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Written language   /rˈɪtən lˈæŋgwədʒ/   Listen
Written language

noun
1.
Communication by means of written symbols (either printed or handwritten).  Synonyms: black and white, written communication.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Written language" Quotes from Famous Books



... effectual check to this process, a process sometimes barbarizing and defacing, however it may be the only one which will make the newly brought in entirely homogeneous with the old and already existing, is imposed by the existence of a much written language and a full formed literature. The foreign word, being once adopted into these, can no longer undergo a thorough transformation. For the most part the utmost which use and familiarity can do with it now, is to cause the gradual dropping of the foreign termination. ...
— English Past and Present • Richard Chenevix Trench

... opening of its folds that signifies reluctant forgiveness; in short, the language of the fan in the hand of a Cuban lady is a wonderfully adroit and expressive pantomime that requires no interpreter, for, like the Chinese written language, ...
— Due South or Cuba Past and Present • Maturin M. Ballou

... done after the eclipse that followed the Albigensian war. For a long time the linguistic and literary aspect of all this activity was the only one that attracted any attention in the rest of France or in Provence itself. Not that the Provencal language had ever quite died out even as a written language. Since the days of the Troubadours there had been a continuous succession of writers in the various dialects of southern France, but very few of them were men of power and talent. Among the immediate predecessors of the Felibres ...
— Frederic Mistral - Poet and Leader in Provence • Charles Alfred Downer

... The written language of Saturn resembles the Chinese character language, only it is much more ...
— Life in a Thousand Worlds • William Shuler Harris

... again broke in, "where the bodily presence is weak and the speech contemptible, surely there cannot be error in making written language the medium of better utterance ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... studied ornithology, on which he wrote a treatise, and possessed a menagerie of rare animals, including a giraffe, and other strange creatures. The popular dialect of Italy owed much to him, being elevated into a written language by his use of it in his love-sonnets. Of the poems written by himself, his son Enzio, and his friends, several have been preserved, while his chancellor, Peter de Vincis, is said to have originated ...
— Historical Tales, Vol 5 (of 15) - The Romance of Reality, German • Charles Morris

... After spoken language was developed, and after the rude representation of ideas by visible marks drawn to resemble them had long been practised, some Cadmus must have invented an alphabet. When the use of written language was thus introduced, the word of command ceased to be confined to the range of the human voice, and it became possible for master minds to extend their influence as far as a written message could be carried. Then were communities gathered into provinces; provinces into kingdoms, kingdoms into great ...
— Side-lights on Astronomy and Kindred Fields of Popular Science • Simon Newcomb

... to express themselves in ordinary, everyday language, in a proper manner. Some broad rules are laid down, the observance of which will enable the reader to keep within the pale of propriety in oral and written language. Many idiomatic words and expressions, peculiar to the language, have been given, besides which a number of the common mistakes and pitfalls have been placed before the reader so that he may know ...
— How to Speak and Write Correctly • Joseph Devlin

... grammar teaches, is exclusively that which has reference to a knowledge of letters. It is the certain tendency of writing, to improve speech. And in proportion as books are multiplied, and the knowledge of written language is diffused, local dialects, which are beneath the dignity of grammar, will always be found to grow fewer, and their differences less. There are, in the various parts of the world, many languages to which the art ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... through them, so that his fine old voice, somewhat hoarse and quavering now, rolled out its "Amen!" in solitary majesty. They came to that gem of humility, the mourners' prayer; the ancient and ever-solemn Kaddish prayer. There is nothing in the written language that, for sheer drama and magnificence, can equal it as it is chanted in ...
— Fanny Herself • Edna Ferber

... his English name is used—"Guest." Hicks, remembering a word that sounded like it, wrote it—George Guess. It was a "rough guess," but answered the purpose. The silversmith was as ignorant of English as he was of any written language. Being a fine workman, he made a steel die, a facsimile of the name written by Hicks. With this he put his "trade mark" on his silver-ware, and it is borne to this day on many of these ancient pieces ...
— Se-Quo-Yah; from Harper's New Monthly, V. 41, 1870 • Unknown

