The ability to communicate can be deemed the most powerful attribute a human being possesses. It may also be regarded as a strict disciple, serving to educate, and inform society. Today, a higher level of learning and knowledge are maintained due to the volume of communication we are exposed to. Thus, communication may be regarded as a specialized function, as it encompasses our everyday lives, and helps us function more efficiently and productively.
For centuries verbal mediation served the function of informing and expressing information. Cultures depended on spoken words, opposed to written, ensuring a direct understanding between source and receivers were maintained. Oral communication left little room for ambiguity, and discrimination of the illiterate.
other forms of long-distance communication not based on words used were ‘smoke signals’ used by American Indians and whistled language of Gomera, of the Canary islands. But they were only capable of conveying very limited pre-arranged signals and would be incapable of sending a detailed message.
The imperfection of speech, which nonetheless allowed easier dissemination of ideas and stimulated inventions, eventually resulted in the creation of new forms of communication, hence improving both the range at which people could communicate and the longevity of the information.
The first writing system is generally believed to have been invented in pre-historic Sumer and developed by the late 3rd millennium BC into cuneiform. . By the end of the 4th millennium BC, this had evolved into a method of keeping accounts, using a round-shaped stylus impressed into soft clay at different angles for recording numbers The Chinese script may have originated independently of the Middle Eastern scripts, around the 16th century BC (early Shang Dynasty), out of a late neolithic Chinese system of proto-writing dating back to c. 6000 BC.
The first pure alphabets emerged around 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt, but by then alphabetic principles had already been incorporated into Egyptian hieroglyphs for a millennium
By 2700 BC Egyptian writing had a set of some 22 hieroglyphs to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, plus a vowel (or no vowel) to be supplied by the native speaker.
6th century BC
The sending of written messages is a standard feature of government in early civilizations. Much of our knowledge of those times derives from archives of such messages, discovered by archaeologists. Letters can be written onpapyrus (easily portable) instead of needing to be pressed with acuneiformstylus into wet clay.
Pigeon post: from the 11th century
Domesticated pigeons are first developed in ancient Egypt. By selective breeding of suitable birds, the homing pigeon is developed. Pigeons carry swift news of each new conquest to his homeland in Mongolia.
Gutenberg and western printing: AD 1439 – 1457
Scholars in the east have had the benefit of printing for many centuries, enabling holy and learned texts to be more widely possessed. But the very late arrival of printing in the west proves to be of much greater significance. The development by Gutenberg in in Strasbourg, Germany, in 1439, of movable type happens to coincide with the Renaissance, a time of great vigour in European culture.
The first two publications from Germany’s presses are of an extraordinary standard, caused no doubt by the commercial need to compete with manuscripts.
The spread of printing: AD 1457-1500
An invention as useful as printing, in a Europe of increasing prosperity, readily finds new customers.
The first Italian press is founded in 1464, at the Benedictine town of Subiaco in the papal states. Switzerland has a press in the following year. Printing begins in Venice, Paris and Utrecht in 1470, in Spain and Hungary in 1473, in Bruges in 1474 (on a press owned by Caxton, who moves it to London in 1476), in Sweden in 1483. By the end of the century the craft is well established in every European kingdom except Russia.
From incunabula to mass communication: 1457 – 1525
In the first half-century of European printing the book rapidly displaces the the manuscript of earlier generations, providing equal elegance at less cost. Printed books of the 15th century are known as incunabula. Even in their own time these incunabula are special and expensive objects.
The profusion of presses in Europe by the early 16th century means that the machinery is in place for a different and entirely new form of production – the rapid printing of pamphlets, or even single sheets, which can be used in a war of propaganda. The ‘press’ acquires a new and significant meaning.
First with the news: AD 1609-1690
If the 16th century is the first age of the pamphlet, the 17th fills the same role in relation to the newspaper. The turmoil in Europe in the first half of the century makes people eager for information about the latest events. The printers and newsgatherers move rapidly to satisfy this need.
The Germans, as with earlier stages in thedevelopment of printing, are first in the field. Both Augsburg and Strasbourg have news sheets during 1609.
During the next two decades newspapers are published in Basel, Vienna, Amsterdam, Antwerp and London. France follows in 1631, when theGazette de Franceis established with official encouragement from CardinalRichelieu. Newspapers are soon known in Denmark (1634), Florence (1636), Sweden (1645) and Poland (1661).
Optical signals: 17th – 18th century AD
The invention of the telescope in the 17th century makes possible a wide range of optical signalling systems. The earliest to be developed is that of flags at sea. Pioneered in England in 1653, the complexity of the messages which can be sent becomes steadily greater over the years. In different combinations, used either as whole words or single letters, the flags can form any sentence.
The reporters’ war: AD 1854-1856
Recent developments in many fields make the Crimean War the first modern war, in the sense that the public at home becomes rapidly and intensely aware of what is going on at the front.
The Crimean war is the first war assignment undertaken by a photographer. Early in 1855 a Manchester publisher, Thomas Agnew, decides to send a photographer to the front. Photography soon catches up elsewhere, to establish itself as the medium best equipped to convey the horrors of war. The first war to be fully covered photographically is the American Civil War.
Age of Telecommunications
First patented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell and further developed by many others, the telephone was the first device in history that enabled people to talk directly with each other across large distances. Telephones became rapidly indispensable to businesses, government, and households, and are today some of the most widely used small appliances. The invention of the transistor in 1947 dramatically changed the technology used in telephone systems and in the long-distance transmission networks.
Innovations to one of the earliest forms of modern communications the telegraph, came the multiplex telegraph. This device made it possible to send many messages at one time over the same telegraph wire. The next improvement was to send pictures over the wires. This was called facsimile. Other developments were the teletypewriter. This replaced the Morse Code. The machine used to type this was the teleprinter. These machines were used by news agencies to send reports to newspapers.
18th and 19th century saw the advent of telecommunications which formed the basis of modern mass communication systems. radio, television, and satellite helped in creating awareness and knowledge among the civilians and nations began to develop even more since the governments now could speak directly to their people and make them aware of their services and plans of development.
Television usage in the United States skyrocketed after World War II with the lifting of the manufacturing freeze, war-related technological advances, the gradual expansion of the television networks westward, the drop in set prices caused by mass production, increased leisure time, and additional disposable income. Through a satellite, communication has become easier and faster all over the world. Thus a person in India can see cricket matches in Sharjah, tennis at Wimbledon and even the Olympics wherever they are held.
Computer and internet There are many avenues for communication via the internet. People use instant communication where physical space dose not matter. People are able to communicate to each other even if they are on the other side of the world. Not only did people communicate with words but now there are special crafted emotions and pictures that are used. Another form of communication were people can post there thoughts and communicate to others would be in a form of blogs and social networking.
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