Stages in the history of human communication
Terms in this set (5)
Age of speech and language
It is estimated that speech and language originated about 40 000 years ago. The origin of speech is not very clear. Some believe that as the human speech organs developed, recognisable words gradually developed from the basic sounds emitted by prehistoric people, and speech and language evolved. Speech gave people the ability to think and plan, to hunt and defend themselves, to learn and express themselves.
Age of writing
In prehistoric eras pictures and drawings of animals and people and cuneiform were used to communicate. The cave paintings provided people with a way of recording customs, traditions, and ceremonies. The Egyptians invented papyrus (a kind of paper made from water plants) in about 2 500 BC. Later, animal skins and parchment (a kind of paper made from animal skins) replaced papyrus, and paper from wood pulp was invented by the Chinese in about AD 100.
Age of print
The fastest way to spread information to many people was by means of printing and it should be noted that printed material was a supplement to oral communication. In 1438, German printer Johann Gutenberg invented a mould for casting individual letters in metal and published the first book in the 1450s. These letters which were held together, inked, and then pressed on paper to produce copies, were used to compose complete pages of text.
Electronic mass media
Mass media is the term used to describe newspapers, television, radio and the Internet simply because it can be used to reach large numbers of people at the same time. It enabled people to transmit and receive information with ease. Radio, television and film have contributed hugely to the development of communication.
Communication technologies such as computers, satellite communication, videotext, facsimile and the cellular telephone are changing the way people communicate. The information age has seen an increase in the volume of communication and information. This is also called the computer age, or the digital age. E.g. internet, email, chatrooms etc
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