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mytrickytrick t1_je1118z wrote

>most scholars agree that the Greeks and Romans got round their lack of punctuation by murmuring aloud as they read through texts of all kinds.

As if people reading aloud wouldn't be bad enough, these were people murmuring aloud. I get it that you wouldn't be surrounded by people like you would be in a crowded elevator, but still, murmuring?


FlattopMaker t1_je1pw7v wrote

or your sibling reading that secret admirer note aloud for the 20th time?


Who_DaFuc_Asked t1_je3q9vy wrote

TFW you're chilling at the honey & goat cheese fried bread stand after exfoliating in the Roman Bath steam room, and some jerkoff is reading a fable out loud right next to you.

You try to leave, but he follows you into the public toilet area. After you pour the water jug to flush the toilet, a little bit of it splashes on his parchment paper and he gets really mad, starting a fight where he cuts you with an ornamental dagger.

3 weeks later, you die of an infection from the cut after your doctor prescribed a treatment of ground-up spices and herbs that did literally nothing to help.


mytrickytrick t1_je4j43f wrote

>3 weeks later, you die of an infection from the cut after your doctor prescribed a treatment of ground-up spices and herbs that did literally nothing to help.

But would go on to become the Colonel's famous recipe.


CletusDSpuckler t1_je193lx wrote

When I learned Spanish, I discovered the problem of word juncture. English has it, Spanish much less so. That's part of what makes reading it easier than hearing it - it's hard to tell with spoken language where one word end and the next one starts.


wegqg t1_je24u1l wrote



SilasX t1_je3ivor wrote

Isn't French brutal about that, where you're often required to move sounds from one word to another?


Sentience-psn t1_je6syyv wrote

Also German likes to cram words together. Doppelkupplungsgetriebe: a double clutch gear box.


oochre t1_je1tnwf wrote

Jewish texts (such as the Talmud and associated commentaries) have very little to no punctuation. I learned to read them with a kind of singsong melody that helps you figure out the phrasing, as is traditional. It’s so cool to think that that’s a thing that happens in other languages too!


Admetus t1_je4xe9f wrote

Makes sense to me if these languages began as a recital, like a chant. They may have began as oral traditions after all.


ktka t1_je2a3qa wrote




ILoveTabascoSauce t1_je2nwc5 wrote

This is very easily understandable though.


phobosmarsdeimos t1_je34fa4 wrote

Ancient Latin didn't have lowercase letters or word order. You have to decipher it from conjugations and context.


jointheredditarmy t1_je47s6i wrote

Come on, it’s gotta have heuristic word ordering even if the language doesn’t strictly require it. I guess it’s just so unimaginable that every time I said a sentence I’ll say it differently


feor1300 t1_je35ox8 wrote

I see us that weren't replaced by vs, not authentic enough. :P


BillTowne t1_je1xmnm wrote

I believe Irish monks came up with the idea of spaces between the letters in the manuscripts they were copying.


HiVisVestNinja t1_je0yu4d wrote

Huh. That's actually pretty neat. Thank you for reminding me that this sub is still worth following sometimes.


dromni t1_je19u8j wrote

I could not read it because paywall (or rather register wall), but that doesn't sound completely correct. Even before (gasp!) spaces were invented, Latin had the "interpunct" -

Scriptio continua though was a thing used for a long time but apparently more for style and theatrics than anything else. It looks like reading was seen as an oratory performance.


mordenty t1_je489ad wrote

When Augustine was writing his book Confessions he commented that Ambrose (Bishop of Milan in the late 4th century, later became a saint) read "his eyes scanned the page and his heart sought out the meaning, but his voice was silent and his tongue was still. Anyone could approach him freely and guests were not commonly announced, so that often, when we came to visit him, we found him reading like this in silence, for he never read aloud."


AmberMorrell t1_je342vo wrote

I learned it the other way around in my history of books class. Documents were writing without spacing and punctuation because they were meant to be read aloud.


Kaiisim t1_je42sky wrote

Yeah we don't really realise that writing and reading is a technology . We learn spoken language automatically as kids - reading and writing then takes over a decade of intense training!

English language is an advanced technology!


jeandanjou t1_je4xjhs wrote

Languages study in general. People never stop to think about language families.

For example, why it took millennia for people to realize how closely related were Greek, Celt, Latin, Sanskrit, Scythian, Persian and German (all are Indo-European) despite more or less intense exchange between people using them?

Because we didn't have grammar rules or standards, so patterns were insanely hard to distinguish and could vary from location or speaker.

So instead they had a feeling that things were similar, which ended up with a lot of them assuming things an universal kind of base for everything.


TheDefected t1_je733mp wrote

There is a British TV show called Q.I, where they'll often deal with curious facts.
One episode did mention this, involving what was so unusual about a monk reading in silence.
I believe that was somehow noted as being unusual (since they had vows of silence) and it could then be deduced that if that was thought of as unusual, that means speaking when reading was the norm.


TheDefected t1_je73sw2 wrote

A little bit of research tells me it was Saint Ambrose, who was noted for an unusual ability (at the time) of reading without moving his lips