... spoken to written language, we come upon several classes of facts, having similar implications. Written language is connate with Painting and Sculpture; and at first all three are appendages of Architecture, and have a direct connection with the primary ...
— Essays: Scientific, Political, & Speculative, Vol. I • Herbert Spencer

... Weight in the debate. For whether this Book was a Welsh Bible or not, it actually proves that the Natives of that Country where the Book was found, had been on that Continent many Ages, and could not be the descendants of a Colony planted there after the discovery of Columbus in 1492. No written Language or Alphabetical Characters can be totally forgotten by any people, within the space of 160, or 170 Years, which was the period that intervened between the discovery of Columbus ...
— An Enquiry into the Truth of the Tradition, Concerning the - Discovery of America, by Prince Madog ab Owen Gwynedd, about the Year, 1170 • John Williams

... thread their way through a crowd where a tapeworm would be squeezed to death;—whose writing desk is usually another man's back; and who sketch out a much better speech between an orator's shoulder blades than he is making in front;—whose written language is a perplexity compared with which Greek is a relaxation and Sanscrit a positive amusement;—who deal in adjectives, and know their precise value, and how to administer them, as an apothecary knows the drugs that are boxed and bottled on his shelves;—who are ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... little back-garden with a copper-beech, a weeping-ash, nailed-up rose trees, and twisting creepers. After I had made a habit, till it became a passion, of seeking decorative motives, strange and novel curves—in short, began to detect the transcendent alphabet or written language of beauty and mystery in every plant whatever (of which the alphabet may be found in the works of Hulme), I found in every growth of every kind, yes, in every weed, enough to fill my soul with both art and poetry; I may say specially in weeds, since in them the wildest and most ...
— Memoirs • Charles Godfrey Leland

... intelligible intercourse, of thought-tranference,[TN-3] but thought itself is powerfully aided or impeded by the modes of its expression in sound. As "spoken language," in poetry and oratory, its might is recognized on all hands; while in "written language," as literature, it works silently but with incalculable effect on the character ...
— An Ethnologist's View of History • Daniel G. Brinton

... was satisfied. He had found the sweet being whose life could blend in eternal oneness with his own; and it only remained for him to say to her in words what she had read as plainly as written language in his eyes. So far as she was concerned, no impediment existed. We will not say that she was ripe enough in soul to wed with this man, who had passed through experiences of a kind that always develop the character broadly and deeply. No, for such ...
— After the Storm • T. S. Arthur

... these sentences, as in the normal state, but waits for them to produce themselves. Yet the mind is nevertheless associated therewith. The subject treated is in unison with one's ordinary ideas. The written language is one's own. If one is deficient in orthography, the composition will betray this fault. Moreover, the mind is so intimately connected with what is written, that if it ponders something else, if the thoughts are allowed to wander from the immediate subject, ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 19, June, 1891 • Various

... the language of the country after its conquest by Julius Caesar; then came the Northern hordes, when language became corrupted, until, in the time of Charlemagne, German was the Court language, Latin the written language, and the Romance dialect, still in its barbaric state, was the speech of the people. The Gauls in the North, who used the Romance, were also called the Roman-Wallons; they were distinguished from Charlemagne's German subjects, while in the South the ...
— The Interdependence of Literature • Georgina Pell Curtis

... Italian, and German. The most noted of his works, and the one from which the following extract is taken, is his "Autobiography." This book is "one of the half dozen most widely popular books ever printed," and has been published in nearly every written language. Franklin founded the American Philosophical Society, and established an institution which has since grown into the University of Pennsylvania. His life is a noble example of the results of industry ...
— McGuffey's Sixth Eclectic Reader • William Holmes McGuffey

... suggested." Again, Mr. Bates says about a certain Brazilian tribe, "Their sluggish minds seem unable to conceive or feel the want of a theory of the soul"; and he thinks the cause of this indolence is the lack "of a written language or a leisured class". Now savages, as a rule, are all in the "leisured class," all sportsmen. Mr. Herbert Spencer, too, has expressed scepticism about the curiosity attributed to savages. The point is important, ...
— Myth, Ritual, and Religion, Vol. 1 • Andrew Lang

