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What Is Calligraphy?



What Is Calligraphy?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.14

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    best-educated, copperplates, flat-edged, fonts, hand-copied, hand-written, inexpensive, italic, meditation, seafaring, communication, excellent, ranks, ports, handwriting, society
     content words:    Middle Ages, William Morris, Great Britain


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What Is Calligraphy?
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Good handwriting is an excellent skill. You might not enjoy practicing handwriting in school, but some people love to make their handwriting look fancy. These unusual artists are called calligraphers. Calligraphy has been a form of creative expression for centuries.
 
2     The word "calligraphy" means beautiful writing. Many ancient cultures laid the foundation for calligraphy with their imaginative picture alphabets. The Egyptians created hieroglyphics about 3,500 B.C. These pictures described events and ideas. The Chinese people also used elaborate brushstrokes for their written language. They invented more than 1,500 characters by 1,500 B.C. Chinese calligraphers took their art seriously. They did special meditation before they wrote anything. They wanted to be in the "write" frame of mind.
 
3     While the Egyptians and the Chinese had picture symbols to represent words, they did not have a true alphabet. The first real alphabet was developed by a seafaring people called the Phoenicians. They spread it all over the world as they visited various sea ports. However, their alphabet was not true calligraphy. They had a practical, legible form of communication, but they did not think much about its appearance. They did not think of their alphabet as art.

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