Auto boutiques-francophones Simple and secure cloud storage Furniture Kindle Music Deals Store Cycling Tools Personal Care
Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
CDN$ 11.95
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Writing and Script: A Ver... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction Paperback – Sep 27 2009

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 11.95
CDN$ 5.20 CDN$ 6.05

Unlimited FREE Two-Day Shipping for Six Months When You Try Amazon Student

Product Details

Product Description


User-friendly survey. Steven Poole, The Guardian

About the Author

Andrew Robinson is a Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge and holds degrees from Oxford University and the School of Oriental Studies, London. He is now a full-time writer who has worked in book publishing, television and journalism, most recently as Literary Editor of The Times Higher Education Supplement from 1994-2006. His previous publications include The Story of Writing, The Man Who Deciphered Linear B: The Story of Michael Ventris, and Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Really Fun Short Introduction March 15 2011
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have always been fascinated with writing. I still remember when I came across a list of Egyptian hieroglyphs and their meanings in a youth magazine that I used to read as a kid. Suddenly I was able to write whatever I wanted using a script that was not in use for almost two millennia. It felt almost like being transported in time. Ever since then I've had a strong fascination with scripts and writing.

This short introduction is an excellent source of information on various aspects of script and writing. It gives a historic perspective and introduces some very important distinctions amongst various scripts. The main categories of script can loosely be divided into alphabets, syllabi, and pictograms. However, there is much more of continuity between various writing systems than one might naively guess. Even the most phonetic scripts avail of some pictograms, and likewise pictogramic scripts make use of alphabetical signs. The book tries to give a general history of the development of various scripts, especially those that are dominant today. The interesting stories of decipherment of some ancient scripts (Egyptian Hieroglyphics and Ancient Cretan Linear B script) are immensely fascinating and they read like detective tales. The book also makes a plausible case for the continuation of use of the pictogramic scripts in China and Japan - too much of their linguistic and cultural heritage would be affected by a sudden abandonment of the pictograms. The author is still strongly in favor of more phonetically based scripts, but he also appreciates the fact that scripts are a living expression of a particular culture, and not just an arbitrary collection of symbols that can be easily replaced.

A book of this length will inevitably have to compromise on the inclusion of several topics. Nonetheless, I wish that a few topics could have been either expended or included. The Cyrillic script is barely mentioned in passing, and there is no mention of many African and Asian scripts. I am also curious to know how would sign language and Morse code be classified, and would there even be considered scripts. Nonetheless, the topics that are included in this book are all covered supremely well, and this is as good of a place to start reading about various scripts as they come. A truly wonderful little book.
Five Stars Oct. 15 2014
By Anne Dorfman - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Just the right amount of info. Well done.
6 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Not terribly modern Nov. 3 2009
By Paul Hoffman - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is fine if you want to know the history of writing and script up to about a hundred years ago, then it falls flat. It barely covers scripts that were invented in the 20th century, Romanization, or how scripts are used on computers and the Internet. "Very short" is fine, but it could have had a better mix.