Re: writing direction

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Wed Mar 25 2009 - 09:55:43 CST

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    On 25 Mar 2009, at 07:33, Aviah Morag - TransLink wrote:

    > ...I don't think that it has anything to do with writing direction,
    > through. I'm not aware of any source for the historical reasons for
    > choosing one over the other, if there was even any ideology behind
    > it at all. I'd be happy to hear about any (offlist).
    > One advantage to being a southpaw (lefty) and writing in Hebrew - no
    > pencil/ink smudges! (Except when embedding LTR, of course...)

    Thought I can give no reference for it, I was long ago told it
    depended in part on the writing tool and writing media: a brush is
    held vertically far away from the paper - not any risk of smudges or
    the hand covering the writing - and if one is right handed, it might
    be natural to start from right or close to you, writing from below and
    up. When one started using pens, or so the theory goes, they made
    scripts from left to right in order avoid smudges, or at least making
    it easier to read what one is writing. But it could just be some
    rationalizing. (The Egyptian pictographic hieroglyphs can be written
    in both directions, the direction of the heads showing the direction.)

       Hans Aberg

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