... (granted that a few might emerge with credit) would not only startle themselves but would provide innocent amusement for the rest of mankind. Of course I make no reference here to the elegances and refinements of written language. My charge is that not the mere rudiments are understood. Even a lexicographer may nod, but it surely requires no intellectual power surpassing the achievement of women to refrain from regularly mis-spelling ...
— Journalism for Women - A Practical Guide • E.A. Bennett

... consequence, devoted to its service, and attached to its interest. In both, the prevailing mythology was destitute of any proper evidence: or rather, in both, the origin of the tradition is run up into ages long anterior to the existence of credible history, or of written language. The Indian chronology computes eras by millions of years, and the life of man by thousands "The Suffec Jogue, or age of purity, is said to have lasted three million two hundred thousand years; and they hold that the life ...
— Evidences of Christianity • William Paley

... or in making tear-bottles, or in trading with the Gauls and Britons, the Phoenicians were the same superstitious, honest, passionate, energetic people. And do not forget, you who are now enjoying the privilege of setting down your thoughts in words, that on these shores of Syria written language received its first development. ...
— The Book of Khalid • Ameen Rihani

... Odyssey. To this we may answer that the Greek Epic dialect, like the English of our Bible, was a thing of slow growth and composite nature, that it was never a spoken language, nor, except for certain poetical purposes, a written language. Thus the Biblical English seems as nearly analogous to the Epic Greek, as anything that our tongue ...
— DONE INTO ENGLISH PROSE • S. H. BUTCHER, M.A.

... of the ordinary books, so far as we yet know, were religious ritual, dreams, and prophecies, the calendar, chronological notes, medical superstitions, portents of marriage and birth. The written language was in common and extensive use for the legal conveyance ...
— The Story of Extinct Civilizations of the West • Robert E. Anderson

... written language, no literature, no knowledge beyond that handed down from father to son, the first step towards right living, apart from the preaching of the Gospel, is education. Schools go hand in hand with churches in missionary effort. Mary began hers before she had the buildings in which ...
— Mary Slessor of Calabar: Pioneer Missionary • W. P. Livingstone

... rudimentary. In insects, special automatic activity reaches the summit of development and predominance; in man, on the contrary, with his great brain development, plastic activity is elevated to an extraordinary height, above all by language, and before all by written language, which substitutes graphic fixation for secondary automatism, and allows the accumulation outside the brain of the knowledge of past generations, thus serving his plastic activity, at once the adapter and combiner of what the ...
— The World's Greatest Books - Volume 15 - Science • Various

... statement is accurate, my friend, but incomplete. It is my opinion that the Nipe is incapable of reading any written language whatever. The concept does not exist in ...
— Anything You Can Do ... • Gordon Randall Garrett

... always filled by trained workmen; it was extremely probable that the experienced chemist was already making his success as a gold-miner, with a lawyer and a physician for his partners, and Mr. Kane's inexperienced position was by no means a novel one. A slight knowledge of Latin as a written language, an American schoolboy's acquaintance with chemistry and natural philosophy, were deemed sufficient by his partner, a regular physician, for practical cooperation in the vending of drugs and putting up of prescriptions. He knew the ...
— Under the Redwoods • Bret Harte

... forefinger in the dust and writes strange, monstrous characters. The other nods understanding, sweeps the dust slate level with his hand, and with his forefinger inscribes similar characters. They are talking. They cannot speak to each other, but they can write. Long ago one borrowed the other's written language, and long before that, untold generations ago, they diverged from a common root, ...
— Revolution and Other Essays • Jack London

... French, or English; to say that any tradition or custom is common to all the tribes, or even to all of one tribe, of Borneans, would be far too sweeping. A still greater drawback to any universality, in legend or custom, is that there is no written language, not even so much as picture-drawings on rocks to give us a clue to ancient myths or traditions. The natives of Borneo are in a certain sense savages, but yet they are savages of a high order, possessed of a civilization far above what is usually implied by the term; they live together ...
— Folk-lore in Borneo - A Sketch • William Henry Furness

