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Technology in Shaping the Use of English - Research Paper Example

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The author states that the impact of a digital medium on language and on society depends on how particular users choose to exploit it. Its impact is not an inevitable result of particular features of the technology but is forged through people’s purposes, interactions and relationships. …
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Technology in Shaping the Use of English
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Download file to see previous pages A writing system is a set of symbols used for producing linguistic expressions in textual form; linguists have sometimes assumed that the writing system of a language does (or should do) no more than representing the way the language sounds, (Allington & Mayor, 2012, p. 267).

In alphabetic writing systems, the alphabetic principle dominates meaning that most or all of the symbols used to correspond in some way to sounds, enabling words to be spelled out using sequences of symbols roughly corresponding to the sequences of sounds produced when the same words are spoken. In practice, any correspondence may be very rough indeed, as we see when we consider the ‘silent’ letters demanded by the orthographies (i.e. spelling systems) of many modern languages, including English.
Technologies are needed to put writing systems to use. Symbols can be shaped with a pen, brush or chisel, printed on a variety of surfaces or substituted with numbers. In medieval Europe and the ancient world, the wax tablet was a common erasable medium, and some of the oldest texts in existence – the cuneiform tablets of Sumeria – were written by pressing the tip of a reed into wet clay. Patterns of raised dots form the symbols used in Braille, a writing system read with the fingertips rather than the eyes. And a person producing text by pressing buttons on a keyboard is said to be ‘writing’– unless he or she is copying a text or taking down dictation, in which case ‘typing’ is the usual word, (Allington & Mayor, 2012, p. 270).

The first use of printing was not to reproduce text, but to reproduce images, using the technology of the woodcut. The first stage was to cut the required design into a block of wood with a knife and the block would then be smeared with ink, which would be transferred to a sheet of paper from the raised parts of the block. If you ever made potato prints as a child, you will understand the general principle.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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