Mary was probably one of the most organised speakers we have ever experienced. She arrived ten minutes before the meeting was due to start and was able to set up her digital projector and computer and organise her presentation notes with time to spare before the meeting was declared open. She also makes the point that her talks are designed to last 50 to 60 minutes.
Her talk incorporated a PowerPoint presentation and dealt with the origins of writing and its subsequent development from prehistoric cave paintings dating back many thousands of years and through to the writing of today. She made the point that as tribal groups formed language was necessary to enable communication. She went on to say that from this early communication an accounting system was developed and this took the form of Cuneiform Script which consisted of wedge shaped characters. She went on to say that the script we use today was developed from that introduced in during the Roman Period and how capital letters were introduced to demonstrate importance. She also mentioned Runes, the letters used in a set of related alphabets and mainly used in early Germanic languages and Italic, languages of Southern Europe i.e. from Spain and Portugal eastwards to Greece.
And finally we learned of “Secretary Hand” a form of writing developed in the early 16th century as international business increased and used in Germany, England, Wales and Gaelic areas designed to give a more legible document than some of the earlier writings.
This was an interesting and well presented talk but there was so much to remember!