... English stands alone in the highest rank; but as a written language, in the way in which its alphabet is used, the English has but ...
— On the Evolution of Language • John Wesley Powell

... "Vegg," signifying wall, and Maleri "picture," pronounced almost the same as in Scotch, and derived from at male, to paint. Siccan is in Danish sikken, used more about something comical than great, and scarcely belonging to the written language, in which slig, such, and slig en, such a one, would be the equivalent. I need not remark that as to the written language Danish and Norwegian is the same, only ...
— On the Old Road, Vol. 2 (of 2) - A Collection of Miscellaneous Essays and Articles on Art and Literature • John Ruskin

... houses, raise horses, cattle, sheep and swine, cultivate the ground, have good fences, dress like Americans, and manufacture much of their own clothing. They have schools and religious privileges, by missionary efforts, to a limited extent. The Cherokees have a written language, perfect in its form, the invention of Mr. Guess, a full-blooded Indian. The Senecas, Delawares, and Shawanoes, also, are partially civilized, and live with considerable comfort from the produce of their fields and stock. The Putawatomies, Weas, Piankeshaws, Peorias, Kaskaskias, Ottawas, and ...
— A New Guide for Emigrants to the West • J. M. Peck

... the Dublin shoeblacks' metaphorical language are chiefly his. I have heard him tell that story with all the natural, indescribable Irish tones and gestures of which written language can give but a faint idea. He excelled in imitating the Irish, because he never overstepped the modesty or the assurance of nature. He marked exquisitely the happy confidence, the shrewd wit of the people, without ...
— The Life And Letters Of Maria Edgeworth, Vol. 1 • Maria Edgeworth

... general, I managed to communicate with them, seeing that, while they could read my thoughts, they could not, like the interpreter, respond to them by speech. I must here explain that, while these people have no use for a spoken language, a written language is needful for purposes of record. They consequently all know how to write. Do they, then, write Persian? Luckily for me, no. It appears that, for a long period after mind-reading was fully developed, not ...
— To Whom This May Come - 1898 • Edward Bellamy

... Written language probably originated in an analytical process analogous to the language of gesture. Like that, it: (1) isolates terms; (2) arranges them in a certain order; (3) translates thoughts in a crude and somewhat vague form. A curious example of this may be found in Max Mueller's "Chips from ...
— The Brain and the Voice in Speech and Song • F. W. Mott

... will you not learn to live in amity with your fellows, must you ever go on down the ages to your final extinction but little above the plane of the dumb brutes that serve you! A people without written language, without art, without homes, without love; the victim of eons of the horrible community idea. Owning everything in common, even to your women and children, has resulted in your owning nothing in common. You hate each ...
— A Princess of Mars • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... content, as they conceived grossly, to be grossly understood. After what has been lately talked of Highland Bards, and Highland genius, many will startle when they are told, that the Earse never was a written language; that there is not in the world an Earse manuscript a hundred years old; and that the sounds of the Highlanders were never expressed by letters, till some little books of piety were translated, and a metrical version of the Psalms was made by the Synod of Argyle. ...
— A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland • Samuel Johnson

... Written language was largely hierographic and heroic. The drama, the cult image, the pictograph, the synecdochic picture, the ideaglyph, were steps in a progress without a break. The warrior painted the story of conflicts ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... if it were not for the bond of a written language and perpetual intercourse, the two nations would not be able to understand each other in the course of a hundred years, the inflection and accentuation are so different. I recently heard an English lady say, referring to the American speech, that she could hardly ...
— Winter Sunshine • John Burroughs

... abundantly supply such aid in return. Language lessons should receive all their subject-matter from history and natural science. While the language lessons are working up such rich and interesting materials for purposes of oral and written language, the more important branches are also illustrated and enriched by the new historical and scientific subjects thus ...
— The Elements of General Method - Based on the Principles of Herbart • Charles A. McMurry

... that the principle of forming a written language by means of characters representing the sounds of which the words of the spoken language are composed, was of Egyptian origin; and that it was carried in very early times to the countries on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean sea, and there improved ...
— Romulus, Makers of History • Jacob Abbott

