraving eventually evolved into printing and "the rest is history".

How did your profession evolve?

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