Emoji - the 'e' means picture, 'moji', letter in Japanese - seem like a very modern phenomenon, dependent on the proliferation of mobile phones. But they have precedent in language far more ancient than our own. A picture per concept is pretty much what the ancient Sumerians were using to communicate some 5,500 years ago when they came up with the cuneiform writing system.Read More
The Allusionist is a show about words, but today’s episode isn’t looking at words themselves, but what’s on either side of them: that is, nothingness.
If it weren’t for the absence of words, the words themselves would be rather incomprehensible - how do you know where one word ends and the next begins without the space between?
Since the spaces serve such a crucial function in language, I was pretty astonished to discover they are a lot younger than language itself.Read More