... any other men of power—fanciful dreaming tea-drinkers, who, without logic enough to analyse a single idea, or imagination enough to form one original image, or learning enough to distinguish between the written language of Englishmen and the spoken jargon of Cockneys, presume to talk with contempt of some of the most exquisite spirits the world ever produced, merely because they did not happen to exert their faculties in laborious affected descriptions ...
— Famous Reviews • Editor: R. Brimley Johnson

... how entirely Carlyle loathed that kind of utterance, how much he felt the restraints and limits it involved. And for that reason, the book is the simplest and most easily legible of his works, with the least of his mannerism and the largest concessions to the written language of sublunary mortals. Nearly all the judgments he passes are not only sound, but now almost universally accepted. To deal with the heroic in history, he needed, as he said, six months rather than six days. It was intended, he told his hearers, "to break ground," to clear up misunderstandings. ...
— Studies in Early Victorian Literature • Frederic Harrison

... The written language is the same everywhere, each character, of which the Chinese say there are between eighty and a hundred thousand, representing a complete word, so that before being able to read, and more especially write, ...
— Life and sport in China - Second Edition • Oliver G. Ready

... Would a community of any race of men be otherwise, were they isolated for centuries in a wilderness like the Amazonian Indians, associated in small numbers wholly occupied in procuring a mere subsistence, and without a written language, or a leisured class to hand down acquired knowledge from generation to generation?One day a smart squall gave us a good lift onward; it came with a cold, fine, driving rain, which enveloped the desolate landscape as ...
— The Naturalist on the River Amazons • Henry Walter Bates

... the greatest and most permanent value. Perhaps nowhere else than in the archives of the old Assyrian and Babylonian temples could we find such an instructive exhibition of the development of the art of expressing facts and ideas in written language. The historical inscriptions, indeed, exhibit a variety of incidents, but have a painful monotony of subject and a conventional grandeur of style. In the contracts we find men struggling for exactness of statement and clearness of diction. In the letters we have ...
— Babylonian and Assyrian Laws, Contracts and Letters • C. H. W. Johns

... all our ills have hitherto achieved, has been to change its name or form. But they have never been able to dispense with a symbol representative of the commercial value of things. One might as well wish to do away with written language as to do away with money. Nevertheless, this question of a circulating medium is very troublesome. It forms one of the chief elements of complication in our life. The economic difficulties amid which we still flounder, social conventionalities, and ...
— The Simple Life • Charles Wagner

... in the awful contest could and would dictate trade terms and privileges everywhere in the Celestial Empire. If Japan won, the Japanese would surely exploit commercially their great neighbor, whose written language is nearly identical with their own—this would be but natural to the Mikado's people, teeming with aptitude as manufacturers and traders, and recognizing the necessity for ...
— East of Suez - Ceylon, India, China and Japan • Frederic Courtland Penfield

... hieroglyphs are ideograms or phonograms, whether the character , for instance, conveys to those using it primarily the idea of Heaven, or the spoken word T'ien. It is necessarily both, in a sense; it would not be written language otherwise. And it is equally true that the letter-combination Heaven is in a way as much to us a picture of the idea as of the sound; but the difference of procedure is radical. The glyph is related to the idea directly, the spelled word only ...
— Commentary Upon the Maya-Tzental Perez Codex - with a Concluding Note Upon the Linguistic Problem of the Maya Glyphs • William E. Gates

... work in rapid progress among the aborigines of the land. The extent and inveteracy of the disease, I well knew; but the suitability of the remedy had never been set before me. In fact, I hardly knew that the Irish was a written language; and strange it seemed, to have passed three years in a part of the country where it is extensively spoken, and in the house of one who always conversed in that tongue with the rustic frequenters of her shop, yet to be so grossly ignorant of all relating to it. I resolved to ...
— Personal Recollections • Charlotte Elizabeth



Words linked to "Written language" :   code, print, codification, communication, reading material, written text, correspondence, reading, leaf, prescription, piece of writing, transcription, folio, writing, written material



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