Tuesday, July 12, 2011

And I thought learning to read right to left was bad

The word of the day "boustrophedon" makes me grateful I didn't major ancient Greek.

8 comments:

Jen said...

It kind of makes sense in a weird sort of way. That way you're not back-tracking to find the beginning of a new line.

I wonder why it didn't catch on.

Laila Knight said...

Is it weird that I think it's kinda cute?

JS said...

Scholars believe that the ranga-ranga writing of the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island is written boustrophedonically. I live in hope that someday a Rosetta Stone equivalent for the ranga-ranga will be found!

HunterValleyYabby2 said...

English-speaking people will arrange sequential images left to right, Hebrew-speaking from right to left, etc. But there's an Aboriginal tribe who's grammar is arranged by compass-points. So, you'd say, “your father is standing to the North-East of you,” not “behind” or “to the left.” They arrange sequential images from East to West... whatever direction they're facing in. For me that takes the confusing biscuit!

Skipperhammond@gmail.com said...

Makes perfect sense. Efficient eye movement. Just imagine running five miles and having to stop every block, walk back to the starting line and then run a second block. You'd eventually get your five miles of running, but look at all that time you wasted walking. That's what our eyes do every time we move to the next line of text.

Olga Walker said...

My new word for the day as well as my research task to find out exactly what it means:):)but thank you for the learning...

Olga from http://revedoa@blogspot.com

Kristin Laughtin said...

I took Ancient Greek in college, and was very glad we didn't have to read texts this way (except when we were looking at authentic scrolls in museums). Later some punctuation came into play, but the all caps, no punctuation writing is tough to master at first. Like Skipperhammond said, it does save time at the end of each line, but is that much more aggravating if you lose your place or are trying to find a certain phrase, section, or passage!

@HunterValleyYabby2: I've always been in awe of cultures like that. I never know what direction I'm facing, and can't fathom keeping constant track of it, though I'm sure it's completely natural for them.

Alexander Field said...

Agreed, so glad I didn't major in ancient languages. Yikes.